4 Execution site(s)
Nina O., born in 1928: “YIU: Were the Jews taken away long after the Romanians?
Witness: When the war began many of them were evacuated. They were transported to some other part of the USSR, those who could go. But many of them did not go, they stayed here. Salgannik who lived on Lenina Street and whose daughters were our friends said: "I am not going anywhere from here, to any other place". He was an elderly man, he worked at the mill. He was a miller. He said: "I will not go anywhere. What have I done to anyone? Why would anyone want to harm me?" But I do not remember how… I know only that he and the girls were taken to Katerinka to be executed. There was one girl from Domanivka, Jenia Podolska, who crawled out of that grave. She was Jewish. The grave was already prepared when they arrived to be executed. They walked up to the grave and their father understood that they were just about to be shot. So he told the girls: "Girls, if they start shooting fall down into the grave even if you are not hit. Fall down and maybe some of you will survive”. And so they did when the execution began. These three girls - Zhenia Podolska, Valia and Vova Salgannik, - fled from the grave.” (Testimony n°1265, interviewed in Domanivka, on July 30, 2011)
“[…] The mass shootings of Soviet Jewish civilians - men, women, children, and elder people, started on December 19, 1941. The shootings were carried out in the southwestern part of the village of Domanevka near the forest, on the village’s eastern side, north of the hospital, and north of the "Radyanskyi Selyanyn" kolkhoz, and in the northwestern part of the small village of Chuyky.
It has been discovered that two graves, 10-12 meters long and 2.5 meters wide, are located on the territory of Domanevka near the forest and 10 ditches measuring 4x10 meters are located in the forest. There are 10 graves of 4x2 meters, one grave of 30x20 meters, and two graves of 8 x 4 meters at the "Radyanskyi Selyanyn" kolkhoz; on the [...] eastern side of Domanevka there are a number of graves with the bodies of people who had been shot. The shootings were carried out in groups, 150-200 people were taken, forced to undress on the spot, and then shot 10-15 at a time. Two rectangular areas were also discovered where the bodies were burned after the shooting. The shooting was carried out by the Romanian gendarmerie. [Act drawn up by Soviet State commission (ChGK) on May 3, 1944; RG.22-002M: GARF 7021-69-342]
Domanivka is a village located about 130 km northwest of Mykolaiv and 160km northeast of Odesa. Prior to the war, there were many Jews living in the village along with Ukrainians and Russians. The majority of the Jews lived in the center of the village and were either shop owners or artisans. Under Soviet rule, a big kolkhoz was created near the village. Many German colonies were set up in this area under the rule of Catherine the Great. The territory was occupied by the Romanian army in summer 1941. The Jewish victims who were brought and murdered in Domanivka were native to Odesa, as well as the Jews deported from Bessarabia and Bukovina under the order of Antonescu.
The village was occupied on August 5, 1941. In October 1941 a camp was established in Domanivka under the order of Romanian Colonel Modest Isopescu. It was fenced in and guarded by Romanian police. Between November 1941 and January 1942, about 13,000 Ukrainian Jews from Odesa and Odesa district along with Bessarabian Jews were deported to Domanivka. The Jewish inmates were confined in different kolhoz facilities, such as barns, pigsties, stables, as well as in the school building and Klub. According to a Jewish survivor, interviewed by Yahad, deportees had to also build barracks by themselves where they were held. Hundreds died due to inhuman leaving conditions, and hunger. The mass execution started in mid-December. There were several execution sites where a total of over 18,000 Jews were murdered in the period from December 19, 1942, to February 15, 1942, or, according to Martin Dean’s Encyclopedia, from January 10, 1942, to March 18, 1942. . The main executions sites were located in the forest, in the ravine south-east of Domanivka, near the hospital, east of the village, and near the Radyanskyi Selyanyn kolkhoz, located in the north. Other execution sites found by the Soviet Extraordinary Commission was located close to the small village of Chuiky, which doesn’t exist anymore. The Jews were brought to the site in groups of 200-500, forced to undress and then shot in the face at the edge of the pits dug in advance by Jews. Between mid-1942 and mid-1943 other groups of Jews from Romania and Transnistria arrived to Domanivka. They were used as free labor to perform farm works in this period. In the spring of 1942, Jewish prisoners were forced to burn the corpses to conceal evidence of mass extermination. At the end of 1942, 1,000 Jews were left, most of whom were transferred to the Akhmechetka camp a year later, where they were murdered. Besides the Jews, over 8,000 Romanian Roma were brought to Domanivka in August 1942. Hundreds of them died in the camps due to inhuman living conditions, lack of food, water and diseases.
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