JewishGen Discussion Group #JewishGen (Belarus) Belarus Building Site Yields the Bones of 1214 Holocaust Victims #general
Jan Meisels Allen
An April 27,2019 article in the New York Times relates how a Brest, Belarus
building site yielded the bones of 1,214 Holocaust victims. Construction
workers who had been working on foundations for a new apartment building
along with soldiers pulled human skeletons >from the earth. Over the three
months since this excavation of bodies began the bones of 1214 people, are
thought to be Jews slaughtered by the Nazis, when Hitler invaded Russia. At
the time Belarus was part of Russia.
The construction was stopped partly due to the condemnation by the World
Jewish Congress who called the construction project "an affront to the
memories of the Jewish residents of the city who were shot and murdered at
that very site." Before World War ll, Jews represented half of the city of
Brest's population of 60,000. The Brest Jews were thought to have been
killed in a forest about 70 miles east of the city. While it was known that
some massacres against Jews occurred in the center of the city the number
was thought to be far less than the 1, 214. It is thought these were Jews
who had initially hid or fled but were then captured by the Nazis after the
ghetto was destroyed in October 1942.
The Soviet army reconquered Brest in 1944, but by then only a handful of
Jews remained. One of them was future Israel Prime Minister Menachem Begin.
There is controversy about whether the luxury apartment building should
still be built on the site or whether it should be fenced off and turned
into a "memorial park" for the Jews who were murdered.
To read the article see:
Jan Meisels Allen
Chairperson, IAJGS Public Records Access Monitoring Committee