Th End of the Ghetto


On 4 February 1943 the Germans liquidated the Ghetto in Novogrudek and killed the remaining inhabitants. On 7 May 1943 they separated 250 out the 500 skilled workers and shot them in Hardzilovka less than a kilometre away from the camp, amongst them Jack's mother and sister. Of the remaining 250 workers, eleven were deported to a concentration camp, Koldichevo, while others managed to escape from the camp. At least 88 finally succeeded in reaching the Partisans.

At this time the war had turned for Germany, they had received terrible defeats in the Soviet Union. The Russians had won the battle of Stalingrad . However the war against the Jews was still more important than the war against Russia.

In that Spring of 1943 the remaining members of Jack’s family who had been with him in the camp were murdered; his Father deported to Koldichevo concentration camp, where he was killed in February 1944.

The remaining prisoners in Jack’s camp were now put on starvation rations. A new plan was devised to break out of the camp, this time by tunnelling 250 metres to the other side of the barbed wire into a field of growing wheat. Work started on the tunnel in June and by September 1943 it was declared ready. On 26 September 1943 they assembled at about 8pm.