Extracts from Jack Kagans Story


First Source:
"On Saturday 26 July 1941, some Jewish men were rounded up by the local police and taken to the market place, where a group of SS men were waiting. I was in the market place at that time. I hid behind the ruins of a burned-out house. I heard shots being fired and an orchestra playing music. I waited there quite a while and when I reached home, I heard the awful news that the SS had selected 52 men and shot them. Jewish women were ordered to wash the blood off the cobblestones. From time to time after that, groups of Jews were caught in the street and told that they were being sent to work. But later we would find out that they had been shot a short distance from town.
On the 6 December 1941, the first large Jewish massacre of Novogrudek Jews took place. All the Jews of Novogrudek were told to assemble in the courthouse. The Nazis selected 5,100 men, women and children and took them to the nearby area of Scridlevo (3 km from Novogrudek). Two days later they were all murdered."

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Second Source:
"On Friday 5 December 1941, posters appeared stating that as from 6 o'clock that evening no Jews could leave town, and the next morning all Jews must assemble at the court-house. They could only take with them whatever they could carry. Saturday was a bitterly cold day, minus 20 degrees Centigrade. The 6,500 Jews assembled in the yard of the court-house. We waited all day in the cold. Late in the afternoon, they opened the doors and there was just about room for us all to stand inside. There was no sleep that night. We were kept locked up over Saturday and Sunday.

On Sunday, the Wehrmacht (German army) arrived and took about 100 men to build a fence around 28 houses in the suburb of Peresika. They were creating a ghetto. Early on Monday morning, 8 December 1941, lorries arrived containing the SS and local police. We had to form a line, with families grouped together. The head of the family had to approach the SS man, and two questions were asked: "Profession?" and "How many children?" then, from the SS man, there was just a sign with the glove, right or left: life or death. My uncle went first with his family. "Profession?" "Saddle-maker", "How many children?", "Two children" a sign from the SS man to the left. My father followed: Saddle-maker; two children, a sign to the right.

Five thousand, one hundred people were selected to the left and taken to the village of Skridlevo. They were beaten up on entering the forest and ordered in parties of 50 to lie face down on the ground. From there, again in parties of 50, they had to give up all their valuables, undress in the bitterly cold weather and were driven to pits that had already been dug where they were shot. That day we lost my uncle, aunt and their family. It was an appalling blow to us all."

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