WJC: Belarus should halt construction on site of Jewish execution

730 bodies of Jewish victims murdered in the site that used to be the Jewish ghetto were unearthed in February.

By REUTERS
March 6, 2019 22:28
1 minute read.
WJC: Belarus should halt construction on site of Jewish execution

A soldier from a special "search battalion" of Belarus Defence Ministry takes part in the exhumation of a mass grave containing the remains of about 730 prisoners of a former Jewish ghetto, discovered at a construction site in the centre of Brest, Belarus February 26, 2019.. (photo credit: VASILY FEDOSENKO / REUTERS)

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analysis from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later

World Jewish Congress [WJC] called on the government of Belarus to halt a construction project in the city of Brest, close to the Polish border, after 730 bodies of Jewish victims were found.

“We urge the municipality of Brest to do its due diligence and order all construction ceased until it is able to carry out a full forensic investigation at the site,” said WJC CEO Robert Singer in a Wednesday  press release .

“The construction project underway in Brest is an affront to the memories of the Jewish residents of the city who were shot and murdered in cold blood at that very site,” he added.

The grave was uncovered by chance in February on a construction site in a residential area in the center of Brest.

Soldiers wearing white masks sifted through the site with spades, trowels and their gloved hands to collect the bones. They also found items such as leather shoes that had not rotted.

Dmitry Kaminsky, a soldier leading the unit, said they had exhumed 730 bodies so far, but could not be sure how many more would be found.

"It's possible they go further under the road. We have to cut open the tarmac road. Then we'll know," he said.

Some of the skulls bore bullet holes, he said, suggesting the victims had been executed by a shot to the back of the head.


Belarus, a former Soviet republic, was occupied by Nazi Germany during World War Two and tens of thousands of its Jews were killed by the Nazis.

The site of the mass grave served from December 1941 to October 1942 as part of a ghetto, areas created by the Nazis to segregate Jews and sometimes other minorities from other city dwellers. Brest was part of Poland before the war.

The remains were discovered when builders began to lay the foundations for an apartment block.

Local authorities want to bury the bodies in a ceremony at a cemetery in the north of the city.

"We want to be sure that there are no more mass graves here," said Alla Kondak, a local culture official.
  


Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

March 19, 2019
German Antisemitism official 'must resign, compared Jew to Nazi'

By BENJAMIN WEINTHAL