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Yad Vashem This Month in Holocaust History
September
September 1944, Bodies of Jewish victims on wood pyres in the Klooga slave labor camp, Estonia



September 1944

Bodies of Jewish victims on wood pyres in the Klooga slave labor camp, Estonia

On September 19, 1944, a few days before the Soviet army liberated the Klooga slave labor camp in Estonia, the Germans and their Estonian collaborators murdered more than 2,000 Jews, mostly from the Vilna Ghetto. They forced the Jews to lie down on a row of logs and murdered them with a bullet to the back of the head. They then added another row of logs and murdered another group of Jews on the logs, continuing the process until murdering all of the Jews in the camp. They set fire to the logs in an attempt to burn the bodies and destroy the evidence of the mass murder. Fleeing the Russian advance, the murderers did not have time to burn most of the bodies. Before removing the bodies from the pyres and burying them, the Russian soldiers documented the atrocities they found.

Yad Vashem Photo Archives 4613/641