2 Execution site(s)
Anatoliy K., born in 1934: “It happened after Christmas, in January, at about 1pm. I heard gunshots coming from the ravine on the outskirts of the village. I got curious and went there to take a look. When I got there I saw an awful scene, some of the Jews were kneeling down praying while the youngest ones were on foot. In all, there were about 22 of them. That’s what I heard afterwards, because I didn’t count them myself. There were about a dozen Romanians and five local policemen. The policemen participated in the shooting alongside the Romanians. I watched the scene with others about 10-20m away.” (Witness n°2483, interviewed in Sekretarka, on September 15, 2018)
Mala Bahachivka is located about 200km northeast of Mykolaiv. Sekretarka is located 6km north of Mala Bahachivka. There is no exact information on when the Jews started to settle in the area, although in the nearest town of Kryve Ozero, the first Jews settled in late 18th century. As far as we know, a Jewish kolkhoz by the name of “Piatiletka” was established close to modern day Mala Balachivka. The majority of Jews made a living through farm work or artisan manufacturing. The nearest synagogues and Jewish cemetery were located in Kryve Ozero, 17km away. In 1905, a wave of pogroms took place in the district. As a result, many Jews from nearby villages moved to Kryve Ozero. Another pogrom took place in 1919 during which many Jewish shops and houses were plundered. According to the local witnesses interviewed by Yahad, only a few Jewish families lived in Sekretarka, while the population of Mala Bahachivka was mainly Jewish.
The area was occupied by the Germans and Romanians in the summer of 1941. The Germans left shortly afterwards and the territory remained under Romanian occupation until the end of the war. Little was known about the executions of local Jewish population in Sekretarka and Mala Bahachivka. However, with the help of local residents, Yahad-in Unum managed to reconstruct the steps of the extermination process. According to the testimonies and some archival evidence, it is believed that the Jews from Mala Bahachivka, Bahachivka and Sekretarka were rounded-up and taken in the direction of Vradivka, from where they were most probably taken to the camp in Domanivka. The displacement of Jews must have started in December 1941. Jews who were too weak to walk or managed to hide initially were shot systematically in small groups of 10-20 people in the ravine of Sekretarka, located to the south of the village. Yahad - In Unum interviewed one witness (YIU/2483U) who saw the execution that took place in January 1942, and another one (YIU/2484U) described the shooting that took place in the summer of 1942. It is most likely that the shootings continued until 1943, as was the case in the other localities of the Mykolaiv region. The majority of victims murdered in Sekretarka were from Mala Bahachivka, as it was a Jewish agricultural colony at the time. The executions were carried out by Romanians and local policemen, who were identified by the witnesses. After the war, the corpses were exhumed from the ravine in Sekretarka and reburied in the mass grave near Mala Bahachivka. Alongside the civilian victims, corpses of Jewish soldiers killed during the war were also reburied there. Due to a lack of local witnesses Yahad- In Unum, was unable to establish the location of the execution site. According to the memorial at the reburial site, 135 Jews from the kolkhoz “Piatiletka” were murdered.
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