Semikarakorsk | Rostov

/ Vasiliy Sh., born in 1929.    ©Jordi Lagoutte/Yahad-In Unum Vasiliy Sh., born in 1929. His family sheltered a Jewish family who arrived as refugees from the West in July 1942. They spent one night and moved forward to the East. ©Jordi Lagoutte/Yahad-In Unum Nina M., born in 1936: “They [the Jews] were shot in groups. First one group was brought and shot, then another one, and so on. The shooting was conducted by Germans and helped by Russian policemen.” ©Jordi Lagoutte/Yahad-In Unum Yahad’s team during an interview. ©Jordi Lagoutte/Yahad-In Unum Yahad’s team with a local historian at the execution site. ©Jordi Lagoutte/Yahad-In Unum The location of the two trenches where 68 Jews were murdered in August to September 1942. The bodies were reburied after the war in the center of the town.  ©Jordi Lagoutte/Yahad-In Unum The execution site of 18 Jews murdered in September 1942. Back then it was the territory of the vegetable sovkhoz. Execution site n°2©Jordi Lagoutte/Yahad-In Unum The memorial located in the center of the town in the memory of the Jews, Soviet activists,  prisoners of war and soldiers who died or were murdered during WWII. ©Jordi Lagoutte/Yahad-In Unum

Execution of Jews in Semikarakorsk

2 Execution site(s)

Kind of place before:
Ditches (1); Vegetable sovkhoz’s territory (2)
Period of occupation:
Number of victims:

Witness interview

Nina M., born in 1936 : “They [the Jews] were shot in groups. First one group was brought and shot, then another one, and so on. The shooting was conducted by Russian policemen. As far as I remember, they didn’t have any uniforms. They were in civilian clothes. I didn’t see the shooting but I could hear the gunshots. There was no pit; the victims were shot on the ground. The pit was dug afterwards, once the Germans left. All the bodies were buried in one pit.” (Witness n°858R, interviewed in Semikarakorsk, on November 14, 2018)

Soviet archives

“In September 1942, Germans shot 18 people, whose bodies were slightly covered, in the territory of the vegetable sovkhoz in the stanitsa Semikarakorskaya. These people weren’t identified. Among the bodies there was a body of a nursing baby without legs. (…)
In August or September 1942, the corpses of residents of the stanitsa Semikarakorskaya killed by the German scoundrels were found in two ditches. Twenty six corpses were found in one ditch, and forty two in another. Among the bodies there were corpses of five year old children and three month old infants, whose names weren’t identified.” [Act n°459 and Act n° 467, drawn up in April 1943 by the Soviet State Extraordinary Commission (ChGK); GARF : Fond 7021, opis 40, delo 7]

Historical note

Semikarakorsk was founded by the Don Cossacks in 1672, as the stanitsa of Semikarakorskaya. The stanitsa changed its location frequently due to Don’s flooding and finally was moved to its present location in 1845. It was granted urban-type settlement status in 1958 and town status in 1972. The majority of the residents were Russian and Cossasks. The main occupation was agriculture; there was a vegetable sovkhoz in the territory of the village. No Jews lived in the village before the war.

Holocaust by bullets in figures

Semikarakorsk was occupied by Germans in July 1942. Before the occupation many Jewish and non-Jewish refugees passed by the stanitsa on their way to the East. Some of them settled down in the village and didn’t have time to evacuate before the Germans’ arrival. These Jews, in all about 86 people, were exterminated shortly after in August to September 1942. The first execution of about 68 Jews was conducted in August 1942. The Jews were taken to the trenches dug by mobilized people before the occupation. Another execution of about 18 Jews took place in September 1942, according to the Soviet archives, in the territory of the vegetable sovkhoz. Among the victims there were small children and infants. Besides the Jews, about 20 activists were also executed in Semikarakorsk at the same time.  Today, all the bodies exhumed after the war were reburied in the town center where a memorial was built.

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