1 Execution site(s)
Iakov P.: "One day, all the Jews were assembled at the market square and forced to kneel down on the ground. After this, they were led away in the direction of Grodno. It was very hot that day. The soltys had to call all the villagers and we were forced to watch." (Witness N°356 interviewed in November, 2010)
Skidel is a small town 30 km east of Grodno. Before the Second World War, Jews comprised just over 80 % of Skidel’s total population, with circa. 2800 Jews residing in the town. Consequently, most of the towns’ shops and businesses in the town were Jewish. The city was under German occupation from 1941 to 1944.
In late 1941, all the Jews of Skidel were forced to move into an open ghetto, comprised of a few houses located near the Jewish cemetery, situated today at the former Soviet military air base. According to witnesses interviewed by Yahad - In Unum, the ghetto was later fenced in. As the ghetto was less guarded at night, it was sometimes possible to give food to the Jews prisoners. The detainees were also forced to do various jobs, including cleaning the streets. Small shootings of Jews in the forest close to the town were frequent. According to a witness interviewed by Yahad, at the end of the war his uncle was forced to exhume corpses from a pit in the forest in order to burn them. The Skidel ghetto was liquidated on November 2, 1942, and the Jews were taken to the Kolbassino transit camp, south of Grodno. There were circa. 22000 to 28000 people in the camp at this time. From there, they were sent to the Auschwitz extermination camp.
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