Yanovichi | Vitebsk


Execution of Jews in Yanovichi

3 Execution site(s)

Kind of place before:
Period of occupation:

Witness interview

Lidya K.: "I recognized one of my neighbors in the crowd. The column was escorted on both sides by Germans wearing helmets and green uniforms. There were no dogs. They took the road that leads to Demidovo. The Jews from the ghetto were shot a few kilometers from Yanovichi." (Witness N°521, interviewed in June 2011)

Soviet archives

"The Germans took the young girls into the bushes where they apparently raped them. When other trucks loaded with people arrived from Yanovichi, the Germans quickly brought the girls to the pits, beating them and hitting them with their rifle butts. They made them go into the pit and shot them with their rifles." [Act of the Soviet Extraodinary State Commission, RG-22.002M/7021-84/13]

German archives

"Report from September 23, 1941: ‘In Yanovichi, around 15 km south of Surazh, several cases of a contagious illness with a fever broke out. The doctor asked the doyen of the Jews and the town administration for emergency help. As it was feared that the illness would spread among the population of the city and its surroundings, the prisoners of the ghetto – 1,025 Jews – were subjected to the special treatment. The Aktion was carried out by one leader and twelve men.’” [Prosecutor’s report on Vitebsk’s region, B162-2400]

Historical note

Yanovichi is a village located about 36 km east of Vitebsk. In 1939, Yanovichi had 709 Jewish residents (34.8 % of the total population). The village was under German occupation from 1941 to 1943.

Holocaust by bullets in figures

On August 15, 1941, a detachment of Einsatzkommando 9 selected 149 Jews, and gathered them in the square. Then they were taken to the village of Valki, nearly 2 km southeast of Yanovichi, and shot. A ghetto was then established on Vitebsk Road. The ghetto was divided into two parts by the Tadulino Road, which non-Jews were permitted to use. The ghetto was liquidated on September 10, 1941, in a new Aktion carried out by Einsatzkommando 9. The Jews were taken to the village of Zaitsevo in trucks, around 5 km northeast of Yanovichi, and shot in an anti-tank ditch. According to Tatyana V., interviewed by Yahad In - Unum, a Jewish couple hidden in her family’s house was arrested by local policemen and shot in a field between Valki and Yanovichi.

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