1 Execution site(s)
Tamara P., born in 1936, remembers: «I was born in the Kherson region, but in the winter of 1941, we were evacuated to Maxim Gorki. Maksim Gorki was built in 1930 by the Americans. It was a Jewish agricultural colony. There were two streets. On the principal street there were 22 houses. In each house there were four families. For example, in our house there were three Jewish families and us. I went to school. It was a Jewish school. The majority of Jews lived off agriculture and vineyards. ” (Witness N°1705, interviewed in Krasne, on May 21, 2013).
“In November 1941, the German troops took over the territory of Pervomayskoe in the district of Simferopol, Crimea. The villages and kolkhozes of Kalinin, [Maksim] Gorki and Pervomaisk were part of the Pervomayskoe municipality. About 300 Jewish households were active there. […] On January 21, 1942, the Gestapo and SD unit from Simferopol with the help from the agricultural assistant of the district of Simferopol, a petty officer K., arrived to Pervomayskoe municipality. […] They gathered the Jews and their families from kolkhozes under the pretext of so-called resettlement. Black crosses with a sign “Jude” were painted on their houses. The killing commando arrived by 3 car and one special vehicle with a black closed skip and a metallic door closing hermetically. The Jews from 3 months old to 75 years old were pushed inside the truck. The door was thoroughly closed behind them. The truck stopped with its engine running about 500 m away from the village for about 20-30 minutes. Then, it went to a half-abandoned well located on a field, 3 km from Kalininsk and 1,5 km from Krasne. The dead bodies were thrown into the well. According to the investigation, more than 200 civilians, workers from kolkhozes, aged people and children were exterminated in two days. […] The victims were from Kalinovka, Pervomayskoe, Maksym Gorki and other agglomerations around Sarabuz.” [Act drawn up by State Extraordinary Commission, on June 13-15, 1944 ; RG.22-002M : Fond 7021, Opis 9, Delo 47]
Krasne is a village located about 25 km north of Simferopol. In the late 1920’s and early 1930’s, several Jewish agricultural colonies were established in the district. One of them was Maksim Gorki kolkhoz. According to Yahad’s witness there were more than 22 households, and a Jewish school. A big number of Jews managed to escape from the village before the Germans’ arrival. The village doesn’t exist nowadays.
The colony was occupied by the Germans in November 1941. Shortly after the German arrival, according to the Soviet archives, the Jewish houses were marked with a black cross. On January 21 or 22, 1942, an SD unit arrived from Simferopol and forced all the Jews out of the house and gathered at the kolkhoz office under the pretext of the future resettlement. From there, they were loaded into the gas vans and taken outside the village. The victims were gassed on their way. Their bodies were thrown into the well, located in the field about 1,5km away from Krasne. On that day, about 210 Jews from Maksim Gorki, Kalininskoe and Pervomayskoe were murdered.
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