Petrivka (Korniyivka) | Odesa

/ Rural ambiance © Jordi Lagoutte/Yahad-In Unum Inside a house © Jordi Lagoutte/Yahad-In Unum Kateryna S., born in 1930: “They lined them up at the edge. Someone fired and they fell down inside. After the shooting, the local women were requisitioned to fill in the pit.”© Jordi Lagoutte/Yahad-In Unum Kateryna S., born in 1930: “Those anti-tank ditches were dug by our mothers before the Germans arrived to stop the invasion. And the Germans used them to shoot the Jews.”© Jordi Lagoutte/Yahad-In Unum Valentyna N., born in 1930: “When we arrived, the shooting was finished. All the Jews were shot dead in the pit and there was a pile of clothing nearby. A man sitting next to a pile of clothing offered us to take something.»© Jordi Lagoutte/Yahad-In Unum Yahad team with the witness at the execution site of about 150 Jews native to Odesa © Jordi Lagoutte/Yahad-In Unum The execution site of the Jews from Odesa in Petrivka © Jordi Lagoutte/Yahad-In Unum

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Execution of the Odessa Jews in Petrivka

1 Execution site(s)

Kind of place before :
Anti-tank ditch
Memorials :
No
Period of occupation:
1941-1944
Number of victims :
150

Witness interview

Valentyna N., born in 1930, recalls: « The Jews were brought to the shooting, towards the trenches. My friend, Nadia, proposed that we go there, I was curious. When we arrived, the shooting was finished. All the Jews were shot dead in the pit and there was a pile of clothing nearby. We saw a man sitting next to a pile of clothing. He offered that we take something, so I took the skirts and the jackets, as much as I could carry. When I came home my mom scolded me and I had to give back all the clothes. In the evening, we went back there and I saw a half-naked man, climbing into the trench and asking for water. The police came and killed him." (Testimony n°2082, interviewed in Petrivka, on June 1, 2016).

Soviet archives

“On March 15, 1942, the Germans who lived in the village of Khristoforovo brought a group of 150 Jews native to Odessa into the village of Petrivka and confined them into a barn. After, they were told to undress completely and then in groups they were taken outside of the village, 500m east, where a pit had been prepared in advance. It was actually a shell hole which was used as a pit. After having been beaten, they were shot. There were women, children and elderly people among the victims. At the end of the shooting, the Germans tried to burn the corpses by gasoline over them. The corpses were burning for 24 hours. Later, the pit was filled in.(…)” [Act of State Extraordinary Commission made on September 28, 1944; Fond 7021, Opis 6, Delo 75]

Historical note

Petrivka is a village which is located in the district of Andrievo-Ivanivka. There were no Jews living in the village before the war. The majority of them lived in the nearby village of Andrievo-Ivanivka located about 135km north of Odessa. Before the war it used to be a Jewish agricultural colony, called Shteln. The majority of Jews worked in the kolkhoz, while others were merchants and artisans. In 1928, there was a windmill and an oil factory. There was a Jewish cemetery, which doesn’t exist anymore. According to the local witness, there were about 800 Jews living before the war. The village was occupied in early August 1941 by the Germans, followed by the Romanians. Under Romanian rule, it became part of Transnitria.

Holocaust by bullets in figures

As known from the archives, part of the Jews from Odessa were shot in the city while others were deported to the camps in the Odessa region, such as camps of Bogdanivka and Domanivka. Many Jews were executed on their way through the villages that the column passed. One of such execution conducted in Petrivka was documented by the Soviet archives. The local witnesses interviewed by Yahad confirmed that an execution was conducted here. There were women, children and elderly people among the victims. According to them, the victims were brought in carts. Once there, they undressed directly on the site close to the pit. None of them mentioned that the corpses were burned after. The local women were requisitioned to fill in the pit. Apparently, the execution was conducted by the Germans.  

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