Mayske (Maifeld) | Crimea

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Execution of Jews in Maifeld

1 Execution site(s)

Kind of place before :
Anti-tank ditch in the vineyard
Memorials :
Yes
Period of occupation:
1941-1944
Number of victims :
1,000-1,800

Witness interview

Mikhail N. from Mayske remembers: “Many people and almost all cattle were evacuated, but my father decided to stay. My grandparents also refused to leave. They thought that the Germans would not touch the Jews. They did not touch them until January taking advantage of them as forced labor for farm works in the kolkhoz. Then, the Jews were rounded-up at the village’s school where they stayed for three days. Some died from hunger and cold. The Germans confiscated all the Jewish belongings and took them to the execution site. They killed everyone, -children, newborns and elder people.” (Witness N°108, interviewed in Mayske, on December 26, 2004).

Soviet archives

“In late January 1942 a SD commando from Dzhankoy arrived into the district. […] The Germans rounded-up men, women, children and elder people from different villages and confined them into the school of Maifeld. They were told to take with them provision for 3 days, valuables and their best clothing. Once the Jews are gathered, the German fascists announced that they would be resettled in Kherson. The Germans kept the civilians in the unheated rooms for several days, then, in early after having their valuables confiscated by the Germans, the Jews were forced to strip naked and were taken in groups to an anti-tank trench located in the Maifeld’s vineyard to be shot. The women, elder people and children were shot the first and the men were set apart in order to bury the bodies. Later, they were shot as well. The shootings lasted two days. […] Those who could not go to the gathering point near the school because of illness or other reasons were shot on the spot in their houses. The commission discovered that in February 1942, more than one thousand Soviet civilians, displaced from different villages from the Kolai district were shot in an anti-tank trench located in the Maifeld’s vineyard.” [Act drawn up by the State Extraordinary Commission (ChGK), on November 29th, 1944 ; RG.22-002M : Fond 7021, Opis 9, Delo 61]

Historical note

Mayske, before 1944 known as Maifeld, is a village located about 90 km northeast of Simferopol. It was established as a Jewish agricultural colony named “Khaklay” in the early 1920s. Many other Jewish colonies appeared in the same moment in the district due to the close location of the train station. In 1929, the village was renamed into Maifeld. The kolkhoz known for its vineyards was created in 1932. The colony numbered approximately 150 Jewish families. Besides Jews there were some Russians and Ukrainians, who fled from Ukraine after the Holodomor in 1932-1933. There was an elementary Yiddish school. According to the witnesses, there was also a Jewish theater.  According to historical sources, some 200 Jews remained in the village during the occupation.

Holocaust by bullets in figures

Mayske was occupied on November 1st, 1941. During all the period from the beginning of the occupation until the mass executions, the Germans took advantage of the kolkhoz and its production. In late January 1942, the villagers were confined in the prewar Yiddish schoolhouse that was not heated. As a result of three days confinement many inmates died of hunger and cold. In the early February, 1942, 1,100 Jews, including 200 from Maifeld [Mayske] itself, were force to strip naked and then taken by truck to the vineyards where they were shot in groups in the anti-tank ditches. Those who were ill, or for some other reason were unable to appear at the school, were shot on the spot in their houses. According to the Soviet archives, the execution lasted two days and was conducted by a Sonderkommando which arrived from Dzhankoy for this purpose. According to the testimonies, the local Tatar police took an active part in the shooting.

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