Arzguir | Stavropol

/ Modern day, the villagers live from agriculture. They cultivate vegetables and fruits. © Cristian Monterosso - Yahad-In Unum Yahad’s team preparing for the interview with a witness. Translator explains that the questions and the answers will be translated fom and into French © Cristian Monterosso - Yahad-In Unum Ivan Sh., born in 1934: “A woman was holding her baby in the arms. She was the last to be executed. He put the baby something on his lips and they fell down.” © Cristian Monterosso - Yahad-In Unum Anna Sh., born in 1930: “I could say good bye to my friend Rosa when she was taken in the column to the ravine. It was the last time I saw her. She was killed along with others Jews.” © Cristian Monterosso - Yahad-In Unum Ivan Sh. points the ravine where the Jews had been killed © Cristian Monterosso - Yahad-In Unum The monument to the 695 victims murdered by Nazi, including 675 victims. © Cristian Monterosso - Yahad-In Unum

Execution of Jewish refugees in Arzguir

1 Execution site(s)

Kind of place before:
Ravine in the steppe
Period of occupation:
Number of victims:

Witness interview

Anna Sh., born in 1930, remembers how the Jews were taken to the shooting: « One month after the Germans arrival all the Jews were registered by police. My Jewish neighbor, who was a tailor, received a message telling that the next day at 10am all the Jews have to present themselves at the Kommandantur with no more than 10kg of personal belongings. The day when the Jews were taken all the villagers went outside to follow the column. There were about 320 people in the column. They walked in column, in rows of four, -children including. All the belongings they left at Kommandantur. When the column was passing I saw someone waving me. I didn’t recognize her first but it was my friend Rosa. I waved her back and that is all. I have never seen her after». (Witness n°526, interviewed in Arzguir, on August 15, 2015)

Soviet archives

“In September 1942, under the order of German Kommandant W. and chief of German gendarmeria, 695 people, including 675 of Jewish nationality, were shot in the place named Arguirskaya balka [ravine]. There were men, women and children of all ages among them. Except the Jews, 15 Russians, including 4 partisans and 5 Moldovans, were shot.” [Act of Soviet extraordinary commission, made on June 28, 1943; RG-22.002M, 7021-17/9 (district A)]

Historical note

Arzguir is located around 210km north east from Stavropol. Historically home to Ukrainians, there were no Jewish families living in the village prior to the war. Once the war broke out some Jewish refugees along with Ukrainian ones settled down for a while and didn’t have time to evacuate before the Germans’ arrival. According to the witnesses the Jews lived within the villagers and worked in the kolkhoz. The Germans occupied the territory in August 1942.

Holocaust by bullets in figures

In September 1942, the Germans executed 695 civilians, including 675 Jews in the ravine called Arzquirskaya Balka. From the field research Yahad found out that before the execution the Jews gathered by themselves near the local administration building under the pretext of being transported to Ukraine. The Aktion lasted several days. According to Ivan Sh. (Witness n°525) the children were poisoned and the adults shot by bullets.

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