1 Execution site(s)
Viktor O., born in 1926: “Y.U.: And you said that the Jews were led to execution in Valky and were guarded, when was this? Witness: It was in 1941, 1942 and 1943. By 1943 there weren’t many Jews left though. It mainly happened in 1942. Valky used to be a town where the Germans rested. In Valky not a single German was killed or even insulted, though there had been partisans here. There used to be a Feldkommandantur, a field commanding post. It was managing all the surrounding kolkhozes which the Germans kept up and running. They would gather supplies for the German army and there was a military kommandandantur here as well. Valky stood at the crossing of the important roads and all the surrounding districts came under Valky’s administrative power. There was also a police force in here, most of the Polizei were Ukrainians. There was a police school in Valky, the name of the school was Ukrainian sotnya (‘Ukrainian hundred’). It was located in the building of a red school. They would take on young guys over the age of 18. They were well fed. They were trained, became policeman and would be sent to different villages where they would serve. They were all Ukrainians. There were mostly administrators there the German Kommandantur. For example, Ratner was a German who served in Valky militia before the war. And at the beginning of 1942, he started wearing a German uniform. He knew all activists the from Valky, all the communists and all the members of the Komsomol and he ratted everybody out, he was a German serving Germans. They would gather all detained persons from the other districts and bring them to Valky to kill them here, at the Didova Dolyna. You can go and see the site. I was 15 years old in 1941.” (Witness n°2959U, interviewed in Valky, on October 8, 2021)
"We, the undersigned physician Oleksi Ivanov [...] conducted an examination of 27 Soviet citizens shot by the Germans and exhumed in the place called "Didova Dolyna" located at the eastern part of the town of Valky. The commission discovered a grave measuring 3x3x2m, filled with several rows of bodies and covered with sand, in which there were 27 bodies, 26 of which were male and 1 of which was female. All the bodies were in underwear and barefoot." [Act drawn up by Soviet State Extraordinary Commission (ChGK) drawn up on January 21, 1944, 1944; 7021-76-831]
Valky a city in the Kharkiv region, about 53 km (33mi) southwest of Kharkiv itself. There is not much information about the Jewish community of Valky. It was home to Russians, Ukrainians, and Jews. The Yahad research team was able to document some important information regarding the fate of the Jews in Valky.
Valky was occupied by German forces in mid-October 1941. The first shootings started in late autumn, early winter 1941. According to the Soviet archives, 1,500-2,000 victims were shot here during the twenty-three-month occupation of Valky. The victims, including Jews, non-Jews, and activists were shot in groups of ten or fifteen in a sand quarry called “Didova Dolyna”, located 2 km outside the city. Most of victims were murdered in the winter of 1941-1942 and in February-March 1943.
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