Belarus Building Site Yields the Bones of 1,214 Holocaust Victims

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tags: Holocaust, Belarus

Tatyana Lakhay, a cheerful fitness instructor in the Belarus city of Brest, returned to her apartment after a morning exercise class when she glanced out a window and came face to face with the horrors of the Holocaust.

“My God! What is going on? Something is obviously not right,” Ms. Lakhay, 26, recalled thinking as she watched a ghoulish spectacle unfold on the building site below.

Instead of the construction workers who for weeks had been preparing the foundations for a new luxury apartment project, soldiers in masks and gloves were pulling human skeletons from the earth. So many bones were coming out of the ground, she said, it was immediately clear this was no ordinary crime scene.

In the three months since that day, the ground next to Ms. Lakhay’s building has yielded the bones of 1,214 people. Most are believed to be the remains of Jews slaughtered by the Nazis after Hitler invaded the Soviet Union in June 1941. Belarus was then part of the Soviet nation.

The discovery of such a large mass grave in the center of Brest, a handsome ancient city on Belarus’s western border with Poland, has brought into focus a little-understood chapter of the Holocaust in one of the first Soviet cities seized by the Nazis.

Read entire article at NY Times

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