Novomyrhorod/ Zlatopil (Novomirhorod, Novomirgorod/Zlatopol) | Kirovohrad

The Zlatopol gymnasium building in 1944. The place where Jews were detained.  © YVA Photo Collection 4932/34 / Zlatopol gymnasium building in 2016. The place where Jews were detained. © Kate Kornberg/Yahad-In Unum Local ambiance © Kate Kornberg/Yahad-In Unum One of the rare grave stones on what used to be a Jewish cemetery © Kate Kornberg/Yahad-In Unum The building of an orphanage where the Jews were detained prior to be taken to the shooting. Nowadays it is a school for mentally ill children. © Kate Kornberg/Yahad-In Unum Mykola O., born in 1930, remembered the day when Jews from Novomyrhorod were taken to the shooting. © Kate Kornberg/Yahad-In Unum Sergiy V., born in 1929: “We pulled this hand and we found a little girl of 5-6 years old. We brought her to the village into the house of our acquaintances. But someone told  the Germans about her.” © Kate Kornberg/Yahad-In Unum Sergiy V., born in 1929, told to Yahad Team how Jews were gathered and taken to the building of orphanage.© Kate Kornberg/Yahad-In Unum The gymnasium where the Jews were detained in the basement for about a month before being taken to the shooting.  © Kate Kornberg/Yahad-In Unum Yahad Rabbinical Advisor Rabbi Mendel Samama at the memorial, located at the Jewish cemetery, to the Jews killed in Novomyrhorod. There are four mass graves where the corpses were reburied. © Kate Kornberg/Yahad-In Unum The ravine where the majority of Jews were executed. © Kate Kornberg/Yahad-In Unum The monument on the place of the well where the corpses of over 400 Jews were thrown after they were shot or suffocated.© Kate Kornberg/Yahad-In Unum Jewish cemetery fence din with stone fence. Only few grave stones remain on its property. © Kate Kornberg/Yahad-In Unum

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Execution of Jews in Novomyrhorod and in Zlatopil

2 Execution site(s)

Kind of place before :
Ravine /Well behind the market
Memorials :
Yes
Period of occupation:
1941 - 1944
Number of victims :
Over 800

Witness interview

Sergiy V., born in 1929, remembered: “They were gathered by Germans and policemen, shot and thrown into wells. After that aktion there were no more Jews in the town. It happened in winter; I know it because we went skiing with my friend and saw a little hand in the snow. We pulled this hand and we found a little girl of 5-6 years old. We brought her to the village into the house of our acquaintances who hid the girl. However, someone told Germans about her. But when they came to search for her, they didn’t find anyone. Then, local policemen decided to burn down the house. And the Jewish girl was burned inside”. (Testimony n°2014, interviewed in Novomyrhorod, on April 6, 2016)

Soviet archives

In November 1941, once the police force was created, they went door to door. They chased all residents and looted their houses and at the same moment the members of Communist Party and the Jews were sent to the camp which was located in the ancient barracks for miners. Their houses were looted. The local inhabitants were detained in a camp without heating and were forced to work. They were beaten regularly. Many of them died of starvation and hypothermia. On January, 1942 the first group of 168 people were selected under the pretext of being sent to work, but they were brought to a warehouse in a mechanic garage and confined in the building. They were guarded by Romanians and a local policeman, Eduard N. On the fifth day, one could hear the screams as the detainees were locked in the basement of the same building. My house was located 300 meters away from the building. During the sixth night of detention I looked through the window and I heard noises of trucks which made round trips the entire night transporting people detained in the basement. 168 people were killed. I don’t know where they took them. [Report on the interrogation of the testimony Mikhail S. made by the State Extraordinary Commission on August 30, 1944; RG 22.002M. Fond 7021. Opis 66. Delo 123]

Historical note

Novomyrhorod is located on the banks of the Velyka Vys River about 65 km northwest of Kirovohrad. Since 1959 Zlatopil became the part of Myrhorod. Back then it was a village located 5km away from Novomyrhorod which numbered about 80% Jews living in the village. The record of the first Jewish community in Novomyrhorod dates back to the middle and the end of 18th century. By 1897 1,622 Jews lived in Novomyrhorod which represents less than 20% of the total population. The majority of them worked in small trade business and handcraft. There was a synagogue and Jewish school in the village. Some Jews worked in the pharmacy, there were teachers and lawyers among them. According to the witness, in 1939 under the Soviet order the synagogue was burned.  Due to two pogroms conducted in 1919, and Jews relocating to bigger cities, the Jewish population dropped roughly. During the pogrom in May 1919, 200 Jews were killed and their shops and houses were looted. On the eve of the war, only 315 Jews lived in Novomyrhorod (13% of total population) and 1,047 in Zlatopil, comprising only 26% of total population. The town was occupied by Germans on August 1-2, 1941. About 10-15% of the prewar Jews managed to flee to the East by that time. 

Holocaust by bullets in figures

Immediately after German occupation, all Jews were registered and marked. They were also forced to work different kinds of labor, such as road work and building construction. In the late fall 1941, under the civil German administration, two ghettos were created. One was in Zlatopil and another one in Novomyrhorod. The last one had a population of about 455 Jews from Novomyrhorord, Zlatopil and nearby villages. Due to lack of food many Jews died from starvation and hypothermia. According to the local witness the ghetto in Zlatopil was located in the former gymnasium, fenced in with barbed wire and guarded. After awhile the Jews were separated and relocated in the basement of the orphanage where they stayed until they were taken to be shot in the Gurshevyi Yar, close to the village of Turiya.

According to the archives and Yahad field research, over 800 Jews from Novomyrhorod, Zlatopol and in the surrounding area were exterminated over several aktions which lasted from November 1941 until Spring 1943. 

During the first Aktion conducted in November 1941, 174 Jews were suffocated with gas in the basement of the agricultural machinery station in Zlatopol. During the second aktion, carried out in February 1942, 202 Jews were killed in the same manner. After the corpses were thrown into wells located near the local market and near the slaughter house. The aktions were conducted by German security police and local Ukrainian police.

On February 7, 1941 an execution of the Novomyrhorod Jews was conducted. 69 Jews from the ghetto were taken to the Mezhigorskaya Ravine where they were shot by the policemen.  

In May 1942, 183 Jews from Zlatopil were rounded up and brought to the village of Lystopadove, 1 km of Zlatopil, where after being forced to undress they were shot and thrown into the well. The children were thrown against the wall of barn and tossed into a pit. One month after this 14 Jews were captured by Germans and shot in the forest not far away from Zlatopil. On September 30, 1942 about 100 Jews were shot near Maslovo village and thrown into a mine shaft.

According to the archives, another group of 83 Jews were shot in spring 1943. They were thrown into the well located close to the clinic in Zlatopil, among the victims there were elderly people, women and children.

A number of Jews from Novomyrhorod and Zlatopil were taken and murdered near the Martonosha village, in Lystopadove and in Turiya, in the place called Grusheviy Yar.

For more information about these executions, please, refer to the corresponding profiles. 

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