Thirty rabbis from Germany, who had been deported to Minsk, were murdered there in the winter of 1942, after being lured to their deaths by a promise that they would be sent to America.
The massacre was revealed by Boris Temchin, a young student who spent 28 months in the Minsk ghetto before he escaped by murdering a guard and fleeing to a partisan detachment in the neighboring woods: Temechn’s story was confirmed when the bodies of the rabbis were found in pits in Bolshoi-trostinetz, a suburb of Minsk.
The rabbis, among whom was the rabbi of Dresden, Temchin said, were summoned from the ghetto one day by the Gestapo and told to prepare to go to Turkey. from where they would be sent to America. They accepted the offer, and were instructed to take a disinfecting bath. They were then led, naked, into a courtyard and shot.
In the Spring of 1942, on the first day of passover, Temchin disclosed, a gestapo officer named Richater addressed the Jews of the ghetto, telling them that “we are done with harming Jews. No more blood will be shed. You may sleep in peace. We will protect you until the end of the war and then allow you to return to your homes, We guarantee you peace. Live, work and hope for better times. I congratulate you on your holiday.”
An hour later a gestapo detachment surrounded the crowd of Jews who had been addressed by Richter and opened fire on them with machine guns. Six-hundred persons were killed.
The Archive of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency includes articles published from 1923 to 2008. Archive stories reflect the journalistic standards and practices of the time they were published.