Ghetto in Propoysk
The occupation of Propoysk (Mogilev region of Belarus, now Slavgorod) began in August 1941 and lasted more than two years - until November 1943. However, the Jews of this town were not destined to wait for its liberation from the Nazis.
The Germans appointed Hans, a Volksdeutsche from the Volga region, who spoke Russian well, as the commandant of Propoysk. According to some reports, he was sent to the city as a saboteur before being captured by the Nazis. Eyewitnesses note Hans as a rare sadist who loved to kill people just like that, for no apparent reason.
Immediately with the beginning of the occupation, the Nazis began to implement their misanthropic program to destroy the Jewish population. For this purpose, a ghetto was organized in Propoysk, in the surviving Jewish houses in the area of modern Komsomolskaya and Pionerskaya streets. In its center was also a synagogue, which at that time was no longer functioning. All local Jews, as well as Jews from nearby villages, were rounded up in the ghetto. All prisoners had to sew and wear yellow circles on their clothes. There was barbed wire around the ghetto, and it was guarded around the clock by the Nazis and their henchmen-policemen. The Jews of the Propoysk ghetto were taken out every day for hard work, including various repairs, cleaning the streets, and unloading wagons.
One October morning in 1941, more than 130 (the exact number is still unknown) Jews from the Propoysk ghetto (mostly women, children, elderly people), lined up in a column, accompanied by guards from policemen and Germans, were taken towards the village of Kurganovka, where at the beginning of the war, a deep anti-tank ditch was dug. Eyewitnesses said that ahead, with an old shabby siddur in weak hands, was a gray-haired old man - Meer Uretsky, who until the last minutes of his life continued to read prayers, supporting fellow believers.
Near the trench, the Germans ordered the doomed prisoners to take off their clothes and lie down on its bottom, and after that they began to shoot at the unfortunate from machine guns. There is no evidence that anyone survived the 'aktion' (as the Nazis called such murders). The clothes and valuables of the dead were stolen by the policemen.
At the place where the prisoners of the Propoysk ghetto were shot, a monument was erected after the war. But in the early 1980s, it was demolished, because a street named after Marshal Rokossovsky was supposed to pass right through it. However, a few years later the monument was restored. A copper plate is attached to its concrete pedestal, on which the Star of David is engraved and the inscription: “We cannot enumerate your noble names, many of you are hidden by the damp earth. But know, dear ones, Nobody is forgotten and nothing is forgotten...