Pokotylove (Pokotilovo) | Kirovohrad

Valednitzky family in Pokotylove. ©Photo taken from kehilalinks.jewishgen.org / Tetiana K., born in 1931: “The Jews were taken in a column with their belongings in the direction of the school. There were about 150-200 Jews in the column.” ©Les Kasyanov/Yahad - In Unum Vira L., born in 1924: “The Jews were killed, but she was spared. She came to the Polizei and stated that she didn’t want to live, she wanted to be executed as well. They took her to the trench dug out by the forest, she was shot there. ©Les Kasyanov/Yaha The Yahad team during an interview. ©Les Kasyanov/Yahad - In Unum Former building of the synagogue, today used as warehouse. ©Les Kasyanov/Yahad - In Unum The site of the former school where the Jews were assembled and held for three days prior to the execution conducted in February 1942. ©Les Kasyanov/Yahad - In Unum The location of the actual mass grave. Back then it was a clay quarry. ©Les Kasyanov/Yahad - In Unum A drone view of the execution site where 494 Jews were murdered in February 1942. ©Les Kasyanov/Yahad - In Unum The memorial in memory of 494 Jews murdered in Pokotylove in February 1942. After the war, the corpses were reburied from the clay quarry here. ©Les Kasyanov/Yahad - In Unum

Execution of Jews in Pokotylove

1 Execution site(s)

Kind of place before:
Clay quarry
Period of occupation:
Number of victims:

Witness interview

Tetiana K., born in 1931: “The Jews were taken in a column with their belongings in the direction of the school. There were about 150-200 Jews in the column, escorted by Germans and policemen with dogs. I didn’t know any of the policemen, they must have not been locals. The Jews didn’t know where they were going, they must have thought they were going to be deported. That is why they were walking so calmly without resisting. I didn’t see the shooting myself, but I heard the gunshots coming from the clay quarry. All the Jews were taken there to be shot. The Germans only spared a dozen craftsmen, but later they were shot as well.” (Testimony n°2880U, interviewed in Pokotylove, on December 5, 2020)

Soviet archives

"During the night, my husband and I didn’t sleep because the village was surrounded by policemen, and something was going to happen. Around 2-3 a.m., we heard a distant noise at the door and windows, and cries of ’open up’. When I opened two gendarmes and three policemen burst into the house, my husband was lying on the stove. The policeman grabbed him by one foot, pulled him off the stove, and pushed him outside half undressed. I asked them to let my husband at least put something on. But a policeman I didn’t know put his pistol in my chest and I fell down scared. I never saw my husband again. As they left the house, one of the policemen told me to not follow my husband, because if not they would kill me and let my husband free. But as soon as they came out, I immediately ran to the window and heard gunshots and screams in the village. In the morning I learned that my husband and other inhabitants of the village of Pokotilovo [Pokotylove] had been shot at the clay quarry, and the executions continued until the next day."." [Deposition of a local witness Evdokia B., given to the Soviet State Extraordinary Commission, GARF 7021-66-123/ Source USHMM RG.22-002M]

Historical note

Pokotylove is located 56 km (34mi) northeast of Uman. Jews began to settle there in the late 18th century. In 1897, 55% of the total population was Jewish. Their main occupation was agriculture and farming, although many Jews lived off trade and handicraft. The only mill of the village was owned by a Jew. The community had two synagogues, a cheder and a cemetery. In 1928, four agricultural cooperatives were formed in Pokotylove. One year later, two collective farms were created. One was Ukrainian and another Jewish, but in 1930 it was merged. According to estimations, in 1931 circa. 1,000 Jews lived in the village. 

Holocaust by bullets in figures

Pokotylove was occupied on August 8, 1941. The Jewish population of Pokotylove, excluding those who had managed to evacuate before the Germans’ arrival, was annihilated in one major murder operation carried out in February 1942. Until that time the Jews continued to live in their houses. During the murder operation, all the jews were rounded up in their homes and taken to the school from where they were marched to the clay quarry on the outskirts the village. At the site, the victims, men, women, children, and elderly, were shot dead. The Aktion was conducted by the German gendarmerie assisted by local police. Jews who managed to hide during the main shooting were hunted down and shot over the next days and weeks. According to the Soviet archives, 494 Jews were killed during this operation.



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