Starodubskoye | Stavropol

/ The building of the former Kommandantur where the local administration was located before the war. The internment place © Cristian Monterosso - Yahad-In Unum Yelena M., born in 1929: “The Jews were told to present themselves with their belongings at the selsoviet building. They were promised to be taken to their motherland, to Israel.” © Cristian Monterosso - Yahad-In Unum Vera O., born in 1929: “The pit was 5m deep and about 5m large. There was a plank over it.“ © Cristian Monterosso - Yahad-In Unum Yahad’s team during the interview © Cristian Monterosso - Yahad-In Unum Vera O. showing the killing site of the Jewish refugees situated in the middle of the field. There is a monument today but not at the exact place and without any information about murdered Jewish victims. © Cristian Monterosso - Yahad-In Unum Monument in memory of Soviet citizens murdered by Nazis.  © Cristian Monterosso - Yahad-In Unum

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Execution of Jewish refugees from Starodubskoye and Terek

1 Execution site(s)

Kind of place before :
Animal landfill pit
Memorials :
Yes
Period of occupation:
1942-1943
Number of victims :
70

Witness interview

Vera O., born in 1929, remembered: « The Jews were promised that they would be taken somewhere else. They were told to prepare all their belongings. But instead of taking them somewhere else, they were brought to the ravine. I didn’t see it for myself but my friends, boys, unfortunately they have all passed away, who were watching from the roof of the kolkhoze building told us that there was a plank across the pit. The children had to walk on the plank and someone put a product under their noses and they fell down. After the shooting, we went there to take a look. The pit was not covered and the dogs were unearthing the bodies. There were their belongings and torn money notes.” (Witness n°534, interviewed in Starodubskoye, on August 18, 2015)

Soviet archives

“On September 03, 1942, the Starodubka Jews were ordered to present themselves the following day at the local administration building. There were told to take their belongings and valuables (max 32kg per person) as they were going to be taken to Germany. On September 04, about 70 Jews gathered at the central square in front of the Uprava building. Three carts with shovels hidden under the straw in them were already waiting for them. Those who were unable to walk were loaded on the carts and others walked nearby. The column left in the direction of Arkhipovka, where they were shot in the animal landfill pit. The valuables were taken by the German officers and soldiers. Less valuable belongings were given to the local police.” [Act of Soviet Extraordinary Commission, drawn up on July 20, 1943; RG-22.002M, 7021-17/9 (district A)]

Historical note

Starodubskoye is located around 210km southwest of Stavropol. Historically home to Russians, there were no Jewish families living in the village before the war. Once the war broke out, the Jewish refugees settled in the village. According to the witnesses, the Jews lived among the villagers and worked in the kolkhoz. The Germans occupied the territory in August 1942.

Holocaust by bullets in figures

The anti-Jewish measures were implemented shortly after the Germans’ arrival. According to the Soviet archives, on September 03, 1942, all the Jews were ordered to come to the local administration building (selsoviet) with their belongings under the pretext of being deported to Germany.  The following day, all the Jews were exterminated in the animal landfill pit. According to Witness n°533, the Jews were taken directly to the killing site once all of them were gathered near the selsoviet building. They were shot by Germans in the nape of the neck, facing the pit. Apparently, before being killed, they were forced to take off their clothes.

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