Zaskovichi (Zaśkiewicze, Zaskavičy, Zaskovitz) | Minsk

/ The old Jewish cemetery. It is at the edge of the forest now. There are many tombstones with inscriptions in Hebrew. © Jethro Massey/Yahad-In Unum The building that housed the commandant’s office is still there. Before the war, it was the house of a Jewish factory owner. Today it is a private house.© Jethro Massey/Yahad-In Unum Ivan R., born in 1931: “The Germans promised those Jews who had gold not to kill them if they surrendered their valuables. ”© Jethro Massey/Yahad-In Unum Viktor S., born in 1934: “The Jews confined in the ghetto were forced to clear snow with shovels and to do other kinds of work. Several Jews served as stablemen for the commandant.”© Jethro Massey/Yahad-In Unum Yahad team records a local villager’s testimony near the place where the ghetto was located © Jethro Massey/Yahad-In Unum Witness shows us the place of the former ghetto, but the houses don’t exist anymore. The witness also shows us where the entrance was © Jethro Massey/Yahad-In Unum The witness shows us the execution site located in the forest. It was the same forest before, but the trees were smaller. The mass grave is not marked. © Jethro Massey/Yahad-In Unum

Execution of Jews in Zaskovichi

1 Execution site(s)

Kind of place before:
Period of occupation:
Number of victims:
About 100

Witness interview

Viktor S., born in 1934: “Some Jews were taken to Lebedevo, and the rest were shot in a small forest. I guess it was in autumn or in early winter, because children had already started the school, but there was no snow yet. One woman tried to escape from the shooting to join her husband who worked as stableman, but she was shot in the village, just on the street. Her husband was killed as well.” (Witness n°930, interviewed in Zaskovichi, on August 1, 2017)

Soviet archives

“According to the list of victims 100 Jews were shot.” [Act of the State Extraordinary Commission (ChGK); RG 22.002M: 7021-89-9]

Historical note

Zaskovichi is located 83 km north-west of Minsk. According to the local villagers, interviewed by the Yahad team, many Jews lived in the town, as well as Poles and Byelorussians. Jews lived in the center of the town, several of them had shops, and others cultivated their own land. The Jews called Saval, Leiba and Dovid owned shops which were located in their houses. Jews had their own wooden school, a cemetery, and a synagogue with a rabbi. Zaskovichi was occupied by the German troops in the end of June, 1941.

Holocaust by bullets in figures

Soon after the occupation the Germans established their commandant’s office in the house of one of the local Jews who had evacuated before the war. According to the local villagers all the Jews were marked with yellow Stars of David and were confined into the ghetto, consisting of three Jewish houses surrounded with barbed wire. They were guarded by local police.  While living in the ghetto the Jews fit to work were forced to clean snow from the streets in winter. Several Jews served as stablemen for the commandant. The ghetto was liquidated in summer 1942 when all the Jewish inmates, about 100 according to the Soviet Commission, were taken to the forest and shot dead.  The pit was covered by two Jews who were taken to Molodechno and were most probably executed there afterwards.  The witness, interviewed by Yahad team, also mentioned one isolated shooting.

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