Dolynske (Dolinskoe, Dolinskoye) Formerly Valegotsulovo | Odesa

/ Inside a witness’s house © Jordi Lagoutte/Yahad-In Unum The villagers still use carts as the main means of transport © Jordi Lagoutte/Yahad-In Unum Nina B., born in 1926: “When we arrived at the site, I understood that I had to fill the pit with the Jews who had been shot. The Germans stayed on the site until the pit was covered.” © Jordi Lagoutte/Yahad-In Unum Petro R., born in 1926: “I saw a group of about 30-40 Jews being escorted by the Germans towards to the execution site, located to the north of the village. There were four Germans, armed with submachine guns.” © Jordi Lagoutte/Yahad-In Unum Raisa C., born in 1930: “All the officers and soldiers were around the ditch, at the edge of the ditch and they fired inside.   They must have had the sub machine guns.” © Jordi Lagoutte/Yahad-In Unum Raisa C, born in 1930, takes the Yahad team to the execution site. She witnessed the shooting from afar. © Jordi Lagoutte/Yahad-In Unum The location of the mass grave. Back then, it was an anti-tank ditch, close to the Jewish cemetery, located 200m away. © Jordi Lagoutte/Yahad-In Unum The monument in memory of Jewish victims murdered in Dolynske. The monument is located on the abandoned Jewish cemetery. The Jews were shot in the anti-tank ditch located 200m away. © Jordi Lagoutte/Yahad-In Unum

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Execution of Jews in Dolynske

1 Execution site(s)

Kind of place before :
Anti-tank ditch
Memorials :
Yes
Period of occupation:
1941-1944
Number of victims :
386

Witness interview

Raisa C., born in 1930, remembers: “The Jews stayed for about one month in the warehouse building. The area was fenced, but the fence existed for a long time before the war. Every Jew was marked with a special sign. I don’t know what kind of sign it was, but I remember that they all had it on their backs, even children. There were a lot of children because Jews had big families. We tried to help them if we could. My mom used to cook some potatoes or corn cereals and I brought the food to the ghetto.” (Witness n°2065, interviewed in Dolynske on May 26, 2016)

Soviet archives

On August 29, 1941, at 2pm, 850 people were shot by the SS death commando (the grade and number of solders wasn’t possible to identify) in the town of Volegotsulovo, at 500m away from the center, behind the district hospital, in the anti-tank ditch, located not far from the road leading to Ananyev. It was not possible to identify the identity of all the victims. Through the testimonies, only 512 people from 143 families could be identified, others remained unknown.” [Act N°1, drawn up by State commission in Valegotsulovo, on December 5, 1944; RG 22.002M, Fond 7021, Opis 6, Delo 78.]

Historical note

Dolynske, before 1944 knows as   Valegotsulovo, is located 160km north of Odesa. Back then, it was the district capital. The first known record of the Jewish community dates back to the 19th century. The Jews suffered from two waves of pogroms (1882 and 1920), during which many Jewish houses were destroyed and shops were looted. The majority of Jews lived off of trade and craftsmanship. There were many artisan cooperatives. From 1920s, the Jewish population decreased due to the lack of work and relocation to the larger cities. On the eve of the war, there were only 2,545 Jews living in the town. The town was occupied by the Germans and Romanians on August 7, 1941. 

Holocaust by bullets in figures

It appears that the anti-Jewish measures started immediately after the occupation. One of the witnesses mentioned a shooting of about 12 rich Jews that took place ten days after the Germans’ arrival, but we couldn’t confirm or disprove this information with other witnesses. Thanks to the local witnesses interviewed by Yahad, we were able to establish that before being shot, the Jews were confined to an enclosed ghetto that existed for one month. The Jews were marked with distinguishing badges. The execution of the local Jews was carried out at the end of August 1941. The local eyewitnesses of the shooting said that the Jews were shot at the bottom of the ditch by SS soldiers, including highly ranked soldiers who had come for this purpose. The shooters fired with sub machine guns, standing at the edge of the ditch. According to the field research, the total number of victims appeared to be less than mentioned in the archives. 

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