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1 Execution site(s)
Vasiliy Z., born in 1920, remembers: “I spent the night at my relatives’ house and in the morning, when I was going back home, I saw three carts passing by. The carts were full. There were belongings on them. Children and the elderly who were not able to walk were taken by cart.” (Witness n°548, interviewed in Gorkaya Balka, on August 22, 2015)
“On September 11, 1942, under the order of German soldier K. and the starosta of the village of Krestyanskoye, Ivan B., all the Jews living in the village of Novo-Krestyanskoye (62 people) were gathered in the Klub of the kolkhoz, called ‘Put Lenina’ under the pretext of being sent for forced labor in Petropavlovka. They were allowed to take 32kg of belongings. Once they were gathered in the Klub, all their belongings were confiscated and they were taken by cart to the so-called Gorkaya Balka, which is situated about 4km away from the hamlet of Voznesenskiy. A pit had been dug at the site. Once at the site, the Jews were forced to get off the carts, to disrobe to underwear and were taken to the pit in groups of four or six people and shot. All the bodies were buried in a mass grave.“ [Act of Soviet Extraordinary Commission, made on July 14, 1943; RG-22.002M, 7021-17/10 (districts B-M)]
Gorkaya Balka is located about 100 km northeast of Pyatigorsk. Historically home to 5.000 Russians, there were no Jewish families living in the village before the war. Once the war broke out, many Jewish refugees passed through the village and some of them settled there. According to the witnesses, the Jews lived among the villagers and worked in the kolkhoz. The Germans occupied the territory on August 18, 1942.
Upon the Germans’ arrival, all the Jews were registered and distinguished. According to Witness n°548, the number of victims is larger because there were not only Jewish refugees from Gorkaya Balka who were shot there but also those from Otkaznoye.
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