Konokovo | Krasnodar

/ Praskovia L., born in 1939, saved a 3-year old Jewish girl from the pit with her brother. © Cristian Monterroso  /Yahad-In Unum Yahad’s team during an interview. © Cristian Monterroso  /Yahad-In Unum A monument to the victims, including 131 Jews, executed by the Germans at this site. © Cristian Monterroso  /Yahad-In Unum

Execution of Jews in Konokovo

1 Execution site(s)

Kind of place before :
Clay quarry behind the brickyard
Memorials :
Yes
Period of occupation:
1942-1943
Number of victims :
131

Witness interview

Praskovia L., born in 1939: “While the Germans were drinking and waiting for the fourth truck, my brother and I approached the pit and saw a small girl crying inside the pit and trying to get out. She was about three years old. So my brother told me to lie down and hold out his hand while he was holding me by the feet so that I would not fall. I lay down and I reached out her hand, she grabbed it and my brother pulled us out. Her mouth was closed so that she would not cry and she ran away towards the Kuban River. The girl was Russian, but one of her parents was Jewish. She was crying and asking in Russian: “Where is my mother?” We crossed the river by boat and ran to the old watcher of the field. He took the girl and made us swear that we would never tell anyone about the girl otherwise our whole family would be killed by the Germans. My brother and I came back home at 2am, and we were scolded by our mother who was very worried, thinking that the Germans had shot us. We lied saying we were playing and did not notice the time passing. We did not tell her anything. That’s how it happened.” (Witness n°750, interviewed in Konokovo, on September 18, 2017)

Soviet archives

“On August 9th, 1942 during the German-fascist occupation of the district of Uspenskoye the men of the Gestapo, on the orders of District Commissioner Karl B., arrested the Jewish families and other citizens. Between August 30 and September 3, 1942, in the whole district 85 people from the Jewish population and of other nationalities were arrested: 12 in Selo Volnoye, 15 in Malomino, 11 in Konokovo, 19 in Yuzhno-Khutorskoye, 19 in Nikolayevskaya, 19 in Urupskiy. All the people in question were taken from their villages to the village of Uspenskoye where they were imprisoned in the Gestapo building. On September 3, 1942, at midnight, the prisoners were put in trucks, taken out of the village, and shot with machine-guns in pits dug in advance not far from the brickyard. [Act drawn up by the State extraordinary commission (ChGK) on November 30, 1943; RG 22.002M. 7021-16-465]

Historical note

Konokovo is a village located in the Uspensky District, 225 km east of Krasnodar. The village was founded in 1901. The development of the village was very rapid, and according to the census in 1910 its population had increased to 4,803 people.  In 1913, Konokovo had two one-class schools with five teachers, a mutual loan company, a credit partnership, a public library and reading room, a railway station. And in 1915 a telephone connection was established with the village of Uspenskoye and stanitsa Ubezhenskaya. The Jewish community wasn’t significant in Konokovo. The majority of Jewish citizens were engaged in small-scale trade and handicrafts. Konokovo was occupied by the German forces on August 4, 1942.

Holocaust by bullets in figures

According to the local woman, interviewed by Yahad, the Germans started to search for the Jews immediately after the occupation of the village. They brought all the Jews from nearby hamlets to the building of the Konokovo selsoviet in covered trucks. Local people were also forced to gather there and were warned that anyone hiding Jews or communists would be executed. After a selection made according to the lists the Germans had, all the Jews were loaded into the trucks and taken in the direction of Uspenka, where the brickyard was located.   At the execution site, all the victims were taken out of the truck at once, line up at the edge of the pit and shot. The truck made three roundtrips. The execution was conducted by the Gestapo.

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