1 Execution site(s)
Valentina D., born in 1928: "The Jews continued to live in their homes. Then they were all gathered in a building that was fenced in with barbed wire. I don’t know how long they stayed there, but it was more than a couple of days. It was a certain period of time. Then, one day they were all taken to be shot. Before being taken away, they were gathered at the public square. There were men, women and children among them." (Witness n°38B, interviewed in Ulla, on July 17, 2008)
“On January 17, 1942, during the Nazi occupation of Ulla, 204 Jews were shot to death.”[Act drawn up by Soviet State Extraordinary Commission(ChGK) on March 31, 1945; GARF 7021-84-1/Copy RG-22.002M]
Ulla is located 65 km (168 mi) east of Vitebsk. The first records of the Jewish community date back to the early 18th century. According to the census of 1923, 1,068 Jews were living in Ulla. Typically, the Jews worked in shops, workshops, mills, and warehouses. The community had a synagogue (according to one witness there were even three synagogues). There was a Jewish school as well. Under the Soviet Union, many Jews worked in the collective farms. On the eve of the war, only 20% of the total towns’ population was Jewish, numbering 516 individuals. The majority of them left the town for better economical and professional possibilities.
Ulla was occupied by German forces in July 1941. Shortly after the German arrival, all the Jews were marked with yellow badges. An open ghetto was established in the area where the Jews lived. The ghetto was not guarded, and Jews could leave and enter its territory freely. In mid-August 1942, the ghetto was liquidated. During this Aktion, all the Jews were rounded up and taken to the Jewish cemetery to be shot. They were shot in groups on the edge of the pit. Before being shot, they were forced to take off outer clothes. Today, there is a memorial at the shooting site.
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