1 Execution site(s)
Mykhailo K., born in 1936: “Y.U.: Did you witness the scene from? Where were you at that moment?
Witness: I was with my mother when they [the Jews] were being rounded up. The workers had to leave their work and they were also taken there, to this office building. All of them were lined up near the building. All the people were standing near the building while they [the Jews] were brought outside, made to lay down and forced to eat grass. And afterwards they [the Romanians] were looking for something. They asked one man where they could find the thorn bushes because they intended to take the Jews there. But he didn’t tell them where the thorn bushes were growing. So the Jews continued to eat grass.” (Witness n°2722U, interviewed in Chausove II, on November 11st 2019)
“German fascist invaders arrested 44 inhabitants of Chausovo. After torturing them, they were taken to the field and shot on January 2nd 1942. We managed to draw up the list of 28 murdered people.” [Act n°10 drawn up by Soviet Extraordinary Commission (ChGK) on November 8th 1944; RG.22-002M: GARF : 7021-69-80]
Chausove is a village located on the banks of the Buh River about 170km (105 miles) north west of Mykolaiv. Back then the village of Chausove was separated in two by the Buh River: Chausove I and Chausove II. According to the local residents (ex.YIU/2721U), a Jewish agricultural colony Pokutino was part of the village of Chausove II. It was most probably created in 1920s. The Jewish community had its own kolkhoz called Freileib. The majority of the Jews were involved in agriculture. Some of them owned shops. There was one school for Jewish and non-Jewish children. There is no exact information on how many Jews lived in the village on the eve of the war. The Jewish agricultural colony was completely destroyed between 1945 and 1948 and transformed into a field.
Chausove was occupied by German and Romanian forces in August 1941. During its field investigation, Yahad - In Unum found out that two villages, Chausove I and Chausove II, remained under two different occupying forces as the the German-Romanian border passed down the Buh River. Chausove II, including the Jewish colony Pokutino, therefore remained under Romanian rule, while Chausove I was under German control. With the help of the local witnesses, Yahad established that from the beginning of the occupation up until the execution, the Jewish population was subjected to different forms of humiliation. Once, they were forced to graze as if they were cattle while Ukrainian population was forced to watch. From the archives, we know that about 44 Jews were murdered on January 2nd 1942. Contrary to the archives, the local eyewitnesses said that the Jews were shot in an ice hole they had been forced to dig in the river. The execution site is located between the villages Chausove I and II. The execution was conducted by several Germans. Before being shot, the Jews were forced to strip naked and lined up around the ice hole. After the execution, once the Germans left, the police remained in order to guard the execution site. The majority of the corpses were taken away by the current. Some Jews survived the war with the help of the local residents who hid them, even though it was dangerous. They immigrated to Israel shortly after the end of the war.
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