Zelenchukskaya | Karachay-Cherkessia

Andrei T., born in 1931: “Among the victims there were more women and children. I don’t know whether there were any men” © Cristian Monterroso  /Yahad-In Unum Anastasiia L., born in 1928: “When the Jews arrived to the field, they understood what was going to happen, they were screaming and crying” © Cristian Monterroso/Yahad-In Unum Yahad’s team during an interview with a witness at the execution site. © Cristian Monterroso/Yahad-In Unum At this place 180 Jewish refugees were forced to undress and were shot on the edge of the trench. Most of them were women and children © Christian Monterroso/Yahad-In Unum The monument to 180 Jewish refugees killed at this place © Christian Monterroso  /Yahad-In Unum

Execution of Jews in Zelenchukskaya

1 Execution site(s)

Kind of place before :
Field
Memorials :
Yes
Number of victims :
170-180

Witness interview

Anastasiia L., born in 1928, says: “I saw the Jews being brought to the execution site on foot. Most of them were women and children; they had bundles and they were escorted by the Russian policemen in civilian clothes. There were also some Germans. The column was calm. The Jews passed by our street and continued through other streets. When the Jews arrived near the field, they understood what was going to happen, they started to scream and cry.” (Testimony n°696 interviewed in Zelenchukskaya on May 10th, 2017)

Soviet archives

“Under the orders of the German Kommandant, at the night from July 6th on July 7th, 1942, all arrested people (180 Jews and non-Jews according to their names, including men, women and children) were taken to the depot of the kolkhoz first brigade. After they were shot near Zelenchukskaya. The shooting was conducted by the German soldiers. Before the shooting the victims were forced to undress completely. The children were thrown in the pit alive” [Report made the State Extraordinary Commission; RG 22.002M: 7021-17-10]

German archives

“[...] On August 22nd, 1942 I was appointed ataman of Zelenchukskaya district by the German Kommando. I held this post until January 11th, 1943. While being on my post I regularly met with the representatives of the occupational administration. There were a Kommandant and other members of EK12. EK12 stationed in Mikoyan-Shakhtar. Today its name is Karachayevsk. I know that the EK12 members arrived to Mikoyan-Shakhtar in early October 1942. […]Before the arrival of the SD12 to Mikoyan-Shakhar there was an order to register all the Jews. I don’t know who exactly issued that order. After the registration, the Jews had to wear a six-pointed star on their clothes. [...] They continued to live in their homes in the Cossack village of Zelenchukskaya and in the other colonies of the Zelenchukskaya district before the arrival of the SD Kommando. Once the SD arrived, all the Jews were resettled into a special camp. This camp was located in an old courtyard of the local kolkhoz “Udarnik”. We took the Jews there, without paying attention to their sex or age. There, the elder people, women and children were guarded by the police. They stayed in a shed that wasn’t suitable for living. We didn’t give them food or any medical help. Jews apt to work had to work on building and road construction. [...] The chief of the SD 12 W. told us that the following night - it was the night from December 8th on December 9th, 1942, - all the Jews would be shot. The police chief was ordered by W. to prepare the policemen to transport the Jews to the shooting site and to provide three trolleys with shovels. [...] At night all the Jews were taken to the edge of the Zelenchukskaya Cossack village to the previously dug pit under the guard of Karachaievsk policemen and local soldiers. There they were shot. I wasn’t present on the shooting site and I don’t know how the shooting was conducted.S. told me that the Jews were shot in small groups. Some of them were undressed before the shooting, brought to the pit and shot. [...] The corpses were then buried. The Jewish belongings were loaded onto the carts and taken to the former kolkhoz “Udarnik”. [...] I cannot say exactly how many Jews were shot in the night of December 8-9, 1942. I know, however, that there were more than a hundred victims” [...][Deposition of Greorgiy T., taken in Stavropol on November 11th, 1966; B162-1288 p.132 - AR-Z 219/59 Vol. VII]

Historical note

Zelenchukskaya is located on the banks of the Bolshoy Zelenchuk River 60 km south-west of Cherkesk. The settlement was founded in 1859. In 1939 27 Jews lived in the village. They were engaged in small-scale trade and handcraft. According to the witness, interviewed by Yahad team, there were six kolkhozes in the village before the occupation. Before the war many Ukrainian evacuees, including the Jews, arrived in the village. They were lodged with the inhabitants. Zelenchukskaya was occupied by the German troops on August 14, 1942. Just before the Germans arrived, almost all refugees were re-evacuated.

Holocaust by bullets in figures

The testimonies of local villagers, interviewed by Yahad team, confirm the fact of execution of Jewish refugees mentioned in historical resources. Thus, it is known that soon after occupation all refugees of Jewish nationality were marked with six-pointed star. Later they were confined in a camp located in the old courtyard of the local kolkhoz. Jews apt to work were forced to perform heavy labor. In night of December 8-9, 1942, all refugees were taken to the trench dug 2-3 km out of the village. There they had to undress and were shot. The children were thrown to the trench alive. According to the historical resources 180 persons were shot during this execution, most of them were women and children.

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Nearby villages

  • Teberda
  • Cherkessk
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