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Khislavichi

Khislavichi, Khislavichi County, Smolensk District, Russia

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The Jewish community of Khislavichi dates back to the eighteenth century. During the Soviet period, a Yiddish school and library operated in the town. In the 1920s, along with the state-sponsored schools, several unofficial heders ran in the town. In 1939, the Jewish community of Khislavichi numbered 1,427 people, 27 percent of the total population.
The Germans invaded Khislavichi on July 16, 1941. The Jews were ordered to wear a yellow band with a black spot in the center. At the beginning of September 1941, all the local Jews, as well as those from surrounding areas, altogether more than 800 people, were placed into a ghetto.
The Jews of Khislavichi were annihilated in a number of murder operations. In September, Germans killed the members of the local Judenrat and another 20 Jews in unknown location. Most of Khislavichi’s Jews were murdered in two operations in October 1941 in a ravine near the town, and in March 1942 in a ditch near the Machine and Tractor Station. In addition, in January 1942, young boys and girls from Khislavichi were put on trucks, taken to an unknown location and, most likely, killed.
The Red Army liberated Khislavichi on September 26, 1943.