Siverski (Siverska, Siverskyi) | Leningrad

/ Valentina S., born in 1933: “We thought they were anti-tank trenches because at that time people were digging anti-tank trenches all over the place. But they weren’t.”©Cristian Monterroso/Yahad - In Unum Liudmila O., born in 1933, would go to the POW camp to bring some food to the detainees, even though it was forbidden. ©Cristian Monterroso/Yahad - In Unum Yahad’s research team with the local witness on their way to the killing site. ©Cristian Monterroso/Yahad - In Unum Valentina S., born in 1933: “I must have seen it two or three times while on my way to church with my mother.”©Cristian Monterroso/Yahad -In Unum The monument for 2,000 civilian and military victims murdered in Siverskiy by the Nazis during WWII.  Among the victims there were Jews, Roma, partisans, and POWs. ©Cristian Monterroso/Yahad - In Unum The execution site of 2,000 civilian and military victims murdered in Siverskiy by the Nazis during WWII.  Among the victims there were Jews, Roma, partisans, and POWs. ©Cristian Monterroso/Yahad - In Unum

Execution of Jewish and non-Jewish civil population in Siverskiy

1 Execution site(s)

Kind of place before :
Trench
Memorials :
Yes
Period of occupation:
1941-1944
Number of victims :
2,000

Witness interview

Liudmila O., born in 1933: “Upon the occupation the Germans installed their power. They created a Kommandantura. At the beginning they treated the local population well. They even threw a party for children of the town. But soon things changed. Not far from my house, a camp for Soviet POWs was created. The camp was surrounded with barbed wire. It was so high that it was impossible to climb it over. On the camp there were wooden stables where the inmates were detained. Before it was used for cattle, but with the war all the cattle was taken east and the stables remained empty. The camp was also guarded by Germans. It was forbidden for the local population to come close, but we children would go there on slyly to bring some food to the inmates. Every day the POWs were taken to work. They were building the road to Novosiverskaya. Hundreds of prisoners died from hunger, cold and inhuman living conditions. Their bodies were buried in a mass grave in the camp.” (Witness n°642R, interviewed in Starosiverskaya, on December 4, 2015)

Soviet archives

"[…] In addition to those suspected of resistance, the German occupier fiercely persecuted and exterminated the city’s Jewish inhabitants. According to Bruno’s testimony, the Jews were hanged at the gallows of the city along with the gypsies, who were considered to be Jewish. According to the testimony of Vasily Kritsky, Arkady Pavlovich Kuznetsov and Evdokya Kuznetsova were hanged because of their supposed Jewish origin.
This same Kritsky saw, during the winter of 1943, ten Jewish POWs being led away by the secret police. The members of the Gestapo made the prisoners strip naked and took them at in the direction the village of Kolpany at around 6-7 a.m. where they were apparently shot. Then, Kritsky describes the following: “On September 17, 1941, I witnessed the following event on the road to Siversky station. A group of German soldiers (about 15 of them), laughing and shouting, were rolling a Jew along the road who had his hands and legs tied behind his back, as if he was a wheel.” [Act drawn up by Soviet Extraordinary State Commission (ChGK); GARF 7021-30-242]

Historical note

Siverskiy is located on the banks of the Oredezh river 70km (43,5mi) southwest of Saint Petersburg. The first Jews settled in Siverskiy in the 1850s with the construction of the Leningrad-Warsaw railway connection. There is not much information about the pre-war Siverkiy Jewish community. The community wasn’t big. According to some information, 14 Jews lived there in 1926. The majority of the Siverskiy Jews were either artisans or merchants. On the eve of the war, in 1939, 172 Jews lived in Siverskiy, making up less than 5% of the total population.

Holocaust by bullets in figures

Siverskiy was occupied by the Germans on August 1, 1941. Before their arrival, many Jews managed to evacuate the town. According to the local witnesses interviewed by Yahad, a Soviet POW camp was created in Siverskiy. The detainees were forced to work on the road construction. Hundreds of them died due to hunger, cold and inhumane living conditions. There were several murder Aktionen carried out by Germans against the partisans and civilians, Jews and Roma among them. The victims were systematically rounded up and taken to the pits dug in advance near the park, behind the Stroganov railbridge, to be shot to death. According to the memorial built on the site, circa. 2,000 people were killed there.

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