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Chashniki, Chashniki County, Vitebsk District, Belarus

To enlarge the map click here Former Jewish store in Chashniki Former Jewish store in Chashniki Photo by Arkadi Shulman, 2009

Jews settled in Chashniki in the mid-seventeenth century. After the 1917 Revolution, a Yiddish school opened in Chashniki. It was closed at the end of 1930s. In 1939, according to the last prewar census, 1,109 Jews lived in the town, making up 31.6 percent of the population.
The Germans occupied Chashniki on July 4, 1941. There was no organized evacuation from Chashniki, and only a tiny fraction of the local Jews managed to leave the town before the Germans entered. A Jew named Chereiskii was appointed “elder” of the Jews. No ghetto was established in the town, but the Nazis forced the Jews to mark their clothing and houses with Stars of David. The Jews were recruited to carry out forced labor, mainly at a nearby peat bog. The Jews of Chashniki were murdered on February 14-15, 1942. Chashniki was liberated on June 27, 1944.