Berezuvatka (Berezovatka, former Jewish colony Izrailivka) | Kirovohrad

/ The typical Jewish house in the former Jewish colony Israilivka. Modern day it is called Berezuvatka. © Kate Kornberg/Yahad-In Unum The abandoned synagogue of Berezuvatka. © Kate Kornberg/Yahad-In Unum The former Jewish cheese shop in Berezuvatka. © Kate Kornberg/Yahad-In Unum One of the abandoned synagogues of Berezuvatka. © Kate Kornberg/Yahad-In Unum Yahad team during the interview with the witness of the execution of Jews in Berezuvatka. © Kate Kornberg/Yahad-In Unum Olena, born 1928: "After the shooting of all the Jews, the Germans took all of the children of mixed marriages. The children were pulled from their mothers hands and thrown into the cart." © Kate Kornberg/Yahad-In Unum The execution site where about 120 Jews, including 20 children, were murdered, Berezuvatka. © Kate Kornberg/Yahad-In Unum

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Execution of Jews from Ustynivka, Bobrynets et Sadky in Berezuvatka

1 Execution site(s)

Kind of place before :
Field
Memorials :
Yes
Period of occupation:
1941-1944
Number of victims :
About 120

Witness interview

Olena K., born in 192, remembered: “There were a lot of Jews here, about 50 Jewish houses. This colony used to be called Izrailivka. However, after the revolution people from different nationalities settled here: Russians, Ukrainian and even Germans. About 50 percent of Jews went to live in big cities. During 1932-1933 the Jews received help from the USA. It was the time of the Great famine but no one died in our village thanks to this support. In my class, at school, there were 27 of people and 11 of them were Jews. The Jews had their own vineyard and shops. Then, the kolkhoz was set up in the village; and 6 Jews were the first people who started to work there and gave all their property to kolkhoz. There were also a lot of mixed marriages in the village.” (Testimony n°1999, interviewed in Berezuvatka, on March 31, 2016)

Soviet archives

« Regarding this question, I can say that during the momentary occupation of Ukraine by the Germans, I lived in the village of Izraelivka (today’s Berezuvatka), district of Ustynivka; and from 1933 until today I have lived here. Before the Second World War, the village of Izraelivka was populated by Jews and this village was called the Jewish colony. In 1941, when the German invaders occupied the village, they started to violently shoot the Jewish soviet citizens, including women, children and elderly people. But the chief of gendarmerie of Izraelivka and his assistants of German nationality, from the first days of occupation, they gave instructions to their subordinates of Romanian nationality, Y. and G.; together they terrorized this population, abused, and shot the Jewish Soviet citizens, elderly people, women and innocent children”. [The interrogation protocol made on June 6, 1944 by the State Extraordinary Commission; RG 22.002M. Fond 7021, Opis 66, Delo 124]

Historical note

Berezuvatka (former Izrailivka) is located about 80 km from Kirovohrad on the banks of the Berezivka River. The village was founded as a Jewish agricultural colony in 1807. In 1897 there were 1387 Jews out of the 1490 total population. The Jews were artisans: tailors, cobblers, smiths, carpenters and bricklayers. There was a synagogue and heeders, a Klub and two shops in the village.  In 1902 a Jewish school was opened. During the Civil war the Jewish population suffered from pogroms and looting. The synagogue was closed by Soviet administration in 1928. On the eve of the war in 170 Jews lived in Berezuvatka. The Germans occupied the village on August 8, 1941.

Holocaust by bullets in figures

After the Germans’ arrival the Jews from Berezuvatka continued to live in their houses, however they suffered from chasing, violence and looting. According to some sources, before the massive killing of Jews, there were several isolated shootings conducted by Germans. In the mid-summer of 1942, the Germans and local police gathered all Jews from rounded-up over 60 Jews, including 7 Jews from Ustynivka, 30-40 Jews from Bobrynets, and others from the nearing villages.  At the same time all Jews from the village Berezuvatka were gathered in the local school building. The next day the Jews from Berezuvatka, Ustynivka and Bobrynets were taken to the pit, located a few km outside of the village close to the village of Kovalivka, where they were shot. Supposedly, the shooting was conducted by 6-7 policemen under the order of Germans who supervised the scene. The local starosta, Hungarian nationality, appointed by Germans took an active part in the extermination process. He was the one who pointed out the houses where the Jews lived and was also present at the execution site.  Some Volksdeutche participated as well. After this Aktion, Germans rounded-up about 20 children, aged less than 11 years old, from mixed marriages. They were taken by cart to the same pit. According to the local witness, the carts were escorted by policemen on horseback. During the execution some children were shot by bullets while others were hit with the rifle butts and thrown in the pit. 

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