Lypetske (Lipetske) | Odesa

An old manual well in the village of Lypetske © Jordi Lagoutte/Yahad-In Unum On the pasture, the shepherds take a pause to milk the cows. © Jordi Lagoutte/Yahad-In Unum The Yahad team takes the GPS coordinates of the execution site, where about 20 Kotovsk Jews were murdered.  © Jordi Lagoutte/Yahad-In Unum Ivan T., born in 1930: “She was beautiful. He approached her and told her to join the group of Jews. She refused, exhausted, putting a scarf over her eyes in order not to see the executioner. He put the rifle to her forehead and shot her.”© Jordi Lagoutte Olga P., born in 1934: “When the column passed by our village, 8 people were shot dead on the way because they didn’t have the strength to go forward. Their corpses were left on the road and local people took valuables from them. Later, the local men took The Yahad team with the witness at the site where she saw five people from the column being shot © Jordi Lagoutte/Yahad-In Unum

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Execution of Jews from Kotovsk in Lypetske

1 Execution site(s)

Kind of place before :
Ravine
Memorials :
No
Period of occupation:
1941-1944
Number of victims :
Dozens

Witness interview

Olga P., born in 1934, remembers: “I remember a column of Jews coming from Kotovsk passing by the village. There were many of them in the column. There were men, women, elderly people and children. They walked calmly, organized in rows. They were very well dressed, so I understood that they came from a big city. They had many belongings with them.
The column was guarded by Romanians on horseback on both sides and when we tried to give some potatoes to the Jews, the Romanians yelled at us not to do that. Those who didn’t have forces to move forward were shot dead on the spot. When they passed by my house, five people from the column were shot dead by the Romanians, who didn’t even get off the horses.” (Witness n°2058, interviewed in Lypetske, on May 24, 2016)

Soviet archives

“Hereby, I declare that in December 1941, on the territory of the Lenin kolkhoz, north of the village, 13 Jews partially dressed were brought there and shot by Romanian bandits. The names of the victims are unknown to me. There was another shooting, conducted along the road that leads from […] (the name is illegible, translator’s note) to Tochinovo, on both sides of the road, 11 Jews were shot and buried. Their names are also unknown.” [Declaration of the president of the Lenin kolkhoz, made to the Extraordinary State Commission, RG 22.002M. Fond 7021, Opis 6, Delo 74(?)]

Historical note

Lypetske is a village located in the district of Kotovsk, about 200km north of Odessa. According to local witnesses, there were no Jews living in the village before the war, with one exception, an old Jewish tailor. The majority of Jews settled down in the nearest large town, Kotovsk (before 1935, known as Birzula), located 13km away. The first record of the Jewish community in Kotovsk dates back to the 19th century, before it was forbidden for Jews to settle in this area. The majority of Jews lived off of trade and craftsmanship. Some of them were employed in small industries as clerks or as specialized workers. The Jewish community suffered from several waves of pogroms (in 1905 and 1919).

On the eve of the war, there were about 2,500 Jews (15% of the total population) living in Kotovsk. Kotovsk and Lypetske were occupied by the German forced on August 6, 1941. 

Holocaust by bullets in figures

The anti-Jewish measures were taken immediately after the occupation. In late August, 115 Jews from Kotovsk were shot. The only local Jew who lived in Lypetske managed to survive because he converted religions before the war. According to the field research in Lypetske, Yahad was able to establish that during the war, a number of columns of Jews passed by this village in the direction of Ananyiv. Many Jews, being exhausted, were shot on the way to the village of Lypetske. Their bodies were buried by locals once the column passed. The exact burial locations could only be identified with the help of local witnesses. According to the eyewitness of the shooting, there were not only arbitrary shootings of the Jews during the relocation. About 20 Jews, apparently, originally from Kotovsk, were shot in the ravine by two Romanians who fired with sub machine guns. 

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