Poltavskaya | Krasnodar

/ The former police building was located just next to the central square, but it doesn’t exist anymore. A new commercial building stands in the same place now. ©  Cristian Monterroso  /Yahad-In Unum Anatoliy Ia., born in 1928: “Our neighbor saw a pile of murdered people behind the bush while she was gathering black thorn.” © Cristian Monterroso  /Yahad-In Unum A witness points out the place where about 24 Jewish refugees were murdered. After the war the bodies were reburied in the center of the village.  There is no monument at the execution site.  © Cristian Monterroso  /Yahad-In Unum Yahad’ team during an interview with a witness. © Cristian Monterroso  /Yahad-In Unum A memorial complex dedicated to those who died during WWII, the wars in Afghanistan and the Chechen Republic and as a result of the Chernobyl disaster. There is not a single mention of the Jews. Jews were reburied in the grave on the left.©Cristian Monter

Execution of Jews in Poltavskaya

1 Execution site(s)

Kind of place before :
Field
Memorials :
Yes
Period of occupation:
1942-1943
Number of victims :
24

Witness interview

Anatoliy Ia., born in 1928: “The whole lot of refugees from Bessarabia, hundreds of people, arrived to the town. At the beginning they were all placed in a school building, but later some of them managed to rent separate flats. When the Romanians were approaching, the richer ones hired vehicles and left to Uzbekistan, and the poorest ones stayed.” (Witness n° 754, interviewed in Poltavskaya, on September 20, 2017)

Soviet archives

“On April 1, 1943, on the village outskirts, the commission discovered three large pits filled with water, in which the bodies of 57 shot villagers floated, including nine children aged from 10 months to 15/16 years. [...] In one of these pits, the commission found the corpses of Jewish families, 24 people in all, including an evacuee from Sevastopol: Dora Vainshtein, 28 years old, and her two young children. The barbarous fascists had sprinkled her legs with flammable liquid and set it on fire; […].” [Act drawn up by The Red Army commission, on April 3, 1943; Fond 51, Opis 958, Delo 52]

Historical note

Poltavskaya is a village located on the Kuban River, 65 kilometers west of Krasnodar. Founded in 1794, it is one of the first forty settlements of Kuban Cossacks in the area. In 1932-1933, during the period of collectivization, the local population suffered from the artificial famine deliberately orchestrated by the Soviet regime as part of its policy of repression. During that time hundreds of local families died of hunger as they were not allowed to leave their residences. Later the rest of population was forcibly relocated to the northern regions of Russia, and Poltavskaya was re-settled by the families of the Soviet military. At the outbreak of WWII hundreds of refugees from Bessarabia arrived in the town. Initially they were all placed in a school building, but later some of them managed to rent separate flats. When the Romanians were approaching, the richer ones hired vehicles and left to Uzbekistan, and the poorest ones stayed. Poltavskaya was occupied in early August, 1942.

Holocaust by bullets in figures

The Germans arrived shortly after the Romanian units. They stayed in the houses of the locals. Soon after the occupation a local police force was created. The commandant’s office was established in the current building of the local administration. According to the local villager interviewed by Yahad-In Unum, the Jewish refugees were shot on the other side of the river. The Romanians escorted the Jewish families in groups of five or six people. The victims didn’t have any belongings with them. There was a mother with a small child among the victims. The Romanian guards drowned the child in the river. The victims had to dig pits themselves and after were shot.

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