Pietrasze


On July 12 and 13, 1941, Nazi killing units (Police battalion 316 and 322) shot about 4,000 Jewish men in a wooded area north of Bialystok called Pietrasze. The Jews were forced to undress and then stand next to excavated graves where they were shot. A total of 6500 – 7000 Jewish men were murdered in the Bialystok region in the weeks after the Germans invaded the Soviet Union on June 22, 1941 (Bialystok was then within the Soviet borders).

Current status: Monument (2015).

Location: 53° 10' 11" N 23° 09' 55" E

Get there: Car.

My comment:

From the road is the site about 1500 meters into the forest and the last 1000 meters you have to walk because it is a closed road. The site can still be a bit tricky to find because the area consists of intersecting forest roads so it can be good to memorize the road. The site itself consists of a memorial and eleven marked mass graves, all surrounded by a fence. When you walk on the site, you can feel how loose the ground is and how easily dug it is. This was of course an advantage when the mass graves were excavated and a contributing factor to the Nazis choosing the site.

Follow up in books: Arad, Yitzhak: Holocaust in the Soviet union (2009).