Krasni Okny (Krasnyye Okny, Okny, Ocna Rosie, Okna) | Odesa

/ City of Krasni Okny ©Jordi Lagoutte/Yahad-In Unum Former Jewish cemetery before the war, now it is a field with a few remaining tombstones. ©Jordi Lagoutte/Yahad-In Unum The Romanians took the tombstones from the cemetery to construct a bridge. Thanks to numerous witnesses, we were able to find the bridge and the tombstones with inscriptions on them ©Jordi Lagoutte/Yahad-In Unum The school building where the Jews were confined for about one week before being taken away © Jordi Lagoutte/Yahad-In Unum Nadia T., born in 1930 : "At a certain moment, several young Jews started to run, trying to escape. The Romanians shot them. 20 or so bodies stayed under the burning sun, swelling, for several days before being buried." ©Jordi Lagoutte/Yahad-In Unum Inside the witness’ house ©Jordi Lagoutte/Yahad-In Unum Galyna K., born in 1932 : I saw a young Jewish woman passing by the garden with her baby. One shot and she was killed. Her baby was crying. A man approached the baby and shot at point-blank range. The cries stopped." ©Jordi Lagoutte/Yahad-In Unum Anatoli N., born in 1930 : “The cemetery was surrounded by a wall. The gunfire took place there. The grave was already being dug.” ©Jordi Lagoutte/Yahad-In Unum Yahad-In Unum team with the witness © Jordi Lagoutte/Yahad-In Unum The execution site of Jews in Krasni Okny © Jordi Lagoutte/Yahad-In Unum

To access full (non-subtitled) videos of witness testimony for a village, please visit the Registered users area

Execution of Jews in Krasni Okny

1 Execution site(s)

Kind of place before :
Jewish cemetery
Memorials :
No
Period of occupation:
1941 - 1944
Number of victims :
More than 10

Witness interview

Galyna, born in 1932 recalls: “In the column, there was a woman who appeared with her 9 month-old child. They hid near the garden of a school in a dense bush. But a Romanian or a German shot into that foliage. The woman died. I saw it with friends, hiding behind a wall, and watching through a hole. But it was when they shot the child that we fled, we were scared.“ (Witness n°2068, interviewed in Krasni Okny, on May 27, 2016)

Soviet archives

“On September 20, 1941, a death commando of fascist Germans arrived in Okny, helped by their collaborators, inhabitants of Okny, like the chief of the police and other policemen. All of them surrounded the city, gathered the whole Jewish population: more than 2000 people, among which there were 800 children. They were brought to the city of Dubasari where they were shot and buried in a mass grave.” [Act of the Soviet Extraordinary Commission, drawn up on August 9, 1944; RG 22.0002M. Fond 7021, Opis 6, Delo 84]

Historical note

Krasni Okny is located on the border with Moldova, 28 miles southwest of Balta, and 175km northwest of Odessa. The first records about the Jewish community date back to the end of the 19th century. There were many Jews living here: in 1897, there were 1,530; in 1926, there were 1,972. Due to the relocation to the biggest cities and pogroms conducted in the 1920s, the number of Jews living in the town dropped. On the eve of the war, there were only 1,258 Jews living in the town.  According to witness n°2067, they lived in the center of the city. Children were separated at school; there was a school just for Jews in the middle of the town. Their parents worked as craftsmen, tailors and storekeepers. Between them, they spoke their own language, but they also knew the Russian and the Ukrainian languages. Before the war, there were a Jewish cemetery and a synagogue, both of which no longer exist. The village was occupied by Germans in early August 1941. 

Holocaust by bullets in figures

Shortly after the Germans’ arrival, the Jews were told to come to the square with their identity cards, valuables and enough food for 2 days. Then, they were confined in the school building for a week. After that, they were arranged in a column and all the Jews, including men, women and children were marched by Lenin Street in the direction of Dubasari, 50 km away. Some of them were shot on the spot while attempting to escape into the fields. Once the Jews were taken away, their houses were plundered by local people. According to witness n°2068, interviewed by Yahad, once the Jews were taken away, the prisoners of war were brought and confined in the same building that was fenced in with barbed wire. After a while, they were taken away and most likely suffered the same fate as the Jews.

 According to the archives, there was not an execution of Jews in Krasni Okny. Although, during the field research, with the help of local witnesses, Yahad was able to identify cases of isolated shootings and locate the undocumented mass grave of about 5 or 6 Jews who were shot at the Jewish cemetery by policemen. 

Nearby villages

Do you have additional information regarding a village that you would like to share with Yahad ?

Please contact us at contact@yahadinunum.org
or by calling Yahad – In Unum at +33 (0) 1 53 20 13 17