1 Execution site(s)
Volodymyr L., born in 1931: “I was grazing my cow when I saw Germans arrive in tanks. They came from the Northwest. They were the first Germans who arrived, some of them continued on while others stopped in our village. At this moment, I understood that the war had begun, even though back then I was a child, and I didn’t understand much of it. Those Germans who stayed installed their power, and a new starosta was appointed. The local administration was located in the village hall. The Germans distributed the cattle which used to belong to the kolkhozes to the local residents. But the kolkhozes continued to function. Every kolkhoz had a new chief, who was German. He was dressed in military uniform and was armed with a gun. At the same time a local police force was created. The policemen had the same uniform as Germans, and besides the uniform, they wore armbands. They didn’t have any weapons, only batons.” (Witness n°2726, interviewed in Lysa Hora, on November 25, 2019)
“In the village of Lysaya Gora [Lysa Hora] 255 Jews were shot. Here are the circumstances of this execution. During the occupation of Lysaya Gora [Lysa Hora], in September 1941, a Gestapo punitive detachment, numbering 30 men [their names and ranks couldn’t have been established] arrived secretly in the village. The police head [name illegible] as well as other policemen [list of names], the starosta of the village, and the starosta of the kolkhoz participated in the gathering of the Jewish population. They were gathered at the Klub under the pretext of the election of the Jewish council, the so-called obshchina. Once the men, women and children were gathered, the area of the Klub was cordoned off by the men of punitive detachment. Men were separated from women and children. Then, in groups, the Jews were marched to the outskirts of the village of Lysaya Gora [Lysa Hora] under the guard of the police towards the ravine, located 200m away from the village, where a pit had been dug. On the site men from the punitive detachment brought Jews in groups of 10-15 towards the edge of the ravine where a pit had been dug and shot them with automatic weapons. Some children were thrown into the pit alive. In one day, the German men shot all the Jewish population of Lysa Gora. Their belongings were looted: the valuables were taken by Germans, while other belongings were distributed between the starostas and the policemen. […]” [Act drawn up by Soviet Extraordinary Commission (ChGK) on September 25, 1944; RG.22-002M: GARF:7021-68-177]
Lysa Hora is a village located 160km (99 miles) Northwest of Mykolaiv. There is no exact information on when the first Jews settled in the village. It is possible that Jews started to live here in the early 19th century, knowing that a big Jewish community lived in the nearby town of Pervomaisk, located 25km away. In 1897 almost 40% of the Pervomaisk population was Jewish. According to the local residents, the Jews from Lysa Hora lived mainly in the village center. They lived off small scale trade. Many Jews worked in the kolkhozes. There were 11 kolkhozes, including a Jewish one called Novy Pobut. The Jews had their own synagogue and a cemetery which don’t exist anymore. There were three schools where Jews and non-Jews studied together.
Lysa Hora was occupied by Germans in early August 1941 and remained under German control during the entire occupation. For a month after the occupation the Jews continued to live in their houses. Then, on September 13, 1941, according to different sources, between 255 and 360 Jews were gathered at the Klub under the pretext of the Jewish council election. Once gathered, the building was surrounded and the Jews were taken outside the village in the direction of the Jewish cemetery where they were shot. The Jews were shot in groups of 16 at the edge of the pit. There were 16 shooters, one for each victim, who fired with submachine guns. Those who weren’t shot dead were finished off with a gunshot by two Germans. Even though it is not mentioned in the archives, according to the local witnesses before being killed all the Jews were forced to strip naked. The shooting was conducted by a Gestapo unit who was helped by local police. The shooting lasted several days as many Jews managed to hide or didn’t show up at the Klub the first day. The children from mixed marriages were shot last. After the shooting, the Germans looted Jewish belongings. After having taken the valuables, they left everything in the building of the local administration. Some belongings were taken by the policemen and starosta while others were distributed to local villagers.
Supposedly, there was another execution of 400 Jews brought from the work camp. The execution was conducted in June 1942 (Source: Gilbert M.Op.cit.-S.104), but during the field research Yahad-In Unum wasn’t able to find any additional information or identify the execution site.
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