1 Execution site(s)
Piotr C., born in 1926: “There were about 70 victims. The Jews were all fully clothed, and the children were put in front of the adults. I didn’t see anyone try to flee. They were forced to stand in rows of three, facing the pit. Then they were shot in the back by the Germans. There were three shooters, I think one of them was an officer. He was the one to give the order to shoot. The policemen were watching behind the Germans. The shooting lasted for about ten minutes. Then the Germans left in a car and four policemen stayed to guard the pit.” [Witness YIU/275R, interviewed in Dondukovskaya, April 5, 2012]
“On August 25, 1942, about 45 Jews were penned up inside the gendarmerie’s barn for ten hours with nothing to eat or drink. Then a truck arrived at the gendarmerie. All the men were loaded onto it, and taken outside the village where they had to dig a pit. They were subsequently shot there.
After that, the truck went to pick up the women and children in the barn who were then shot in the pit as well.
Some of the villagers were forced to bury the bodies of the victims.” [Deposition given by Aleksandr S. to the Soviet State Extraordinary Commission (ChGK); GARF 7021-16-7]
Dondukovskaya is a small village, a ‘stanitsa’, in the Giaginsky district in the Republic of Adygea, southwestern Russia. It is located about 140 km (87 miles) from Krasnodar. The village was founded in 1889 as a settlement for retired soldiers who had fought in the Caucasus. Due to its location, the population of Dondukovskaya was and still is quite multiethnic (Russian, Circassian, Armenian, Georgian) and multi-confessional (Orthodox Christians, Sunnite Muslims). There is however no evidence of a settled Jewish community in the village.
Shortly before the Germans occupied Dondukovskaya on August 9, 1942, many Jewish refugees arrived in the village to seek shelter. Their point of entry was the train station, from there they had to go get registered at the Selsoviet which then redirected them to different kolkhozes. The Jewish refugees were housed in some of the villagers’ homes and worked in the kolkhozes where they received food. When the Germans arrived, they were unable to flee again. On August 11, 1942, two days after their arrival, the Germans established their command over the village by naming a starost of their choosing and creating a local police force. According to the Soviet archives, it was on August 25, 1942, that all Jews were gathered and then executed. The witnesses Yahad interviewed described how Germans and policemen came to take the Jews directly from the houses they lived in. They left all their belongings and valuables there and were then taken to the gendarmerie where they were locked in for several hours. After that, a truck arrived to take some of the Jews directly to the pit outside the village. Others had to walk to the pit. There were men, women, and many children, some as young as 2 or 3 years old. They were still fully clothed when they were shot, standing in rows next to the pit. Between 45 and 70 Jews were shot that day in Dondukovskaya. According to one witness, 19 POWs were also shot in the village by the Germans, behind the gendarmerie. They had to dig their own pit, but later the local population dug them out and reburied them elsewhere.
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