Sekretarka (Mala Bahachivka) | Mykolaiv

/ Anatoliy K., born in 1934: “During the night all the Jews from Mala Bagachivka were taken to Vradiivka. A friend of mine, Sashka, he was Jewish, didn’t sleep at his home that night. He stayed in the village while his entire family was taken away.” ©YIU Anatoliy K., born in 1934, at the execution site in Sekretarka where he witnessed isolated shootings. ©Omar Gonzalez/Yahad-In Unum Mykola B., born in 1934: “A Jew called Gershko came to our house. He lived in Mala Bahachivka. He was a tailor. He stayed overnight and the following day went to another neighbor as it was dangerous to remain in one place.” ©Omar Gonzalez/Yahad-In Unum Hanna S., born in 1926: “The Jews had been rounded up were taken to Vradivka, and then on to Domanivka. Those who managed to hide initially were shot here, in Sekretarka, in the ravine after being discovered.” © Omar Gonzalez/Yahad-In Unum Georguiy P., born in 1931: “The village was occupied by Germans and Romanians. The Germans left and Romanians stayed. The executions started shortly after that.” ©Omar Gonzalez/Yahad-In Unum The Yahad-In Unum team during an interview. ©Omar Gonzalez/Yahad-In Unum Georguiy P., born in 1931, points out the place where the Jews were shot. ©Omar Gonzalez/Yahad-In Unum The execution site where several isolated shootings of Jews took place in the period from 1941 to 1943. After the war, the corpses were reburied in the grave close to Mala Bahachivka. ©Omar Gonzalez/Yahad-In Unum The reburial place in memory to the civil and military victims from a former Jewish colony ‘Piatiletka’. ©Omar Gonzalez/Yahad-In Unum List of Jewish victims from a former Jewish colony Piatiletka murdered under the occupation  ©Aleksey Kasyanov/Yahad-In Unum List of Jewish victims from a former Jewish colony Piatiletka murdered under the occupation  ©Aleksey Kasyanov/Yahad-In Unum ©Aleksey Kasyanov/Yahad-In Unum List of Jewish soldiers killed in battle during WWII. ©Aleksey Kasyanov/Yahad-In Unum  ©Aleksey Kasyanov/Yahad-In Unum

Execution of Jews from Mala Bahachivka and Bahachivka in Sekretarka

2 Execution site(s)

Kind of place before :
Ravine
Memorials :
Yes
Period of occupation:
1941-1944
Number of victims :
About 30

Witness interview

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)

Historical note

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.

Holocaust by bullets in figures

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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