2 Execution site(s)
Valentyna S., born in 1927:
“Y.U.: Which season was it?
Witness: Back then we didn’t have enough food even for ourselves, but we used to take some potatoes and maize flatbread that we would throw to them to eat. Once I threw them some food, and a woman threw an apron and a skirt back to me. ‘Take it, take it’ she said. That’s what I know. We went to give them some food. And we were afraid of the policemen. I don’t really know if they were policemen, but they were the guards who escorted the column. They threatened to put us in the column as well.
Y.U.: Were the policemen who escorted the column dressed in uniforms or in civilian clothes ?
Witness : Some of them wore uniforms. There were some in civilian clothes and some who wore uniforms.” (Witness n°2119, interviewed in Zymnytske, on November 20, 2019)
"In November-December 1941, the local police including Demchenko, escorted a column of Jews. On the way, the Jews were undressed and shot. Their clothing was stolen by the policemen. Demchenko carried out the shootings himself. One Jew, an engineer, who was still alive after being shot, was finished off with a baton. According to the villagers of Chaikovka, the local policemen, Demchenko among them, took 18 Jewish girls whom to be locked up in the kolkhoz stable. The girls were raped, before being undressed and killed. Afterwards, locals were requisitioned to bury the girls’ corpses. In the spring, crops were planted over the burial place in order to hide all traces of the crime.” [From the deposition of a local villager, Makar M., given on June 1st 1944; SBU archives n°6629, Delo n°23 against the policeman I.Demchenko; Source: A.Kruglov, A.Umansky, I.Shchupak, The Holocaust in Ukraine , « Tkuma », 2016, Dnipro]
Zymnytske is located 3.5km south of Krasnopil and about 170km northeast of Mykolaiv. According to the local villager interviewed by Yahad, Zymnytske was inhabited by Ukrainians and Russians before WWII. However, many Jews lived in Novopavlivka, located 10km south of the village. Many Jews from different parts of Ukraine and Belarus settled there in the 1920s, when Jewish agricultural colonies were established in the region. The majority of Jews who lived there were artisans or worked in the kolkhozes.
The district was occupied by German and Romanian forces in July-August 1941. The Jews continued to live at home, until an order was issued on December 19th 1941, stating that all the Jews from the district had to be relocated to the Bogdanivka camp. According to the Soviet archives and testimonies collected by Yahad - In Unum, the columns of Jews were brought from Liubashivka to Novopavlivka. Jews who were too weak to walk were shot dead on the spot by the road or at the places where the column stopped overnight. The executions were conducted by the members of the local police, the same ones who escorted the columns from one village to another. The victims’ bodies were gathered by the requisitioned locals and buried on the spot. Such executions lasted from December 1941 until autumn 1943. The exact number of the victims was impossible to establish. As a result of Yahad’s field research we could identify three execution-burial places, one located near the village of Krasnopil and two others near the village of Zymnytske. The bodies of those shot close to the village of Zymnytske were collected by the locals and buried in the clay pits close to the kolkhoz. The exact number of the victims remains unknown.
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