“Resettlement” and “Aktion”

  • October  30, 1941
  • Jews forced to Radzivil estate, murdered
  • Remaining  Jews confined to ghettoo

Germans used euphemisms to refer to the killing of Jews. A leading scholar examined tens of thousands of Nazi documents without finding the word “killing” until he finally discovered the word in reference to a dog!

 The entire Jewish population of Nesvizh was ordered by SS Einsatzgruppen B to assemble in the square by the town hall for document inspection.  A “selection” was made of artisans and professionals to work for the Germans:  585 physicians, engineers, architects, glaziers, laundry owners, textile workers, tailors, blacksmiths, tanners, shoemakers, carpenters, and members of their families. They were selected to be concentrated in a small ghetto of a few streets that was surrounded by a wire fence.

Those remaining without trades were tricked into thinking that there would be a “resettlement” of Jews in the “East.” Thus, they were caught by surprise. Instead an Aktion or mission to kill took place on October 30, 1941.  Jews were marched in groups of 200 to the park near the Radzivil Castle and to the road to Snov where they were silenced by Einsatzgruppen assisted by townspeople. “The children, shot dead or half dead, were thrown into a special pit while their parents were forced to watch. Then the Germans tossed grenades into the pit...A witness remembered hearing the cry of a little girl: Daddy, why are you clutching me?”Another witness said he “saw the earth covering the slaughtered tremble... There was so much blood from the pits that the blood formed a lake.”(Farfel, Z., 76)

Among the martyrs were my Uncle Pesah Szwejd, Aunt Chava, cousins Pini and Eliyahu and my Aunt Pearl Siderman, Uncle Aharon, cousins Rachel Leah and Aber Zadel.  Family I never had a chance to meet.