German forces occupied Minsk, capital of the Belorussian Soviet Socialist Republic (SSR) in the Soviet Union short after Germany's invasion in the Soviet Union in June of 1941.
In late July of 1941, Germany established a ghetto in Minsk.
German government deported about 80,000 total people into the Minsk ghetto. It was crowded and 24,000 of these people were Jews from Germany and surrounding countries.
SS and other police members shot or gassed Jews in special vans soon after their arrival in Maly-Trostinets which is a village about eight miles east. German occupation authorities housed the others who weren't Jewish in a separate section of Minsk to avoid integration between them and the Jews.
Jews worked on labor projects in factories inside and outside the ghettos especially in the Shirley street labor camp and the opera house. This is where the occupation authorities supervised the sorting and storage of Jewish private property.
Protest against German Soldiers as they are on their way to their execution
In August of 1941, Jews established an anti-German underground in the ghetto. Members helped with escapes and formed about 7 partisan units in the surrounding forests. Attempting to escape, about 10,000 Jews tried and failed since most were found and killed by German forces during the war.
The Minsk Ghetto was open because even though it had a gate Nazis took the Jews and others in and out of the ghetto to work. They worked in cities outside of the ghetto.
Most food was smuggled into the ghetto for the starving Jews and a lot of trade was done illegally.
German authorities continued to participate in these mass killings against residents of the Minsk ghetto.
Assembly flow for the death of Jews
In the fall of 1943, the Germans destroyed the Minsk Ghetto. The SS deported remaining Jews to the Sobibor killing center which killed about 4,0000 remaining Jews from Maly Trostinets.
Hanging of Jews who protested against German Soldiers
Berta Rivkina was 12 when she and her mother were to be rounded up by the Germans since her town of Minsk was 1/3 Jewish. They hid in a warehouse but were discovered by a German guard. She claims she was so scared that she was talking gibberish and ran. The guard chased after her, and Berta had slammed into another woman. The. The guard fired his gun and the one who got shot wasn't Berta, but the woman she bumped into. Berta was taken to be executed, but she managed to escape the Ghetto. She fled to join the Soviet partisans.
Berta Rivkina born in Minsk, Belorussia