1 Execution site(s)
Tatiana P., born in 1925, says: “Jewish refugees, who arrived to our village, worked in the kolkhozes and lived with the villagers. About twenty refugees worked in our kolkhoz but in other kolkhozes they were welcomed as well. I remember one Jewish woman called Rosa. She was the last one who entered the gas van and before the doors were closed she said goodbye to us” (Witness testimony n°718 interviewed in Blagodatnoye on May 20, 2017)
“In November 1942, during the census of the Blagodatnoye residents, the German kommandant K. ordered all the Jews to put a distinctive badge in form of a five-pointed star on their sleeves. The rest of the population was prohibited to hire the Jews. The police could freely enter Jewish houses and take their best belongings. On November 6th, 1942, the German kommandant K. issued an order reading that all the Jews had to assemble at the firefighter’s station taking their clothes and food provision for ten days under the pretext of being relocated to their “homeland”. When all the above-mentioned people arrived, the betrayers of the nation who assisted the Germans, K. and L., confiscated their belongings and food and pushed them into the firehouse. On November 7th, 1942, in the morning, the victims were undressed and pushed into a hermetically sealed truck, where they were poisoned with exhaust gas. The bodies were transported 1-1,5km away from Blagodatnoye to the pit previously dug by the victims themselves. In all, 94 people were murdered in the village of Blagodatnoye.” [Act drawn up by the State Extraordinary Commission on June 30th, 194; RG 22.002M; 7021-17-12]
Blagodatnoye is located 70 km north-east of Stavropol. The village was founded in 1848 by settlers from the Poltava, Kursk, Yekaterinoslav, Chernigov and Voronezh provinces. In 1853-1854 the village suffered from several insignificant attacks of the Highlanders. In 1892 91 people died of cholera. According to the census in 1897 6,098 persons lived in the village. In the beginning of the 20th century there were three manufactory shops, five grocery stores, two taverns, nine wine cellars, over a dozen of mills in the village. In 1939 only 2 Jews lived in the village. Blagodatnoye was occupied by the German forces in the early August of 1942. By that time a lot of Jewish refugees were evacuated to the village.
According to the historical resources from November 1942 all the Jews were marked with a six-pointed star. Shortly after that they were rounded-up and confined in the building. The testimonies of the local residents vary about the place and the time. One witness claims that the victims were gathered at the firehouse for one day while another says that they were confined into the kolkhoz stables for a week. According to both witnesses and historical resources in the beginning of November all Jewish refugees were loaded into gas van and gassed while driving to the clay pit, located outskirts of the village.
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