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2 Execution site(s)
Volodymyr T., born in 1931, remembers: “Aside from the large shooting in the field, there was another one in the silo pits close to the stables. Today, it is a private territory. It is a kind of warehouse where the agricultural machines are stocked. But, nobody care that the remains of the innocent victims are still there. I didn’t see the shooting; I came afterwards when the pit was not filled in. There were about twenty corpses in a pile. There were even children of about 10 years old among the victims. The pit measured 10-15m long and 2 m deep. The shootings lasted for one week and only afterwards were the pits were filled in.”
(Witness n°2084, interviewed in Pavlynka, on June 2, 2016)
“We, the undersigned, the members of the commission of inquiry (…), submitted this act stating that in 1941, when Pavlinka was occupied, the Romanian occupants shot 45 Jews in (…)m [the number is illegible, translator’s note] northwest of the village, in the woods of the plantations. Among the victims, there was a child age of 2, one woman, 6 teenagers, 7 elderly people, others were men of different ages. They were murdered by the Romanian soldiers and gendarmes on August 25, 1941.” [Act of the State Commission, drawn up on November 22, 1944; RG 22.002M. Fond 7021, Opis 6, Delo 82]
Pavlynka is a village located 45 km North of Odessa. Before the war, there was only one Jew, who worked as mechanic at the cinema, living in the village. The largest community of Jews lived in the city of Odessa. In 1926, 153,243 Jews lived in Odessa, comprising 36% of the total population. On the eve of the war, 200,981 Jews (33% of the total population) lived in Odessa and represented the second largest Jewish population in Ukraine, after Kyiv. The village was occupied by the Germans in early August 1941. Then, it was occupied by the Romanians.
Little is known about the execution of Jews in Pavlynka from the historical sources and archives. Many Jews from Odessa trying to flee the Germans left for small villages, where they were often rounded up and shot. Other Jews were brought on foot from Odessa to different small villages to be shot. During the occupation, there were several small shootings of Jews from Odessa, which lasted for one week, starting in August 25, 1941. The executions were carried out by Romanian soldiers and gendarmes. Thanks to the local witnesses, Yahad was able to identify two execution sites, one of which was undocumented until now. The first mass grave is located in the northwest of the village. Back then, there were plantations at the site. During this action, more than 150 Jews were shot, although the number of victims mentioned in the archives is less than is written on the monument. According to witness n°2084, several dozen Jews from Odessa were murdered during the second action in the silo pits not far from the kolkhoz. This aktion was conducted at the same period. Today, there is a private property at that site and nothing memorializes the innocent Jews murdered there during WWII.
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