Berezivka (Berezovka, former Jewish colony Smidovichi) | Crimea

Pyotr Smidovich was leader of communist organization Komzet, established in 1921 in Russia. The Jewish settlement was named after him. ©Public domain, Wikipedia The pupils and teachers of the P. Smidovich Jewish School, Suzdorf Kolhoz, Crimea, 1937 © Beit Hatfutsot Databases, 1996 The pupils and teachers of the P. Smidovich Jewish School, Suzdorf Kolhoz, Crimea, 1937 © Beit Hatfutsot Databases, 1996 The hospital named after Paul Natan, village of Smidovichi, 1925 ©Taken from http://evkol.ucoz.com/crimea_settlements.htm / The house where a Jewish family Rabinovich lived. This is a typical house of a Jewish colony, however the roof was changed since.   ©Guillaume Ribot – Yahad – In Unum Lyudmila S., born in 1930: "There was a well in the field. Jews were taken there. These poor people were not shot, but thrown alive into the well."  ©Guillaume Ribot – Yahad – In Unum A prewar Jewish house of the kolkhoz “Sotsdorf". Yahad was unable to establish who lived in this house before the war. ©Guillaume Ribot – Yahad – In Unum A prewar Jewish house of the kolkhoz “Sotsdorf". The Slutskier family lived in this house. This family managed to evacuate before the German arrival and survived the war. ©Guillaume Ribot – Yahad – In Unum A prewar Jewish house of the kolkhoz Sotsdorf" with a typical red roof.  The Kutsak family used to live in it. Mila Kutsak, aged of 13-14 years old was killed with his mother while attempting to escape. ©Guillaume Ribot – Yahad – In Unum The house which used to belong to the kolkhoz chief, Feiernstein. ©Guillaume Ribot – Yahad – In Unum The school building. ©Guillaume Ribot – Yahad – In Unum Road leading to the field.  ©Guillaume Ribot – Yahad – In Unum In this field all the remaining Jews of the village were brought and thrown alive in the well in December 1941.   ©Guillaume Ribot – Yahad – In Unum

Execution of Jews from Smidovichi

1 Execution site(s)

Kind of place before :
Well
Memorials :
Yes
Period of occupation:
1941-1944

Witness interview

Lyudmila S., born in 1930, remembers: "We heard the guschots from far. There was a well in the field. Jews were taken there. These poor people were thrown alive into the well." (Witness N°124, interviewed in Berezivka, on December 29, 2004).

Historical note

Berezivka is located 120 kilometers northwest of Simferopol in the Autonmous Republic of Crimea. The village was created as an agricultural Jewish colony in 1920s and named after a Soviet political figure who promoted the program of Soviet Jewish colonization, Pyotr Smidovich. It was created by five Jewish families’ native from Roslavl in Russia. Later, a kolkhoz was created and named "Sotsdorf" (from Yiddish “Socialist village). By 1932 320 Jews lived in the village. They lived off agriculture and only some were artisans. There was a hospital, built between 1924-1925.

Holocaust by bullets in figures

The village was occupied by Germans in October 1941. By that time the majority of Jews managed to evacuate.  According to Yahad’s investigation, shortly after the occupation the Jewish houses were marked with boards in shape of the Star of David. Then, on December 27, 1941, all the Jews were rounded up from their houses by Germans and the local police.  One of the witnesses remembered that the Jews were taken by truck to the water well, located in the field outskirt of the village.  The victims weren’t shot, but thrown alive into the well. In all, 31 Jews were murdered at that site.

Nearby villages

  • Serebryanka
  • Zymyne
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