Donskoye | Stavropol

/ Galina S., born in 1937: “One German put the poison under the women’s noses and the other one under the noses of men. After they pushed the victims inside the gas van. ” © Cristian Monterroso  /Yahad-In Unum The witness shows the place where the victims were undressed, poisoned and forced into in the gas vans. At that time it was an orchard © Cristian Monterroso/Yahad-In Unum Yahad’s team with a witness at the execution site © Cristian Monterroso/Yahad-In Unum 112 Jewish refugees gassed to death were buried in the ravine located at this place © Cristian Monterroso/Yahad-In Unum

Execution of Jews in Donskoye

1 Execution site(s)

Kind of place before:
Period of occupation:
Number of victims:

Witness interview

Galina S., born in 1937, recalls: “There were two gas vans: one for men and one for women. I was running around, I was curious and I wanted to take a look inside of a truck. It was crammed with women. They were standing. There were two Germans beside the truck, one on each side. One of them put the poison under victims’ noses and the other one pushed them inside. The first German pressed the tube and put the product on his gloved finger, and then he put his finger under victims’ noses. There was a long line, people were already undressed. Once the truck was full, it went to the burial site, and another van arrived. The children were separated from the adults and put in the pit. Suddenly I was caught and put inside the pit with them. There were many children, the pit was very wide. There were boys and girls, they were about my age. All children were undressed. They were sitting quietly, they were not crying. But the women screamed because they understood what would happen.” (Testimony n°714, interviewed in Donskoye on May 19th, 2017)

Soviet archives

“On August 25th, 1942, the Gestapo punitive detachment rounded up 112 Jews including women, children and the elderly, in the public square of Donskoye. After having humiliated and tortured them, they threw the victims into a gas van and killed them. The bodies were transported outside Donskoye and thrown into a deep ravine.” [Act of the State extraordinary commission. RG 22.002M; 7021-17-12]

Historical note

Donskoye is located 50 km north of Stavropol. The settlement was found in 1777 on the site of the Donskaya fortress. In 1869 the local population numbered about 5 thousand people, all of them were Russians. When the Soviet Union was invaded by Germans 610 refugees, 299 of who were Jewish arrived into the village.  

Holocaust by bullets in figures

The village was occupied by the German forces on August 3rd, 1942. The remaining 112 Jewish refugees were murdered in gas vans on August 25th, 1942. Their corpses were buried in a ravine located near the village. With the help of the local interviewed by Yahad’s team, we found out that women and men were packed in vans separately and before being locked up in the gas vans they were poisoned with a substance put under their noses.  The children were separated from the adults and thrown into the pit alive. At the end, all the victims were buried by the requisitioned villagers.

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