A Trip to Szczuczyn


This article and pictures were generously donated by a Landsman who wishes to remain anonymous.

Then we went to Szczuczyn, my mother`s town. We met there a Jewish woman who showed us around. We saw the central square that did not change much since the old times. Nearby, there were streets were the Jews used to live. I have a picture of one of the streets. Then,  the woman showed us a small building.  It was once an Alte Shule, the old synagogue. Today it is used as a kind of insurance office. She told me that not far from there  was once a big and impressing New Synagogue, but it was destroyed. Afterwards she took us to a big field, with a very high grass on it, which was once the Jewish cemetery.  Jews were buried there until about 20 [1975] years ago. There is very high grass all around, and only few gravestones still exist, in a very bad condition.  Then, the woman took us to the place were over a thousand of the local Jews and those  from the near towns (like Wasilishki and so on) were shot to death by the Nazis. For many long years, until the Perestroika this place was forbidden to visit because nearby was an enormous strategic airfield of the Soviets. The place all around was forbidden to enter or to take photos. Soldiers shot without warning everybody who came near the place. We could see the big hangers and the very wide and long asphalt roads. So, the mass grave was abandoned for years. Only recently, a Jewish donor from Europe, with great devotion of this Jewish woman and some help of few locals built a high grave-stone that I photographed from near and far perspective. Even today the fence around does not contain all of the actual grave, which was much bigger. Our visit in Szczuczyn was very emotional and sad.

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