1 Execution site(s)
Georgii P., born in 1954: “During the war there was an aerodrome here that had shelters. In 1942, they shot a group of Jews there. There were 30 of them. My mother told me about it, she lived here during the war. Later, we saw for ourselves what remained of these caponiers, shelters to hide planes. Jews were shot and buried right next to one of the shelters. Their bodies were there, decomposed. But their clothes and shoes were preserved. We also found old, rusty coins.” (Witness YIU/285R, interviewed in Sovetskaya, on April 8, 2012)
“On December 29, 1942, at 6pm, four local policemen led by their chief N.Z. came riding into section 2 of the sovkhoz [of Sovetskaya] to gather Jews that had been brought there before to work in total. […] 30 Jews were taken by cart to the sovkhos center. The policemen kept them prisoner in the sovkhoz office building. On the morning of December 30, 1942, at 10am, a covered black truck resembling a gas truck parked in front of the building along with a German car with 4 men from the Gestapo. The Germans and policemen forced all the Jews out of the building and into the closed black truck. One of the Jews said they wanted to eat, he was told they were being taken somewhere in the town of Armavir and would be given food there. They closed the truck and it drove off, not in the direction of Armavir, but in the opposite direction. The truck stopped at the aerodrome 200 meters south of the central part of the sovkhoz, where the Gestapo members joined them in their cars. Then the Jews were forced out of the truck and into trenches that had been dug previously for hiding aircraft, and shot with machine guns. Then the Gestapo men covered the bodies of the people shot with soil and left in the direction of the town of Armavir.” [Act drawn up on August 15, 1943; GARF 7021-16-435, pp.307-308]
Sovetskaya is a village (stanitsa) in Novokubanskii district, Krasnodar region, southwest Russia. It is located about 240 km (150mi) east of the city of Krasnodar. The town was founded in 1841 under the name ‘Urupskaya’, after the river ‘Urup’ on whose banks the village lies. It was renamed ‘Sovetskaya’ in 1933. Because it was outside the Pale of Settlement at the time of the Russian Empire, no Jewish community was ever really established in Sovetskaya, even after the Bolshevik revolution. As the war started between Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union in 1941 however, many Jews fled eastward and sought refuge in Krasnodar region, including some in Sovetskaya.
German forces took over Sovetskaya in August 1942. The Jewish refugees in Sovetskaya were quickly put to work on the sovkhoz by the Germans. On December 29, 1942, they were rounded up by the Germans and locked inside the sovkhoz office building. The next morning, they were loaded onto a truck and taken a bit further away to a field with trenches specifically dug to camouflage aircraft. There they were all shot – men, women, children – their bodies thrown in the trench which was then filled in. The bodies were never reburied elsewhere but stayed in the mass grave. The Red Army liberated Sovetskaya in January 1943. 30 Jews were killed in total in Sovetskaya during the German occupation.
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