Kodyma (Kodima, Codima) | Odesa

/ The Jewish cemetery. One of the execution sites where 195 Jews were massacred is located not far from the cemetery. ©Jordi Lagoutte/Yahad - In Unum The Jewish cemetery in Kodyma. ©Jordi Lagoutte/Yahad - In Unum The former house of worship in Kodyma. ©Jordi Lagoutte/Yahad - In Unum The building from which the Jews were forced to remove documents and burn them in the yard.  ©Jordi Lagoutte/Yahad - In Unum Vasyl K., born in 1927: "My friend, Yuzia, was one of the first to be shot by the Germans. He and 29 other young boys were accused of preparing a coup against the Germans. I saw Yuzia on the edge of the pit." ©Jordi Lagoutte/Yahad - In Unum Natalia S., born in 1930: “Villagers were forced to dig the grave beforehand. The Jews had to climb down into them, before being killed.” ©Jordi Lagoutte/Yahad - In Unum Anatoliy B., born in 1926: "The Jews were brought to the clay quarry. The local police set up the machine gun and started to line the Jews up in groups on the edge of a pit. Between shooting each group, they drank." ©Jordi Lagoutte/Yahad - In Unum Yelizaveta Y., born in 1927: “I saw a column of 200 or 300 men, women and children. They were on foot. They moved slowly. The column passed by Lenin Street and then took the path behind the vegetable garden.” ©Jordi Lagoutte/Yahad - In Unum Fylyp U., born in 1931: “Several columns passed through the village. There were many Jews in the columns, escorted by Germans with dogs. All we could hear when they passed was children crying, calling their parents.”  ©Jordi Lagoutte/Yahad - In Unum Yahad’s team with a witness during an interview. ©Jordi Lagoutte/Yahad - In Unum Execution site of around 195 Jews murdered by Germans and Romanians. ©Jordi Lagoutte/Yahad - In Unum 25 Jews from Poland were killed at this site. Garages have since been built on the grave site. ©Jordi Lagoutte/Yahad - In Unum

Execution of Jews in Kodyma

3 Execution site(s)

Kind of place before:
Village square/Clay pit close to Jewish cemetery
Period of occupation:
1941 - 1944
Number of victims:

Witness interview

Vassyl, born in 1927: “These people were standing in the trenches and the Germans walked along the edge firing at their necks with rifles. They shot them at point-blank range. Once these people had been killed, approximately 6 men, selected from among the victims, began to fill in the grave. The Germans hit them with shovels and then shot them. They took another group of 6 people to bury the bodies. We watched it all. At the corner of the one-story building, they gathered the whole Jewish population of Kodyma. While the Germans killed these foreigners, they forced the local Jews to sing. They let them to go back home afterwards.” (Eyewitness n°2043, interviewed in Kodyma, on May 19, 2016)

Soviet archives

“In January 1942, Romanian and German invaders rounded up 195 inhabitants of Kodyma in a bloody rage on a defenseless population. The 195 people were killed. It took place in the northeast suburbs of the town of Kodyma, near the Jewish cemetery. They were buried in a trench 20 meters long, 1 to 2 meters deep and 1.5 meters wide. Men, women and children were thrown into this trench.” [Act of the Soviet Extraordinary Commission, drawn up on May 25, 1944; RG 22.002M. Fond 7021, Opis 6, Delo 78]

Historical note

Kodyma is a city of the region of Odessa, Ukraine. The first records of Jews in the city date back to the 18th century. Before the war, there was a large Jewish population in the town: 1,968 in 1939. They worked and lived in the town center, where there were shops and markets. The synagogue was destroyed and the Jewish school just nearby was closed. Without the synagogue, the Jews prayed in a Jewish shoemaker’s shop. There was also a Jewish cemetery. The relationship between this community and the others was very good. The Jewish inhabitants wore the same clothes as the Ukrainians. Germans occupied the city with Romanians at the beginning of September 1941. 

Holocaust by bullets in figures

The Germans arrived on motorbikes, followed by the Romanians. It was the latter who took over power in the town and Kodyma became part of the Transnistria administrative region. Under the Romanian authority, Jews were allowed to move around and were not forced to work. They were however forced to stitch the Star of David into their clothes. The first massacre took place on August 30, 1941, when 48 Jews were murdered. Before the shooting, the local inhabitants were gathered and separated. Russians and Ukrainians were released, but the Jews were taken to the clay pit. Local policemen and Romanians killed them without covering their bodies. There were Germans at the site, but they stayed back and gave orders. In September 1941, a column of 25 Jews arrived from Poland, according to a Yahad witness. Taken to a square in the town, they were massacred, thrown into a grave and buried. The undocumented execution site remains without any memorial. There is a parking lot on the site. The last massacre documented by the archives took place on January 12, 1942, when 195 Jews were murdered. Romanians and policemen shot them in groups of ten in a large pit. It took so much time that they decided to put them all in the grave and kill them together. As a result, some of the Jews were only wounded, and managed to survive. The grave was covered over in July. Nomadic Gypsies were also killed in Kodyma.


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