Kakhovka (Kahovka, Kakhofke, Kachovka) | Kherson

/ Local landscape © © Aleksey Kasyanov /Yahad-In Unum Volodymyr S., born in 1930: “One Jewish boy saw his mother among the people gathered at the stadium and shouted "Mom!". He was noticed and taken to the shooting. ” © Aleksey Kasyanov /Yahad-In Unum Yahad’s team during the interview with a witness © Aleksey Kasyanov /Yahad-In Unum At this place the Jews, mostly women, children and elder people, were rounded-up prior to the shooting.  © Aleksey Kasyanov /Yahad-In Unum About 1,800 Jews were murdered at this place. Today there is monument in the memory of the fascism’s victims  © Aleksey Kasyanov /Yahad-In Unum

Execution of Jews in Kakhovka

1 Execution site(s)

Kind of place before:
Power station
Period of occupation:
Number of victims:
About 1,800

Witness interview

Volodymyr S., born in 1930, recalls: “I saw my friend Sioma Borakh at the stadium that was full of people. There were not just Jews but also the civilians and the militaries. However, the Jews comprised the majority. At the beginning Sioma wasn’t there; he was still in the town. He had Slavic features so he was not rounded-up at the stadium with other Jews. If he had not come there, he would have stayed alive. I did not see this, but local boys told me that he saw his mother in the crowd and shouted “Mother!”. She shouted him back to stay there, but he wanted to stay with her. He was noticed and brought to the crowd with others. He was born in 1928 and that happened in 1941, so he was just 13 years old.” (Testimony n°2221 interviewed in Kakhovka on May 26th, 2017)

Soviet archives

“On September 4th, 1941, 60 Jewish men were brought by truck outside the city and shot in an anti-tank trench. On September 16th, 1941, more than 1,700 Jews, including women, children and the elderly were brought by force near the police building. From there, they were brought in groups outside the city, towards the Malkovo hamlet. According to the hamlet’s residents’ testimonies the victims were thrown alive in a well about 40 meters deep and then it was exploded with grenades. The commission managed to find the location of the pit in Malkovo; some bodies were exhumed. [...] In all, over 2,000 Jews were killed in Kakhovka. Their belongings were shared between the German administration, the police and the starosta. The extermination of the Jews was organized and coordinated by the German gendarmerie and the commander of Kakhovka.” [Act of the State extraordinary commission, drawn up on November 10th, 1943; RG 22.002M. 7021-77-414]

German archives

“The commando killed the entire Jewish population of Kakhovka: at least 500 men, women and children were executed outside the city in September 1941. Defendant S. participated in the shooting carrying out the order of the commando’s chief. In September, 1941 a Teilkommando killed in the Kakhovka area 150 Jews: men, women and children. The shooting took place at the edge of a well in the steppe. Defendant B. directed the execution, during which he fired by himself.” [Report of the pre-trial investigation of Sonderkommando 10a; B162-1198, p.9]

Historical note

Kakhovka is located on the bank of the Dnipro River 80 km north-east of Kherson. The settlement was founded in 1791. The first records of local Jewish community date back to the beginning of the 19th century. In 1867 there were 2 synagogues, several cheders and a private school in Kakhovka. In the second part of the 19th century Kakhovka became an important trading center of the Southern Ukraine. In 1887 the Jewish entrepreneur Gurevich founded an agricultural machine plant. According to the census in 1897 3,003 Jews lived in Kakhovka making up 40% of the total population. Back then the majority of the Jews were engaged in various handcraftsmanship and trade. The Jews also owned many small factories, likes iron foundry, a steam mill, a butter mill, a wool-combing factory, perfumery and chemical technology plants. In 1918-1920 the Jews suffered from several pogroms. According to the local witness before the war there was a Jewish quarter in Kakhovka as well as a Jewish kolkhoz called “Faiarberta”. Due to relocation of many Jews to bigger cities the Jewish community decreased. Thus, in 1939 only 9% of the population was Jewish (1,072 Jews lived in the town).

Holocaust by bullets in figures

On September 1st, 1941 Kakhovka was occupied by the Wehrmacht army. Shortly after the occupation all Jews were registered and marked with distinguishing badges. The Jewish men fit to work were subjected to perform forced labor, such as digging the trenches and repairing roads. The first execution was conducted on September 4th, 1941. On this day between 40 and 100 Jewish men were brought out of the city and shot in anti-tank trench. According to the witness interviewed by Yahad’s team the majority of the Kakhovka Jews were rounded up at the stadium, however in the archives it is mentioned police station country yard, and then brought to the well located at the hamlet where they were killed. On this day about 2,000 Jews were murdered. Some other Jews, about a hundred, executed in the power station yard approximately at the same time. The execution was conducted by Einsatzgruppe D assisted by local auxiliary police. In the course of its field research Yahad identified the execution site located on the territory of the power station. The power plant was located near the no more existing hamlet close to the todays village of Malakhokahvka.  For more information please refer to the corresponding profile.

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