Remains of hundreds of bodies discovered at former Jewish ghetto in Belarus

Human remains belonging to men, women and children were found during construction work.

By World Israel News staff

A mass grave containing bones from hundreds of bodies has been discovered during the course of construction work carried out atop what used to be the ghetto of Brest, in present-day Belarus, says the Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA).

Construction of apartments above a former Jewish cemetery in Gomel, eastern Belarus, took place despite a motion filed against the building plans by an American Jewish activist Yakov Goodman for the preservation of Jewish heritage sites in his native country back in 2017. A court in Belarus rejected a motion to prevent construction of apartments atop two former Jewish cemeteries, JTA reported at the time.

The remains, uncovered last month, are said to be of men, women, and children. The construction work also unearthed clothing, shoes, and other personal items.

Since the initial discovery was made, the remains of dozens of additional bodies have been discovered daily, the report said. City official Anna Kondak said: “We expect the number of victims to go over 1,000.”

Mayor Alexander Rogachuk said the bones belonged to “victims of ghettos,” meaning Jews imprisoned there by the Nazis during the Holocaust.

The Nazis killed three million civilians in Belarus, of whom 800,000 were Jewish, says JTA.

The mayor told Brest that he is in contact with local and international Jewish groups about arranging burial for the bones at local Jewish cemeteries.

Construction has been suspended on the immediate site of the grave but is going on around it, the Onliner news site reported Thursday.