Shchors (Snovsk) | Chernihiv

/ The center of the village with the memorial to all victims and soldiers who perished during WWII © Kate Kornberg/Yahad-In Unum The center of the town of Shchors © Kate Kornberg/Yahad-In Unum The abandoned Jewish cemetery in Shchors © Kate Kornberg/Yahad-In Unum The former building of the synagogue © Kate Kornberg/Yahad-In Unum Maria B., born in 1923: “The dead body fell down on the street. A policeman named Ivan, whom we knew, started to yell at us: ‘Get away from here! If not, you will also be killed!’ We ran back home.” © Kate Kornberg/Yahad-In Unum The execution site in the middle of the pine forest © Kate Kornberg/Yahad-In Unum The execution site of Jews in Shchors © Kate Kornberg/Yahad-In Unum

Execution of Jews in Shchors

1 Execution site(s)

Kind of place before:
Pine forest
Period of occupation:
Number of victims:
Over 1000

Witness interview

Maria B., born in 1923, saw a Jew being killed in the column: “One day, we were walking with my two friends on the street where there is a long house today—it is close to Bank Aval. And to get to Kirov Street, we had to pass by that place. When we went out, it started to drizzle. On the street, we saw about 20 elderly Jewish men. Maybe there were less than that, but it seemed to me back then that there were twenty of them. They were undressed. They were shaking. I swear to you, I am telling the truth. One Jew from the column attempted to escape, but a German shot him dead on the spot just in front of us.” (Testimony n°1975, interviewed in Shchors, on November 24, 2015)

Soviet archives

“In November 1941, passing by Profzoyuznaya Street, I saw a group of 18-20 people on Korolenko Street, escorted by one German and one policeman. The people in the column were Jews. Among them, I recognized Schnaper, 60 years old, and Yavker, 40 years old. After checking all the houses on Korolenko Street, the group left in the direction of the pine forest, located in the east of the town, 200-300m away from the last house on Korolenko Street. I thought that they were being taken to forced labor, but 40min later, I heard the bursts of gunfire.” [Deposition of the witness Konstantin S., made on June 8, 1944 to the Soviet commission; RG22.002M: Fond 7021, Opis 78, Delo 31]

Historical note

Shchors (Snovsk) is located on the banks of the Snov River, 75 km northeast of Chernigov.  The first Jewish settlements in Shchors dated back to the 19th century. Back then, the village was called Kozlovka. During the course of its history, its name changed several times. Prior to 1935, it was Snovsk. In 2016, it was renamed Snovsk again. There was a synagogue, a Jewish cemetery and a Yiddish school before the war. The majority of Jews lived off of craftsmanship and small trade. In the 30s, the Jewish population decreased due to the relocation of Jews to bigger cities and the Holodomor of 1932-1933.  On the eve of the war, about 16% of the population was Jewish (1,402 Jews). The Germans occupied Shchors on September 3, 1941. By that time, about half of the prewar Jewish population had managed to evacuate and young Jewish men were enlisted in the army.

Holocaust by bullets in figures

Immediately after the Germans’ arrival, all Jews were registered and marked. All the Jews were relocated in the open ghetto, which existed till its liquidation in January 1942. While confined in the ghetto, the Jews were subjected to perform different kinds of forced labor. In November, about 50 men were taken to be shot in the forest, under the pretext of being taken for forced labor.  The remaining Jews were killed in January 1942. About men were killed in Shchors while about 500 women and children were escorted to Chernihiv and murdered there shortly after. The last shootings of the Jews found in the nearby villages were conducted in September 1942 at the same site. 

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