Lysnivka (Lesnovka)/Former Jewish colony Gorepashnik | Crimea

Karaite community in the kolkhoz “Stalin” in 1940. Photo from the witness’ album.  © Aleksey Kasyanov  /Yahad-In Unum / Raissa S., born in 1936: «They were told that they would be resettled but instead they were taken to be shot”.© Aleksey Kasyanov  /Yahad-In Unum Aleksey C., born in 1934:” The Germans started to line up the Jews along the   Eastern side of the pit. There were children of different age. They cried. The Germans placed two machine guns on the ground. The order to fire was given.”©Aleksey Kasyanov/YIU Member of Yahad-In Unum’s team and a witness.  © Aleksey Kasyanov  /Yahad-In Unum Maria I., born in 1937: “The Germans raided houses looking for the Jews. They all were confined into the Klub where they stayed for a dozen of days.”  © Aleksey Kasyanov  /Yahad-In Unum Execution site outside Lysnivka near former vineyards where about 200 people were shot.  © Aleksey Kasyanov  /Yahad-In Unum

Execution of Jews in Gorepashnik

1 Execution site(s)

Kind of place before:
Period of occupation:
Number of victims:
About 200

Witness interview

Raisa S., born in 1936, says: «Before the execution the Jews were gathered in the village’s Klub. They were told that they would be sent somewhere to work. The Germans ordered the Jews to bring all the valuables with them. They were confined in that Klub and guarded by policemen. During the time while the Jews were confined in the Klub, some strongest Jewish men were taken to dig a pit about 500 m away from the village, near the vineyards. After the war we took part in the exhumation of the bodies. The pit was 10 m long and 3 m large. ” (Witness N°1687, interviewed in Eupatoria, on May 16, 2013).

Soviet archives

“In the late 1941, in the kolkhoz named after Stalin 25 Jewish families were brutally shot. The witness, the Stalin kolkhoz worker, Mr. Litvinenko reported that he had seen how German officers had driven out from the village a big group of people. Then, they shot them with machine guns and threw in a pit dug for this purpose beforehand. During the exhumation 200 corpses disorderly thrown in the pit were discovered. The villagers from Novoselovka identified 81 victims’ bodies, among them Mikhevich’s and Lipovich’s newborns aged 1 month; 11 children aged from 2 to 9 years and an old man Slutskiy, aged 74 years.” [Act drawn up the State Extraordinary Commission; RG.22-002M : Fond 7021, Opis 9, Delo 44]

Historical note

Lysnivka, formerly known as Jewish agricultural colony Gorepashnik, is a village located 50 km southwest of Simferopol. The colony was established in the late 1920’s and until 1948 was called Gorepashnik. From 1948 the village was renamed in Novoselka, and in 1962 into Lysnivka.  In 1930s a kolkhoz named after Stalin was created. Besides the Ashkenazi and Karaite Jews the colony was home to several Ukrainian and Russian families at that time. Before the German occupation, many Jews managed to flee leaving behind about 250 Jews. 

Holocaust by bullets in figures

The Germans arrived in Lysnivka in late October 1941. They appointed a new starosta and created local police. Straightly after the occupation, all the Jews were ordered to wear distinctive badges in the form of Star of David. The Jewish houses were marked with six pointed stars as well. The Karaites were exempted from this order. In the mid-November, 1941, all the Jews were ordered to gather at the Klub with their most valuables belongings under the pretext of future resettlement. No one was allowed to leave the building which was guarded by local police including the Tatars. Those who attempted to escape were shot dead on the spot.  After having being confined in the building for a dozen of days, -the time the pits were prepared, on November 24, 1941, all the Jews were taken by truck outside the colony and shot in the vineyards. The pit measures 15m long and 4m wide and was dug either by Jews themselves or by prisoners of war detained in the village of Mikhailovka according to different testimonies. According to the Soviet archives, 25 Jewish families, some 200 altogether, were murdered during this aktion.

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