Holoskove (Goloskove, Goloskovo) | Mykolaiv

Workers pose with a pile of cucumbers at the edge of a cucumber field at the Molotov collective farm. (Left) a man lies on a blanket.© YIVO Digital archives Two colonists and a boy pose in a tomato field at the Molotov collective farm. © YIVO Digital archives At the Molotov collective farm: an (unidentified) woman poses with an armload of produce in an eggplant field.© YIVO Digital archives / The place where the synagogue and a school used to be located © Omar Gonzalez/Yahad-In Unum Abandoned Jewish cemetery with a couple of tombstones  © Omar Gonzalez/Yahad-In Unum Valeriy K., born in 1933: "This was the main Jewish street. Every Thursday a market was hold here. It was an alimentary and consumer goods market."© Omar Gonzalez/Yahad-In Unum The building of the Jewish sauna (bania) built by the kolkhoz. © Omar Gonzalez/Yahad-In Unum House of Gorobchevska Sonia. It was used as primaria under the occupation © Omar Gonzalez/Yahad-In Unum The remaining building of an oil mill. © Omar Gonzalez/Yahad-In Unum House of Guitsko Shtekel © Omar Gonzalez/Yahad-In Unum House of Avram Tsyrulnik. © Omar Gonzalez/Yahad-In Unum Yahad’s team during the interview. © Omar Gonzalez/Yahad-In Unum The dirt road by which over 200 local Jews were marched in the direction of Onysko. © Omar Gonzalez/Yahad-In Unum At this place was killed and burried Jewish boy, Shlioma Sitkovski. The mass grave is located at the corner of the Jewish cemetery. © Omar Gonzalez/Yahad-In Unum A symbolic monument to all the victims of Holoskove located at the Jewish cemetery. © Omar Gonzalez/Yahad-In Unum Diagram of the village reconstructed with the help if the local resident. ©Yahad-In Unum / /

Execution of Jews in Holoskove

2 Execution site(s)

Kind of place before:
Near the river Bug (1); Near the Jewish cemetery
Yes (but not at the mass graves)
Period of occupation:
Number of victims:

Witness interview

Valeriy K., born in 1933 : "YIU: So, all the workshops continued to function even after other Jews had been gathered, is that correct? –Yes. They stayed here for two months more and then,- it was already cold, they were taken to be shot. I think it was in November.
YIU: And for how long have the Jews been locked up in the shop?
W: From the morning until 5pm. And then, they were taken in the column in the direction of Onysko.
YIU: In which direction did they go?
W: They went in that direction, towards the main road and then, they turned in the direction of Onysko. But I didn’t follow the column.
YIU: By whom were they taken?
W: By the local police and Romanians.
YIU: Did local police have uniform?
W: No, they didn’t.
YIU: And what color was Romanian uniform?
W: It was yellowish.
YIU: How then one could recognize a policeman?
W: He was dressed in civilian clothes and had a rifle." (Testimony n°2482, interviewed in Holoskove, on September 19, 2018)

Soviet archives

« The German and Romanian invaders arrived into our district on August 4, 1941, and with their allies started to exterminate the Soviet civil population.
In the village of Goloskovo lived the Jews who since always cultivated wheat. They were united in a kolkhoz, which was the richest in the entire district. In September 1941, German and Romanian authorities started to exterminate the local Jewish population. Through the testimony of Aleksey G. we managed to establish that in September, the Romanian and German soldiers arrived and started to murder civilians. They rounded-up the victims on the streets and in the houses. They shot them on the spot without any reason, no matter their age or sex. 241 people, including 79 children, were massacred in the village of Goloskovo by Romanian and German invaders. The testimony of Dorofei B. confirms that 241 civilians were shot on the banks of the Bug river.” [Act n°7, drawn up on October 30, 1944, by State Extraordinary Commission (ChGK); RG 22.002M: Fond 7021, Opis 6, Delo 80]

Historical note

Holoskove is located about 200km north of Mykolaiv. The first records about the Jewish community go back to the end of 19th century. In 1863 305 Jews lived in the village together with Ukrainians. There were two synagogues. The first one was built it 1863, but unfortunately, today none of the two synagogues exists. According to the local resident interviewed by Yahad, the majority of residents were Jewish. With the help of the American Jewish community the kolkhoz was created in 1925. It was named after Vorovsky and cultivated wheat, tomatoes, cucumber and eggplants. It was famous for its pickled production as well as for the artisan cooperative that produced coats, clothing, and shoes. Comparing to a Ukrainian kolkhoz named after Stalin, the Jewish one used only modern agricultural machines supplied by the United States.  By 1926 1,572 Jews lived in the village comprising 75% of the total population. The majority of Jews worked in a kolkhoz or in an artisan cooperative. Some were merchants. Besides the cooperatives there were three oil mills and one wind mill. All the children, Jews and non-Jews, went to the same school.

Holocaust by bullets in figures

The village was occupied by Romanian army on August 4, 1941. Before the occupation many Jews managed to evacuate leaving behind about 250 Jews. The anti-Jewish actions started right after the occupation. According to the local witness interviewed by Yahad, several Jews were shot on the spot before the main execution. Thus, the school principal was shot with his wife at the entry of the village, another old Jew, Mr. Kilman, was killed on his way from the mill.  In September 1941, according to the Soviet archives, 241 Jews were rounded-up and murdered near the Bug River. However, the field research didn’t confirm this information. According to a local resident, the remaining Jews, with the exception for the specialists and their families, were first gathered in the shop which belonged to a Jew Niomchik, and then, at about 5pm were taken in the direction of Onysko, and then to Bohdanivka, where they were eventually murdered.  With the help of the same witness, Yahad-In Unum found out about another execution undocumented so far. According to him, the specialists with their families, in all about a dozen of people, were kept for two months more for the needs of the kolkhoz and were shot only in November 1941 at the bank of the Bug River. The Jews were shot dressed and their bodies weren’t buried, but only covered with soil. At spring the bodies disappeared as they were washed out after the snowy winter. From the witness accounts we know that the execution was conducted by Romanians and local policemen. Several Jews managed to survive the occupation with the help of the local population.


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