Pogar | Bryansk

/ Local ambiance © Jordi Lagoutte - Yahad-In Unum Tatyana L., born in 1929: “Once the Germans arrived, all the Jews were registered in the local administration and forced to wear yellow, round distinguishing symbols. There were notices stuck up throughout the entire town. But for a little while, they cou Dmitriy V., born in 1935: “Jews were taken at 7am by Germans who arrived in a truck covered with a canvas sheet. When an old Jewish woman asked where one of them had been taken, a policeman answered in Russian: “To work.” © Jordi Lagoutte - Yahad-In Unum Anatoli R., born in 1932: “Once they were brought to the execution site, the Jews had to get off the truck. After being lined up at the edge of the pit, one shooter fired at them with a submachine gun.” © Jordi Lagoutte - Yahad-In Unum Yahad’s team during the interview, near the killing site of Jews, partisans, and civilians. © Jordi Lagoutte - Yahad-In Unum

Execution of Jews in Pogar

1 Execution site(s)

Kind of place before:
Period of occupation:
Number of victims:

Witness interview

Tatyana L., born in 1929, recalled what happened to the Jews upon the Germans‘ arrival: “Once the Germans arrived, they forced all Jews to go register in what was called at that time, the Magistrate. From then on, they had to wear yellow or orange diamonds on their clothes to be distinguished from Russians. They could continue living in their houses and working. I would say that it was their only way to survive, as well as ours. Because if we had our shoes broken, the only place we could go is to see Benya the cobbler. People continued buying bread at the Jewish bakery. I want to say that there was not any organized Aktion against the Jews. The Poglar Jews were shot little by little in different places. “ (Witness n°500, interviewed in Pogar, on May 21, 2015)

Soviet archives

“On November 22, 1941, a special SS unit arrived in Pogar and shot 217 Jews. Before being killed, the Jews were gathered in the yard of the magistrate building and were then transported in black trucks, covered with canvas, to the edge of the town. They were brutally exterminated and buried in two big clay pits close to the brick factory.” [Act of Soviet Extraordinary Commission, drawn up on October 4, 1945, RG-22.002M.7021- 85/4]

Historical note

The town was occupied by German forces on August 24, 1941. On the eve of WWII, 276 Jews were living in the town. According to witness n°500, Tatiana L., who got along with the Jews, especially the children as they were classmates, the Jews living in Pogar were mostly clothing and shoe-makers as well as doctors. Some Jews owned bakeries or grocery shops.  The town was occupied by Germans in the middle August 1941.

Holocaust by bullets in figures

Yahad’s research revealed that shortly after the Germans’ arrival, all the Jews were registered and marked with yellow, distinguishing badges. There was no ghetto in the town of Pogar. The Jewish inmates were shot little by little during the different Aktions that were conducted throughout the first year of the occupation. The largest Aktion took place on November 22, 1942.  There were also several areas where the prisoners of war were gathered. In total, during the German occupation, 771 people, including 217 Jews, were murdered in the Pogar district.

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