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1 Execution site(s)
Raisa B., born in 1931, remembered: “YIU: Were they taken there by truck or by cart?
W: They were taken in carts. The children cried a lot and they covered their mouths.
YIU: You said that the children cried and they hit them. What did they do exactly?
W: If a child started to cry, the perpetrator took him and put him upside down and covered him inside the truck. And once at the site, others were already waiting for them. Those who cried the most were shot first.” (Testimony n°2009, interviewed in Dobrovelychkivka, on April 3, 2016 )
“During the occupation of the village of Dobrovelichkovo, 8 Jewish children were in an orphanage. On December 22, 1942, Gestapo soldiers arrived by truck in order to take the children. The educators of the orphanage helped Germans by taking the children to the shooting. The children were arrested and shot in the village of Maryivka”. [Deposition report, made on April 24, 1944, to the State Extraordinary Commission; RG 22.002M. Fond 7021, Opis 66, Delo 124]
Maryivka is located about 100 km west from Kirovohrad. Historically, it was the village with a Ukrainian population. However, many Jews lived in Dobrovelychkivka, located about 3 km away from Maryivka. The first record of a Jewish community in Dobrovelychkivka dates back to the 19th century. By the end of the 19th century, over half of the population was Jewish, at 1718 Jews. There were 2 synagogues, a Yiddish school and about several dozen Jewish shops. The majority of Jews were merchants. There were also a big number of artisans among them. During the Soviet period the synagogues were closed, but Jews continued to gather for religious holidays in one house. In the 20th century the Jewish population dropped due to resettlement of Jews to bigger towns. On the eve of the war, only 366 Jews lived in Dobrovelychkivka. The German forces occupied the village in the early August 1941. By that time, about 25% of Jews managed to evacuate to the East.
Shortly after the Germans’ arrival, all Jews were registered and marked with armbands and their houses were marked with Stars of David. They were subjected to different kind of forced labor such as road construction.
The ghetto was established in the fall 1941. All the Jews were confined in the ghetto for a couple of months. They couldn’t leave the territory and buy food from locals and as a result, people suffered from hunger. The ghetto was liquidated during the Aktion conducted on December 23. Before being taken to the shooting, all the Jews were gathered in a vegetable warehouse. Later, they were driven by cart or marched to Maryivka village, 1km away from Dobrovelychkivka, where they were shot in a pit for dead cattle. According to the local witness interviewed by Yahad-In Unum, the shooting was conducted during 3-5 days by Germans who were helped by local collaborators. And it seemed that the shooting wasn’t organized well. Once on the site, the policemen forced the Jews to get off the carts claiming that they wouldn’t be shot. They were shot on the spot while trying to escape from the execution site and their corpses were dragged and thrown into the pit by policemen. Those who were still moving were finished off inside the pit. According to some sources there were 207 Jews killed in Maryivka, however on the monument on the execution site the number of victims is 167.
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