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According to data from 1939, less than 1,000 Jews lived in the city. It is known that with the outbreak of hostilities, 30 Jewish families were able to leave the village. It is unknown how many were drafted into the Red Army, but the Book of Memory says that 75 Jewish soldiers died on the fronts.
The city was occupied from August 1941 to September 1943. Having occupied Vietka, the Nazis did not create a ghetto. They carried out a census of the Jewish population, introduced restrictive measures, forced them to wear decals, but the Jews lived in their own homes. According to the testimony of local ethnographers in the village, before the war, Jews lived compactly within three streets: Komsomolskaya, Proletarskaya and Volodarskogo. This probably explains the absence of a ghetto.
The invaders began to liquidate the Jews in December 1941. It is known that on December 1, six German officers arrived in the city and organized a meeting to plan the extermination aktion. Local police officers were instructed to ensure the attendance of Jews. Soon a corresponding order appeared. The Jews were to gather on December 2, 1941 in the square near the commandant’s office for registration. Failure to appear was punishable by execution on the spot.
On the appointed day, the Jews were gathered, a census was taken, the keys to their houses were taken away and they were driven into the stable under guard. The Nazis, along with the police, raided houses, checking if anyone was left there. Along the way, they took away the values they liked. According to eyewitness accounts, after the raid, the invaders sent eight cars with looted things to Gomel.
Witnesses talked about the bullying that the police officers subjected to the Jews on the eve of the execution. Thus, Anastasia Pevzner spoke about the beating of three 70-year-olds, who were then thrown into a barn unconscious. The executioners also stripped several children and left them overnight in a cold barn.
The extermination aktion was carried out on December 3, 1941. The Jews were lined up and led in the direction of the exit from the Vietka. Before the occupation, the militia dug an anti-tank ditch there, nine meters long, six meters wide and two meters deep.
There were two known cases of salvation. Elena Shanovich was able to run to the partisans, and Clara Fudel came out of the crowd of the doomed, shouted that she was Russian. The police officers, according to eyewitnesses, knew her, but were confused and she was released.
The Jews near the moat were forced to undress, go down and lie down. Local police officers and three Germans shot from rifles. In 1942, a flood damaged the bodies. According to various sources, from 300 to 400 Jews died in Vietka.
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