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Semion Borisovich Toptunov.
Semion Borisovich Toptunov.

Semion Borisovich Toptunov, born in 1929.

Before the war more than a hundred people lived in Rudkovshina. There were a lot of Jews: the Chernomordiks, the Milgotiks and others. There was no Jewish cemetery here.

My mother, Maria Ivanovna Shpakova, was Belarusian, and father, Boris Zalmanovich Toptunov, was Jewish. Before the war he was sent to prison, for no reason, and sent to the Urals, where he died in 1941. There were five children in our family. I was the only boy.

Before the war Jews from Orsha used to live here. Before the execution all the Jews were taken to one house, where they were guarded by Nazi policemen. I was at home at that time. I looked out of the window and saw a Nazi carrying a girl in his hands, about 6 years old. The girl was looking him in the face and laughing. He took her to the forest and shot. However, he missed and she was thrown into the grave alive. Her mother was shot later…

Since our mother was Belarusian, we were not shot. Only Nazi policemen threatened us all the time that we would be shot. My two cousins from Gorky managed to escape after their mother had been shot. They were killed later in Gorky. My cousin Mulik survived.

Prepared by A. Litin, I. Shenderovich.
Photos taken by A. Litin

Jewish settlements in Mogilev region

MogilevAntonovkaBatsevichiBelynichiBelynkovichiBobruiskByhovChausyCherikov Dashkovka DribinEsmonyGluskGolovchinGorki GoryGrozdianka Hotimsk KirovskKlichev KonohovkaKostukovichi KrichevKruchaKrugloye Lenino LubonichiMartinovka MoliatichiMstislavlNaprasnovkaOsipovichi RodniaRudkovschina SamotevichiSapezhinkaSeletsShamovoShepelevichiShklovSlavgorodStaroselieSukhariSvislochVereschaki ZaverezhieZhilichi

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