1 Execution site(s)
Lidia M., born in 1932 :
Y.U. : Do you remember when you saw the Germans for the first time in Veselyy ? How did they arrive?
W: Yes, I do remember it very well. First of all, there were bombings and we hid everywhere we could. Then, the paratroopers were the first to arrive. When they saw us, they shouted: “Komm, Komm!” (“Come here!”). Some people died during the bombings, while others survived. We hid on the Oktyabrskaya Street. That is where we saw the paratroopers for the first time.
Y.U.: Were there other Germans who arrived later?
W: Yes, there were, but they were chased by the Soviet pathfinders. Later, the Germans occupied us for the second time. During this time, they killed all the young men 17-18 years old, including my three brothers […].” (Witness n°869, interviewed in Veselyy, on November 19, 2018)
“Today, we discovered 20 mutilated bodies in the well located in the territory of the kolkhoz ‘Twelve years of October’” (“12-ти летие Октября”). The bodies were unidentifiable with the broken jaws, cut faces, twisted arms, and opened bellies, impaled with the bayonets at the level of the chest. Among the bodies was the body of Praskovya Beletskaya, daughter of Maksim, and her baby. She was found with multiple fractures on the head and stab wounds from a knife and bayonet. Her baby was thrown into the well alive.
The German ogres executed the following people: [the list with 18 names]. They also shot 55 prisoners of war and Jewish and Gypsy refugees evacuated here. Their bodies were found in the well in advanced decomposition which made it impossible to lift them on the surface. Under the order of German Kommandant Shtrei, the residents of the Veselyy hamlet were beaten with whips.” [Act n°16 drawn up by Soviet State Extraordinary Commission on February 24, 1943; GARF Fond 7021, Opis 40, Delo 773, p. 229-230]
Veselyy is a hamlet located 79 kilometers (49 mi) west of Rostov-on-Don. It was founded by the Cossacks from the Bagayevskaya stanitsa in 1845. According to the 1915 data, the population of Veselyy was 1,998 residents. All the residents were either Russians or Ukrainians. No Jews lived in the village before the war. In 1935, the hamlet became an administrative center of the Veselyy district. The main occupation was agriculture; there was a kolkhoz (collective farm) in the territory of the village.
Veselyy was occupied by the German troops in June 1942. For a brief moment it was retaken by the Soviet army before being occupied once again. Before the occupation, several Jewish and non-Jewish refugees arrived to the hamlet. Shortly after the occupation the shooting of the Jews, as well as other civilians, started. In July 1942, several victims were taken to the abandoned well and shot inside. Among the victims there were 18 local residents, 55 Soviet POWs, and an unknown number of Jews and Gypsies. The shootings were conducted by Germans and local policemen.
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