Liberation


By the beginning of 1944 the German Army was in retreat in the East and were starting to lose the war. However, throughout Europe they continued to round up Jews and murder them, mainly in the extermination camps in occupied Poland.

In June 1944 the Allies opened up a second European front with the Normandy landings. Nazi Germany was now being attacked on both sides. Despite this in the summer of 1944 (July and August), nearly one million Hungarian Jews were rounded up and gassed to death at Auschwitz –Birkenau.

In the area of Novogrudek the Russian and Jewish partisans had been attacking and undermining German power for many months. As 1944 pressed on the attacks became more regular as a weakened German army began to evacuate the area.

On 16 July 1944 a large group of Bielski Jewish partisans came back to Novogrudek after it had been liberated. They found no survivors from the 1941 Jewish population of 6,000 Jews. Most wanted to emigrate from the Soviet Union and moved to Displaced Persons camps in Germany, Austria and Italy. From there, they tried to enter Palestine, the United States and Britain. Very few remained in Bylorussia, and even less in Novogrudek. The Nazis had succeeded in destroying over five centuries of Novogrudek Jewish culture.

.