Pavlovskaya | Krasnodar

/ Lidia Z., born in 1929. Her brother managed to save a little girl, Liza Gun, from the execution site. ©Jordi Lagoutte /Yahad-In Unum Lidia Z., born in 1929:" We sheltered one family in our house. They lived with us until the day they were taken by the Germans. They helped us do farm work, and we fed them." ©Jordi Lagoutte /Yahad-In Unum Yahad-In Unum’s team during an interview. ©Jordi Lagoutte /Yahad-In Unum The monument built in  memory of 38 people murdered by the Germans during a six-month occupation.  ©Jordi Lagoutte /Yahad-In Unum The memorial was built on the mass grave where the bodies were reburied after an exhumation        conducted  by the Soviet commission. ©Jordi Lagoutte /Yahad-In Unum

Execution of Jews and non-Jews in Pavlovskaya

1 Execution site(s)

Kind of place before:
Anti-tank ditch
Period of occupation:
Number of victims:

Witness interview

Lidia Z., born in 1929: “When the war broke out, many Jewish refugees fearing the Germans arrived here, in our village. Many Jews arrived by train in the freight wagons. I don’t know if the evacuation was organized or they arrived by their own means. I would not be able to tell you that. Many of the refugees arrived from Leningrad. The refugees were welcomed by the starosta [mayor] who dispatched them within the locals, especially those who had big houses. In all, as far as I know, there were about 13 Jewish families. We sheltered one family in our house. They lived with us until the day they were taken by the Germans. They helped us do farm work , and we fed them. There was no work back then, besides the farming. The family we [hosted] children. Most of them were 11-12 years old. I remember some of their names: Ian, Buts, Ava or Asia. That is how she called herself when she talked with us, Russians. They spoke their language only between themselves; with us they spoke Russian. I had the feeling that they were ashamed or even afraid of speaking their language.” (Witness n°876R, interviewed in Pavlovskaya, on November 22, 2018)

Soviet archives

”Once the German fascists occupiers left the district of Pavlovskaya, based on witnesses’ statements, we started the forensic research in the anti-tank ditch located 1,5km away from Pavlovskaya, in the south of the village of Sosyka Yelskaya, on the way towards the kolkhoz “Krasnyy Partisan” [Red Partisan]. In the ditch, we located the corpses of the shot civilian residents of the district. Upon the opening of the pits in the presence of the forensic medical commission, we discovered 38 people murdered by bullets and dead from bad treatment. Among them there were 12 men, 20 women, and 6 children. According to the acts drawn up by the medical forensic commission and the testimonies, these people were first beaten and shot in the prison, then transported in the fields and thrown into the pit. The body setting confirms they were thrown in disorder. We could identify [Note: names of three victims, names are Russian]. Other corpses were not identified because they were horribly disfigured. The three identified corpses were taken to the village of Pavlovskaya and buried in the communal cemetery in the presence of several thousand people. The remaining corpses were buried in the field, close to the execution site.” [Act drawn up by Soviet State Extraordinary Commission (ChGK) on February 14, 1943; Fond 7021, opis 16, delo 436, p.239-240].

Historical note

Pavlovskaya is located 149km (93mi) north east of Krasnodar. It was founded by the Cossacks who arrived from today Dnipro region, Ukraine, in 1822. It was one of the first forty settlements founded by the Black Sea Cossacks in the Kuban region. In 1842, the settlement was transformed into stanitsa Pavlovskaya. The stanitsa was home to Cossacks, who were mainly Ukrainians. Besides them there were Russians, Georgians and Armenians.In 1900s there were several secondary schools; a technical college was opened in 1916. The main occupation was agriculture. The first kolkhoz was created in 1928 and was called “Dobryye Semena” (“Good seeds”).

Holocaust by bullets in figures

Pavlovskaya was occupied by the German troops in August 1942 and remained occupied until February 4, 1943. Before the Germans’ arrival, many Jewish and non-Jewish refugees from Leningrad settled here. According to the witness interviewed by Yahad, there were about 13 Jewish families. Half of them managed to evacuate further to the East before the Germans’ arrival, while others were rounded-up and murdered in an anti-tank ditch, located 1,5km away of Pavlovskaya. According to the Soviet archives, the victims were first confined into the prison where they were subjected to tortures, and only then taken to be shot in the anti-tank ditches. The shooting was most probably conducted in October 1942.  The victims were shot one by one.

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