Pinsk (Belarus) was under Soviet rule for seven months and under the German occupation from July 4, 1941 to 1943.
At the start of the Nazi occupation around 26,000 Jews lived in Pinsk.
A month later the first 'Aktion' against the Jewish inhabitants took place. Helped by their Polish police accomplices, the SS murder squads rounded up between 7 and 8,000 male Jews. All were executed. The rest, numbering some 18,287 including 6,400 women and children were incarcerated in the newly established ghetto ten persons to a room and forced to work for the occupation forces.
The ghetto, encompassed some 240 houses on 23 streets, all enclosed by a barbed wire fence 2,345 meters long.
On October 27, 1942, the ghetto was liquidated. At 6.30am, all Jews in the ghetto were ordered to gather near the Jewish cemetery at Karlin near the village of Posenich about four kilometres from town. All were deprived of their money and valuables before being led in groups to the execution site guarded by members of Police Battalion 310 of the 15th Police Regiment.
Those left behind in the ghetto, about 1,200 sick Jews and sick children, were simply shot. In the three days of slaughter around 11,000 Jews were murdered.
On July 14, 1944, Pinsk was liberated by the Red Army. They found only 17 half starved Jews alive after hiding in cellars for 620 days and nights. Almost the entire Gentile population of Pinsk did little to help their Jewish neighbours but waited passively for the opportunity to steal their possessions and move into their houses. Today, only about 500 Jews live in Pinsk.