Shershentsi | Odesa

/ Local ambiance in the village © Jordi Lagoutte/Yahad-In Unum Vasyl B., born in 1930: "I was grazing my cows when I saw a group of about 60 Jews arriving. When they were in the valley, the Romanians started to shoot at the column, killing everyone. Later, the village residents came to undress the corpses." © Jordi L Mykola K., born in 1927: “All local Jews were taken by cart to Ribnita, 30km away, where they were confined in the prison. There were two carts that transported elderly people and children, and others walked nearby.” © Jordi Lagoutte/Yahad-In Unum Yahad team with the witness in his yard © Jordi Lagoutte/Yahad-In Unum Before being taken to the shooting, the Jews were confined in the kolkhoz stables. The building doesn’t exist anymore. © Jordi Lagoutte/Yahad-In Unum Yahad team with the witness at the execution site © Jordi Lagoutte/Yahad-In Unum The execution site of about 60 Jews from Moldova in the middle of the field, Shershentsi, 2016 © Jordi Lagoutte/Yahad-In Unum

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Execution of Jews from Moldova in Shershentsi

1 Execution site(s)

Kind of place before :
Field
Memorials :
No
Period of occupation:
1941-1944
Number of victims :
About 60

Witness interview

Mykola K., born in 1927: “While grazing the cows, we saw a large column of about 100 Jews being led. They were escorted by Romanians, who were on horseback, on both sides, at the head and the end of the column. It was in early August, but by that time all the local Jews had already been deported. They were mostly women with children of different ages and elderly people in the column. Women held their babies in the arms or by the hand. They were arranged in rows. The column marched through the village to the East, in the direction of the village of Kruti. The Jews cried and the Romanians screamed at them, but I didn’t understand what they said because it was in Romanian. Those who didn’t want to move forward were beaten. They had bundles with them, so I guess they were promised that they would be relocated.” (Witness n°2047, interviewed in Shershentsi, on May 20, 2016)

Historical note

Shershentsi is located on the border with Lokdova, 290 km northwest of Odessa. Before the war, Ukrainians, Russians, Jews, and Moldovans lived in the village. The Jews represented less than 10% of the total population. The majority of Jews lived off of small business and craftsmanship. There was no synagogue or Jewish cemetery. The village was occupied in early August 1941 by the Germans, followed by Romanians. Under Romanian rule, it became part of Transnistria. 

Holocaust by bullets in figures

There were no any documents or evidence of the executions of Jews in Shershentsi, as it was thought that all local Jews managed to escape to Odessa before the Germans’ arrival. Once the war broke out, many Jews from Moldova were deported from Molodva to Transnitria, where they were executed or died from hunger and poor conditions. Many such columns passed by the village of Shershentsi in the direction of Kruti. However, thanks to Yahad’s field research and the last remaining local eyewitness, Yahad was able to identify the location of the mass grave where about 60 Jews, brought from Moldova, were executed. Today, the site is unmarked and located in the middle of a field. Before being taken to the shooting, the Jews were confined in the stables that belonged to the kolkhoz for several days. From there, they were marched outside the village, 2km away, towards the ravine where they were shot by the Romanians. The execution was conducted shortly after the occupation, in late summer of 1941.  The corpses were left on the ground without being buried. Only after a while, when all the clothing and valuables were taken from the dead, the corpses were buried by local people at the same place. 

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