Leninske (Leninskoye, Karabulat, Lenindorf) | Kherson

/ Alexandra B., born in 1935: “The Jews did not have to take their clothes off at first, it was only once the pit was full that they were ordered to undress. ” ©Guillaume Ribot/Yahad - In Unum The witness shows Yahad’s team the site where 450 Jews were shot in a silo pit in October 1941. ©Guillaume Ribot/Yahad - In Unum

Execution of Jews in the former Jewish colony of Lenindorf

1 Execution site(s)

Kind of place before :
Silo pit
Memorials :
No
Period of occupation:
1941-1943
Number of victims :
450

Witness interview

Alexandra B., born in 1935, says: “All the local Jews were gathered at school. They stayed there overnight. The victims did not suspect they would be killed. However, before the Germans’ arrival, they were warned. There were posters everywhere in the village. As a result, some Jews managed to evacuate. The Jews understood what was happening in the morning when the first groups were taken away to be shot. They could hear them screaming.” (Testimony n°291 interviewed in Leninske on January 15, 2006)

Soviet archives

“On October 3rd, 1941, about 30 Germans arrived in Lenindorf from the Skadovsk district by truck. They entered the houses looking for Jewish families. After they had gathered all the Jews, they put them in the selsoviet. In all, they rounded up 450 Jews, including men, women, children, elderly people and the sick. They were all transported to the silo pits outside the village and shot. The silo pits were located 1km north of Lenindorf. According to Hryhorii I., the victims were thrown into the pits and shot inside. [Deposition of witness Yevdokiia L. given to the State Extraordinary Commission on September 29, 1944; RG 22.002M: 7021-77-419]

Historical note

Leninske, known as Karabulat and Lenindorf, is located 60km south of Kherson. It was founded in 1924 as a Jewish agricultural colony, following the policy of the Russian government to resettle the Jews from the northwestern regions of Russian Empire to cultivate the deserted land in southern Ukraine. At first, the economic situation of the residents of newly-created colony was difficult due to their lack of agricultural experience. Most of the settlers were peasants, some were artisans. The colony was run by starosta. According to the 1931 census, 867 people lived in Lenindorf, the majority of them were Jewish. There was a Yiddish school. Jewish international organizations such as The American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee and the Jewish Colonization Association played an important role in the development of local economic situation, supplying the colonists with agricultural equipment, seeds, and helping them to buy livestock. In 1941, many Jews living in western regions of Ukraine evacuated to the south, as a result the population of Lenindorf increased to 2,000 people. After the war, the village of Lenindorf was renamed Leninske.

Holocaust by bullets in figures

Leninske was occupied in mid-September 1941. The majority of Jews had managed to evacuate east by that time. Those who stayed behind, 450 Jews, were rounded up the day before the shooting and locked up in the local school, where they spent the night. The following day, they were taken in groups to the silo pits, located 1km away north of the village and shot. The execution was carried out on October 3, 1941 by Einzatzgruppe D.  After the war, the victims’ bodies were reburied in Mykhailivka.

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