4 Execution site(s)
Ion T., born in 1921, a Sedentary Roma who was drafted to Romanian army and ended up in Bohdanivka with his unit : «
YIU: How you know that the shot people were Jews?
W: I know because I spoke to them just before the execution.
YIU: Where you forced to guard the Jews as well?
W: Yes, of course. We guarded them.
YIU: How many Jews were there?
W: There were between 400 to 700 Jews. There were men, women, elder people and children. There were men with long beard and curly here.
YIU : Where were the Jews gathered ? What was this place?
W: The Jews were confined into the stables. They slept inside. From time to time they were given some soup made from cabbage.
YIU: Where were you when you guarded them?
W: We were outside, but we could easily speak with them, like I do with you.
YIU: Where were the Jews from?
W: They were from Romania. The majority of them were from Romania.
YIU: Did you sleep there as well? How did you do?
W: No, we took turns every three hours. There was a caserne not far away where we slept. We were four to guard them in one shift. We had to circulate all over the perimeter of the stables.
YIU: Who came to escort the Jews to the shooting?
W: They were Russians.[local police]
YIU: Were there Germans with them? Or people who were dressed in civilians but spoke German?
W: No, there were only Russians.
YIU: How were they dressed? Did they have an armband?
W: No, they didn’t. They were dressed in military uniform.
YIU: How many people did they take from the stables at once?
W: The Jews were taken in groups of about 40 or 50 people. I didn’t count them though.
YIU: Were they the Russians who entered inside and took the group or were you supposed to prepare the group?
W: There was a person who made a call. The one who was called had to step forward and wait near the door. They didn’t know what would happen to them, poor people..”(Witness n°143, interviewed in Cluj, Romania, on August 30, 2015)
« We arrived to Bogdanovka, district of Domaniovka, region of Odessa, at night. We found out that the bunk beds, bread and fat had been prepared for us for the night. At night, I heard other policemen talking that we had been brought here to participate in the execution of the Soviet citizen of Jewish nationality, who were detained in the sovkhoz pigsties located close to the village of Bogdanovka. The following morning, once we were lined up, Andrusin announced that we were here to participate in the execution of Jewish citizens. Then, in column we were taken to the sovkhoz. At our arrival there we saw the Romanian and German gendarmes there. The Soviet detainees were confined in the pigsties. They were many. There were thousands of people of different ages, including children and elder people.
The execution started in the morning. Other policemen from Pervomaisk and I, along with the policemen from Domaniovka and Bogdanovka, formed a security cordon around the sovkhoz. On the sovkhoz’ territory there was a forest, near which a ravine was located. The ravine was created by a waterway from the river. The victims were taken to this ravine where they were shot by the policemen. The execution lasted for 3 days. The first or the second day, the corpses of the shot Soviet citizens caught fire. I don’t know if the fire was set on purpose or not, as some policemen said this was caused by incendiary bullets which were used during the shooting. While the corpses of the Soviet citizens were about to be burned, others victims were brought to be shot.” [Interrogatory of an accused, Anatoli K., a policman from Pervomaisk, made on October 24,1952 ; RG 31.018 :Reel 10, part III / Ukrainian Secret Service Archives (SBU), Delo n°11716]
“I think I am the only former inhabitant of Bogdanowka, who lives in the federal republic of Germany. Another citizen from Bogdanowka Josef Kielwein lives shall live in the USA.
It is right, that immediately after the German occupation of Bogdanowka there was built a Selbstschutz. Also my husband Johann Büchler was recruited. I don’t know that he was the leader of the Selbstschutz in our place. I don’t know who the leader in Bogdanowka was. There was not a second man with the name of my husband. There was also no Bichler, only Büchler. From time to time the Selbstschutz has to go from Bogdanowka to Rastadt for schooling. I don’t know about any further tasks they had to do in outer Bogdanowka. About mass shootings of Jews in Bogdanowka I don’t know anything. Like I said in my last hearing, I saw how Jews in bigger groups were chased in eastern direction. These treks were disrupted because the humans could only move slowly. I know that a group of such Jews had to sleep in a hayloft behind Bogdanowka at strong coldness, and they died by freezing. I never saw the victims. My father-in-law told me that. He is already dead.
In this action was also the Selbstschutz of Bogdanowka involved. But I did not hear that there Jews shot. My husband never told me anything about it. Indeed I am not informed that my husband had a leading part in it.
I once heard, that there were locked up some Jews in the pig stables of the kolkhoz for one night before they were chased the next day with other Jews arriving.” [Depostion of Lydia Büchler., given in Kleve, on May 21, 1968, about the executions in Bohdanivka; B162-2310 (p. 2) – ARZ 294/1960]
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