Plodovitoye | Kalmykia

/ Modern day - some locals live off of sheep farming © Cristian Monterosso - Yahad-In Unum Local scene in the village © Cristian Monterosso - Yahad-In Unum Yahad team during the interview at the witness’s house © Cristian Monterosso - Yahad-In Unum Ivan D., born in 1931: “One Jewish boy managed to survive the shooting. He was hidden by the local inhabitants and survived the war.” © Cristian Monterosso - Yahad-In Unum Ivan I., born in 1927: “In the beginning, the Germans were respectful with us. But after, we were forced to give them food even if we had nothing to eat for ourselves.” © Cristian Monterosso - Yahad-In Unum Pyotr B., born in 1932, saw the Jews getting on the trucks with their belongings. There were two trucks. © Cristian Monterosso - Yahad-In Unum Ivan D., born in 1931, pointing out the location of the killing site of Jewish refugees. Before the war, local villagers used to get clay from here. © Cristian Monterosso - Yahad-In Unum

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Execution of Jewish refugees in Plodovitoye

1 Execution site(s)

Kind of place before :
Clay pit
Memorials :
No
Period of occupation:
1942-1943
Number of victims :
30

Witness interview

Pyotr B., born in 1932, remembers: “Four or five days after the Germans’ arrival, they started to gather the Jews who didn’t have time to flee. They were promised to be transferred to their homeland. They were so happy and they took their bundles and got in the truck. Everything was supervised by the Germans and local police who had been created by that time. Once they were in the trucks, they left. The local women started to cry because in the village, there was a rumor that they were going to be killed.” (Witness n°521, interviewed in Plodovitoye, on August 13, 2015)

Historical note

Plodovitoye is located on the banks of the Srednaya Lasta River, 200km north of Elista and 100m south of Volgograd. Historically home to Russians and Kalmyks, there were no Jewish families living in the village before the war. There were two kolkhozes, Pobeda and Illich. According to the  witnesses Yahad interviewed, a lot of refugees, Jews, Gypsies, and Ukrainians among them, passed through the village to move beyond the Volga River. They stayed for several nights with the inhabitants and continued on their way. According to some sources, once the war broke out, about 50 Jewish families moved into Plodovitoe from Stalingrad (present-day Volgograd). The Germans occupied the village in mid-August 1942. After remaining there for several months, the Germans left and the village was taken over by Romanian military units.

Holocaust by bullets in figures

Even if the German occupation didn’t last a long time, the Germans managed to exterminate all the Jewish refugees. Thanks to the fieldwork and the three local witnesses, Yahad discovered that about 30-50 Jewish refugees were executed in clay pits, not far from the village. There were women, children and the elderly among them.

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