Accounts of Nazi Pogroms in Occupied White Russia Related at Moscow Jewish Rally
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Accounts of Nazi Pogroms in Occupied White Russia Related at Moscow Jewish Rally

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Detailed accounts of the death and destruction that were visited upon the heavily Jewish-populated towns of White Russia by the invading Nazi army were recounted here today at the opening session of the Anti-Fascist Jewish Rally being held in the House of the Federation of Labor Unions.

In Vitebsk the Germans rounded up several thousand Jewish man, woman and children and loaded them into leaking boats which were towed to the middle of the Dwina River, three sisters, Sara, Chana and Luba Aron, who fled to Vitebsk from the neighboring village of Kolischki, related. When the boats reached mid-stream, the Nazi soldiers turned a murderous stream of bullets upon the Jews, killing thousands of the prisoners and leaving hundreds of others to drown when their leaking craft sank.

In Kolischki, the Aron sisters disclosed, the Germens immediately after entering the village looted all the Jewish homes. Later a detachment of storm troopers raged through the town murdering about 100 Jews. It was then that the sisters decided to flee to Vitebsk, where they were spared from execution by the fact that they did not appear Jewish. Driven half-mad by the atrocities they witnessed at Vitebsk, however, the three Jewish women returned to Kolischki when members of guerrilla units told them that the advancing Red Army was about to recapture the village.

Another Jewish woman, Hinda Frydman, who remained in Kolischki for a longer time, saw two of her four children and her husband executed by the Nazis, who had rounded up all the Jewish man in the village. The Nazi soldiers indiscriminately shot every tenth Jew after they lined them up in the market place.

The extent of the pogroms inflicted upon the Jews of Whits Russia was indicated by reports told Mrs. Frydean by Jews fleeing through Kolischki from towns occupied by the Nazis. In every village those Jews who had been unable to flee were shot and burnt. In the districts of Goublokoje and Wilejka no Jews remained alive. The fleeing Jews revealed that Russian collective farmers had given them help along the way and hidden them from the Nazis when possible. They also reported that French soldiers forced to fight with the German armies had warned the Jews to escape before the main Nazi force arrived.

The Aron sisters and Mrs. Frydman and her two remaining children were evacuated from Kolischki to the Saratov district on the Volga River in March, after the Soviet troops had recaptured the region.

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