Kurapaty – forest, north, adjacent to Minsk. Since 1988, mass graves of humans have been found in this array. Humans were shot by the NKVD (The People’s Commissariat for Internal Affairs) in 1937-1941.
The number of victims is not exactly clear: documents from the archives of the KGB (Committee for State Security) of Belarus are not available to researchers. The buried were characterized by different household level, but most of them were workers, farmers, clerks, rural intelligentsia.
Michael Davidson, a former driver of the NKVD, said at the investigation that he once drove in Kurapaty & witnessed the shootings:
“I was on duty at night. When we entered the forest, I saw a large rectangular pit … I turned on the light and saw that people began to take the convicts out of the car. Some of them sat on the edge of the pit, and their feet were hanging down and their hands were tied behind their backs. When the edge of the pit was completely filled with people, the NKVD began to shoot. Only one worker from the commandant’s office shot, he fired in the back of the head, and the people fell into the pit. When they were all were killed, he jumped into the pit and began to trample the people. I heard the crunch of bones.”
Kurapaty is the most famous place of mass executions carried out by NKVD on the territory of Minsk. Kurapaty is in the State List of the Republic of Belarus of historical and cultural value.