1 Execution site(s)
Andrey K., born in 1929 : « Once the Germans occupied the village they made an announcement that all the Jews had to gather in one place. The local police passed from house to house arresting the Jews and bringing them to the school building. The same day the Germans brought a gas van and parked it in front of the school. The territory was guarded. Moreover there was a fence about 1m high made of wooden planks. I could see the gas van very well because I was about 15m away when it left. It was black There was an exhaust pipe of about 100mm in diameter that was coming inside the van. It was going very slowly, about 40km per hour to be sure that all the victims would be dead by the time it arrive at the pit.” (Witness n°712, interviewed in Spitsevka, on May 18, 2017)
« On December 18th, 1942, Under the order of the kommandant Sch. and his deputy H., 174 civilian Soviet citizens, the majority of whom were women, children and elderly people, all living in the district of Spitzevka, were gathered by the Gestapo soldiers and the police in the school building in Spitzevka. On December 19th, 1942, at 4am a covered truck which looked like a bus without windows stopped at the school’s entrance. The German soldiers and the police started to force the partially dressed citizens into the trucks beating them with submachine butts. First, there were screams, after groans, but shortly after there was a silence because the citizens were killed with the exhaust fumes inside the truck. The corpses were transported in the same truck towards the animal burial ground located at the edge of the village where they were thrown in the previously prepared pits. The belongings brought by the citizens under the order of the kommandant were stocked in the school yard. They were taken to Germany afterwards. […] » [Act drawn up by State Extraordinary commission on June 28th, 1943 ; RG.22-002M; Fond 7021, Opis17, Delo 11]
“The members of SD12 arrived with vehicles toward the house or an hangar, - I don’t remember that for sure. There were more than 100 people in that building: they were civilians of Jewish origin. I saw that local police was about to bring more Jews from the village of Aleksandro-Tol into the building. It was just before the moment we entered the building. They were Jews. K. and other members of Kommando and I, everyone who wore uniform of SD-12, we entered inside the building and meanwhile the gas van was brought in front of the front door. The Soviet civilians who were waiting for death remained inside the building. There were children, women, elder people but also able bodied men. They remained seated on the bundles inside which were their belongings. K. spoke in German saying that all the Soviet citizens had to undress. I translated his words in Russian. After, I translated what K. added, for instance that they had as well leave all the belongings on the spot. Hearing that the victims understood that their death was imminent. They started to cry and beg for help. We didn’t pay any attention to the tears of those innocent victims and made them undress quicker. We kept the front door closed until all the victims were undressed. Once everyone got undressed, we opened the door. The victims saw in front of them the open door of the gas van. “[Interrogation of Andrey R., Volksdeutsch translator to SK12, made on September 4, 1960; B162-1283 p.137]
Spitsevka is located 43 km east of Stavropol. The village was founded in 1833 and inhabited only by Russians. The Jewish refugees started to arrive in July-August 1941, when the Soviet Union was invaded by the Germans. According to the archives of the evacuation there were 230 refugees, including 100 Jews.
Spitsevka was occupied by German forces in early August 1942. According to the archives and field research all the Jews from Spitsevka and nearby village, for instance Grachevka, were first gathered and confined into the school building. It happened on December 18, 1942. The following day, all the Jews were forced to undress and get inside the gas van where they were suffocated with exhaust fumes. Their bodies were thrown into the pit located at the edge of the village. In all, 174 Jews were murdered in Spitsevka, the majority of who were women and children.
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