Vishnevo (Wiszniew, Vishneva) | Minsk

/ The orthodox church in Vishnevo. ©Victoria Bahr/Yahad - In Unum Former Jewish cemetery in Vishnevo. ©Victoria Bahr/Yahad - In Unum Evguenia R. remembered that local people took the Jews’ furniture after the liquidation of the ghetto. ©Victoria Bahr/Yahad - In Unum Maria T. remembered that local policemen were very cruel to the Jews. ©Victoria Bahr/Yahad - In Unum Monument to the Jews who were burnt alive in Vishnevo. ©Victoria Bahr/Yahad - In Unum

Execution of Jews in Vishnevo

2 Execution site(s)

Kind of place before:
Jewish cemetery/Buildings
Period of occupation:
1941 - 1944
Number of victims:

Witness interview

Maria T., born in 1927: "When the first Germans arrived on motorcycles in the village, 3 Jews came to welcome them with bunches of flowers. They still did not suspect what was going to happen to them later...” (Eyewitness N°720 interviewed in April 2014)

Historical note

Vishnevo is a village situated 90 km northwest of Minsk. On the eve of the Second World War, there was a significant Jewish population living in the village, which had a wooden synagogue and a Jewish cemetery. According to sources, about 700 Jews lived in the village. From 1939 to 1941, as the territory was overtaken by the Soviets, the Jewish population increased to 2,000 as Jewish refugees arrived from occupied Poland. Vishnevo is the hometown of Shimon Peres. The village was occupied by German forces at the end of July.

Holocaust by bullets in figures

Through historical documentation, little is known about the fate of the Jews in Vishnevo during the war, but thanks to local testimonies collected by Yahad, we have been able to establish in part what happened to them. A short time after the Germans’ arrival, the Jews were gathered in a fenced-in quarter of the village. The Jewish men were sometimes forced to work, performing labor such as cleaning the streets.

In summer 1942, dozens of Jewish men were killed by Germans in a pit in the Jewish cemetery, dug by the Jews themselves.

During the liquidation of the ghetto, the Jews were locked in several houses, the Germans threw oil on the houses and set fire to them. The victims were burned alive. Witnesses remember that the smoke lasted several days. Their bodies were then buried on the spot in mass graves by requisitioned locals. Furniture and Jewish belongings were looted.

Nearby villages

  • Volozhyn
  • Smorgon
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