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1 Execution site(s)
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)
“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]
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.
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.
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