1 Execution site(s)
Vasiliy P., born in 1929: “Six Jewish women were denounced by locals and were shot. Once in summer, perhaps in August, I was grazing sheep and saw an open civilian truck bringing the victims. There were also guards with rifles. They had uniforms but I don’t remember which kind of uniform it was. Then, I heard isolated shots. Later, the truck came back empty, and without guards. The bodies of the victims were buried at the execution site, next to the river and quagmire.” (Testimony of witness n°742, interviewed in Natyrbovo on September 14, 2017)
“[…] The Germans retreated, leaving behind many pits with thousands of people who were deported or shot in the cities of Krasnodar, Armavir, Maykop and in localities such as Kurganinsk, Labinskaya. 40 Jews evacuated from Bessarabia, Odessa and elsewhere arrived in the village of Natyrbovo at the very beginning of the war. Some of them managed to save themselves by leaving before the evacuation. All others rest in pits on the territory of the airfield and in pits in Natyrbovo. At the end of August 1942, during the day, a German truck arrived in Natyrbovo. Six Jews were loaded inside and taken to the pits located close to the village. On the way, one of the arrested Jews jumped out the truck and started to run. But in the end she was killed later like the others.[…]
During the very short period when they were living under the German occupation, the Jews worked conscientiously in the fields, like the local kolkhozniks. One of my acquaintances, a shoemaker, told me that a German soldier had reassured him that the Germans would only shoot speculators, the Jewish exploiters. […]
One day, all Jews were arrested and brought into the village administration yard. The arrest was conducted by the police led by S. The policemen confiscated all Jewish valuables and locked the victims in 3 cellars. Then they were escorted by policemen on horseback to Labinskaya. On the way, Maria Mapilis (13 years old) begged one of the police officers to release her. He didn’t. The girl died of a heart attack in the arms of her sister Tsylia at (?) the Gestapo before the shooting.
There were many elderly people among the victims, including Moisei Aaronovich Shvartsman (80 years old), a former teacher who worked with me in 1941 at the Natyrbovo school.” [Deposition of Klavdiia V., born in 1902, given to the State extraordinary commission (ChGK); RG 22.002M: 7021-16-7]
Natyrbovo is located on the left bank of the Laba river 23 km south-east of Koshekhabl. The village was founded in 1895 by retired soldiers who participated in the Caucasian war, who were given land by the tsarist government. Little is known about the local Jewish community. In prewar times most of them lived of small-scale trade and handicrafts. Before the occupation a lot of Jewish refugees arrived to Natyrbovo, mostly from Ukraine and the localities. They were settled with the villagers by the local administration. Some of them worked in kolkhozes while others started to teach in the local school. Natyrbovo was occupied by the German and Romanian forces at the beginning of August, 1942.
Soon after the occupation the Germans and the Romanians established their kommandantur in the building of selsoviet and created the local police. According to the local villager interviewed by Yahad’s team, one day the Romanian soldiers forced the Jews, including children, into a covered truck. Other guards were standing around with dogs. The truck drove the victims outside the town, to Shyrokiy Brod. It was a field crossed by the river. The next day the witness and his friends saw about 30-35 clothed bodies - men, women and children - at the execution site. The witness believes that they were shot the moment they got off the truck. After the Germans left, the bodies were taken away by carts to be buried elsewhere.
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