1 Execution site(s)
Pavel S., born in 1297, remembers: “So when Anna, this Jewish girl, went to the Kommandantur to ask what happened to her family she was forced to clean the gas van where her family was murdered along with other Jews. In all, as I remember there were about 80 Jewish refugees here, and only she survived. So, why did she have to clean the gas vans? Because there was hair and excrement all over the truck. She described in details how it looked. She said that there was a dome shape hole in the middle of the truck. I guess it was done on purpose so no one could cover it. And from bellow an exhaust pipe was connected to the hole. So, when the driver turned on the engine, he connected the pipe so the exhaust fumes could go directly inside the truck. And all the people inside were suffocated. She saw that with her own eyes.” (Testimony n°729, interviewed in Kugulta, on May 25th , 2017)
«The German invaders carried out a crime against 19 Soviet citizens. In November 1942, these people were suffocated by exhaust fumes in the hermetically sealed off gas vans.”[Act drawn up by State Extraordinary commission (ChGK) on July 14, 1943; RG 22.002M: Fond 7021, Opis17, Delo 12, p.97]
Kugulta is located 55km north east of Stavropol. The village was founded in 1817 and by the end of 19th century numbered about 5 thousands residents. Before the war Kugulta was home only to Russians and Ukrainians. Kugulta was occupied by the German forces in early August 1942. By that time many Jewish refugees were evacuated to the village.
According to the archives the Jews were killed in November 1942. With the help of the local witnesses Yahad-In Unum could find out more information about how the victims were killed. According to the witness, the Jewish men were selected beforehand and forced to dig the pit outside the village. Then, all the Jews were gathered near the Kommandantur, forced to undress and get inside the gas van. The victims, according o the archives they were 19, but according to the witness there were about 80, were poisoned with exhaust fumes on the way toward the pit. One Jewish girl, Anna Rabinovich, managed to survive.
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