Mikhaylovsk | Stavropol

/ Antonina B., born in 1924: “The Germans escorted the column on both sides. There were two Germans at the head and at the end of the column.” © Cristian Monterroso  /Yahad-In Unum At this place another barn was located, where 13 Jews were confined before being killed at the cemetery. © Cristian Monterroso  /Yahad-In Unum Yahad’s team during an interview near the execution site; © Cristian Monterroso  /Yahad-In Unum The mass grave of about 13 Jews killed at the cemetery in August 1942. Execution site n°1. © Cristian Monterroso  /Yahad-In Unum Yahad’s team with a witness in front of the place where the Jews were gathered before being killed. © Cristian Monterroso  /Yahad-In Unum At this place was the barn, hangar (according to the archives), where the Jews were gathered before being killed. © Cristian Monterroso  /Yahad-In Unum The building where the Kommandantur was located. © Cristian Monterroso  /Yahad-In Unum The memorial to the Jewish refugees murdered in August-November 1942. The corpses were reburied in the center of the town. © Cristian Monterroso  /Yahad-In Unum

Execution of Jews in Mikhaylovsk

1 Execution site(s)

Kind of place before:
Cemetery (1); airfield (2)
Period of occupation:
Number of victims:

Witness interview

Antonina B., born in 1924: “I could hear the bursts of gunfire coming from the cemetery. The shooting lasted about 20 minutes or so. I can’t tell you exactly because back then we didn’t have watches. Once it finished we went there to take a look and maybe check if someone remained alive. When we came we could hear them groaning. We started to dig in the ground hoping that we can pull out someone, but in vain. For three days the pit continued to move and we could hear the groaning. After the war, the corpses were reburied at the central square of the town.” (Witness n°726, interviewed in Mikhaylovks, on May 24, 2017)

Soviet archives

“As a result of its investigations the commission established that after the Germans’ arrival headed by German commandant B. in the village of Mikhaylovskoye [today Mikhaylovsk], a punitive unit composed of forty people arrested in August 1943 13 refugees, including three elder people, seven women and three babies. After having taken away all the valuables from them, the punitive detachment took them to the pasture located close to the cemetery to be shot. They left the corpses in the spot and they remained there for ten days. […] After that, in September 1942, a Gestapo unit numbering 52 people headed by the kommandant B. and M. arrived to Mikhaylovka [Mikhaylovskoye] and started to arrest citizens, the majority of whom were Jewish refugees. About 200 people were arrested and locked in the Machine Tractor Service’s property , where they had to undress down to their underwear. Then, a special gas van arrived and they started to force the detainees inside the van. Those who resisted were beaten with batons and rifle butts. As a result the adults and the children started to cry. The full vans transported the people toward the airfield, where the corpses were unloaded and thrown into the gutters and ditches that were dug during the construction of the airfield. In that way, the gas vans arrived one after another until all 200 people were exterminated.[..]” [Act drawn up by State Extraordinary commission (ChGK) on June 29, 1943, RG.22-002M/ Fond 7021, opis 17, delo 10 (part 1)]

German archives

« Our Einsatzkommando arrived in fall 1942 in the village of Mikhaylovskoye, not far away from Stavropol. It was still hot outside. I have never been to this village before. We arrived in three vehicles. The gas van headed the column. The following people arrived to Milkhaylovskoye and killed the local Jewish population: R., P., A., G., a driver from SD unit and I. Once in Mikhalovskoye we went to the yard of the Ortskommandantur. We parked the vehicles and went inside the building. Shortly after R., P. and I got an order from our chief A. to go with the policemen to the farms near Mikhaylovskoye. There, we had to round up several Jewish families and bring them to Mikhaylovskoye. We searched in two or three farms where we arrested seven or eight families. I won’t be able to tell you the exact number of arrestees. We brought them to the Kommandantur. There, the victims were locked up in a hangar guarded by police. The hangar was located close to the Kommandantur. There were already other Jewish families arrested beforehand. The entire Kommando was about to take lunch when we came back from the farms. We drunk 200-300ml of schnapps and packed up the “belongings”. We brought the gas van in front of the hangar of the German Kommandantur. R., others and I forced the first group of Jews inside the van. Then, the gas van left. After that, the second group was loaded into the van. When the van was full we locked up the door with a key. The driver of the van joined the exhaust pipe so the exhaust fumes can go directly inside the dumper. He started the engine and drove behind the village of Mikhaylovskoye. I don’t remember where the corpses were taken. If I am not mistaken we filled in the vans twice in Mikhaylovskoye. I remember that we found Jewish families hiding in the barns, attics and [illegible] in the village of Mikhaylovskoye. [Interrogation of Ivan L., born in 1918, Volksdeutscher who served as a translator about the executions in Stavropol and in the village of Mikhaylovskoye, carried out on July 27, 1960; B162-1289 p.10 / AR-Z 219/59 Vol.VIII p.1409]

Historical note

Mikhaylovsk, former name Mikhaylovskoye, is located on the banks of the Chla river, about 10km north east of Stavropol. Before the war there were no Jews living in the village and was inhabited only by Russians. Mikhaylosk was occupied by the German forces August 3, 1942. By that time many Jewish refugees were evacuated to the village.

Holocaust by bullets in figures

According to the Soviet and German archives there were three main aktions against the Jewish refugees of Mikhaylovks and nea villages. During the first aktion conducted in August 1942, about 13 Jews were taken to the cemetery to be shot. The next two aktions were carried out in September and November 1942, when about 200 Jews and 90 Jews respectively were first gathered in the yard of the Kommandantur, and then forced into the gas vans where they were gassed. Their corpses were thrown into the ditches close to the airfield.   According to the local witness interviewed by Yahad, there were two barns where the Jews were gathered, one located near the Kommandantur and another one a little bit further. 

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