Lozova | Kharkiv

/ The Yahad team interviewing Lidia S. in Katerynivka, October 2021. ©Les Kasyanov/Yahad - In Unum Mykola J., born in 1929: “I saw two young boys being taken to the shooting, but I didn’t see the shooting itself. They were walking with their tops off and their hands tied behind them.” ©Les Kasyanov/Yahad - In Unum Lidia S., born in 1929: “Some jews lived here. They were very well-educated people. Some of them had shops, while others lived off handicraft.” ©Les Kasyanov/Yahad - In Unum The location of one of the former POW camps. It used to be a silo, now it is an industrial complex. ©Les Kasyanov/Yahad - In Unum The memorial dedicated to about 1,900 POWs executed in the military complex. ©Les Kasyanov/Yahad - In Unum The ‘Zaitseva Balka’ ravine where 300 Lozova inhabitants, Jews and non-Jews, were shot by the Germans in 1942. ©Les Kasyanov/Yahad - In Unum

Execution of POWs, civilians and Jews in Lozova

1 Execution site(s)

Kind of place before:
Ravine ‘Zaitseva balka’
Period of occupation:
Number of victims:
About 300

Witness interview

Lidia S., born in 1929: “I remember a lot of POWs were brought to the village. They came from Kharkiv and other places. Some of the locals went out to give them food. They were occasionally escorted by policemen or Germans. The Germans sometimes took the food intended for the POWs for themselves. The prisoners were starving, they could barely stand. There were two camps: one in a military complex and another one in a wheat silo.” (Witness YIU/2975U, interviewed in Katerynivka, on October 15, 2021)

Soviet archives

“According to the town’s inhabitants’ testimonies, when the town was liberated during the Red Army’s winter advance on February 9, 1943, 800 bodies of Soviet citizens were discovered (they were not buried) in the camp located on the premises of the military city. They had all been shot in the neck. According to the testimony of G., a Lozova resident, in December 1942 the Germans rounded up about 300 town inhabitants, led them to the ‘Zaitseva balka’ ravine and shot them all.” [Act drawn up on April 7, 1944, by Soviet State Extraordinary Commission (ChGK); GARF 7021-76-839, pp. 7-10]

Historical note

Lozova is a city in Kharkiv region, eastern Ukraine. It is located about 150 km (93 miles) south of Kharkiv and is the second largest city in Kharkiv oblast. It was founded in 1869 as part of the construction of the ‘Southern railways’. There was a relatively small Jewish community in Lozova before the war. One witness interviewed by Yahad - In Unum recalls how they were well educated and had good jobs. Some owned shops. There was a synagogue with a rabbi. The Jews lived in nice houses, mostly in the town center, but not in a specific or separate neighborhood. A census conducted in 1939 counted 528 Jews living in Lozova.

Holocaust by bullets in figures

Lozova was first occupied by the Germans in October 1941, but the city sporadically switched between German and Soviet control between 1941 and 1943, when it was liberated finally by the Red Army for good. The first recorded execution of Jews in the Kharkiv region took place in Lozova, on October 29, 1941. Some sources indicate that 300 Jews were killed that day, but that number may be slightly overestimated, unless it includes Jewish POWs. By November 1941, there were only 50 Jews left in Lozova. During the second occupation in June 1942, that number had dropped to 30, as twenty of them left with the Red Army before the Germans took back control. These 30 Jews were all shot in July 1942 at the military complex. There were two concentration camps for Soviet POWs in Lozova during the occupation. The bigger one (ca. 800 prisoners) was on the premises of a military complex, the other, much smaller (ca. 100 prisoners), was on the grounds of a wheat silo. The living conditions in these camps were extremely poor, with many prisoners starving. All prisoners in both camps were executed sometime in early 1943. According to some sources, in December 1942, around 300 civilians living in Lozova were also executed by the Germans in a ravine called ‘Zaitseva balka’. On September 16, 1943, the city was liberated by the Red Army. The total number of victims, POWs, Jews and non-Jews, executed in Lozova is uncertain but is around a thousand people.

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