Kivshovata (Kovshevatoe) | Kyiv

/ Vasyl P. leads Yahad team to the ravine where he witnessed the execution of about 50 Jews ©Victoria Bahr/Yahad-In Unum The ravine where the Jews were murdered. They were forced to approach the edge of the ravine, one by one, and were shot with a rifle. There is a monument at this site today. ©Victoria Bahr/Yahad-In Unum Vasyl P., born in 1933 : “The Jews walked along the hill, imagine it as if they were walking over the fence and the pit was in the ravine, where I am. Once they reached the edge, someone fired at them.” ©Victoria Bahr/Yahad-In Unum Yahad team during the interview ©Victoria Bahr/Yahad-In Unum 9th grade of Kovshevatoe school, 1930’s ©Taken from jewua.org Public meeting in the Kovshevatoe, 1930 ©Taken from jewua.org Kovshevatoe in the beginning of XX century ©Taken from jewua.org

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Execution of Jews in Kivshovata

1 Execution site(s)

Kind of place before :
Quarry called Atamanskiye Vorota
Memorials :
Yes
Period of occupation:
1941-1943
Number of victims :
From 30 to 60

Witness interview

Vasyl P., born in 1933, describes the execution: “YIU: Were there only men among the Jews or were there women and children?
W: There was everyone—men, women, children, young girls. I remember seeing Rosa among them. I knew her. She was very pretty like a Barbie doll. With my mother, we went to the center to buy something in their shop. And she lived not far from me. At 7 years old, I was in love with her. Even today, I can hear her voice. Before being shot she said: ‘God gave us life and he takes it back.’ And then, she was shot and fell down.” (Eyewitness N°1758, interviewed in Kivshovata, on June 13, 2013)

Historical note

Kivshovata is situated approximately 120km south of Kyiv. Information concerning the first Jewish community dates back to the 18th century. There used to be a cemetery back at that time but it doesn’t exist anymore. There were at least two synagogues in Kivshovate, but the last one was closed in the 1930s as was the Jewish school. In the 19th until the early 20th century, the main occupation of the Jewish population was craft, small and medium trade. In 1914, the Jews from Kivshovate owned a mill, a drugstore, and 37 stalls including 20 grocery stands as well as seven shops selling manufactured goods. In 1928, a Jewish collective farm “Der Emes” was founded, which later became part of the larger Ukrainian-Jewish collective farm, “Lenin.” On the eve of the war, there were about 311 Jews living in the village, which represented less than a third of the population.

Holocaust by bullets in figures

The anti-Jewish Aktions started immediately after the Germans’ arrival. In July 1941, the head doctor of the Kivshovata hospital and his Jewish wife were shot. In September 1941, 48 Jews (about 60 Jews according to the archives) were forced out of their houses and gathered in the town center. The same day, the column of people was marched towards the ravine, on outskirts of Kivshovata, where a pit had been already dug. According to eyewitness accounts, the shooting was carried out by local police dressed in black uniforms with white armbands.  One German officer watched the execution. There was a bottle of vodka in front of the officer during the killing. The victims were shot dressed.

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