Stara Kotelnya | Zhytomyr

/ Landscape of Stara Kotelnya © Victoria Bahr – Yahad- In Unum Fillip G., born in 1935, saw the Jewish column walking to the execution site: “There were women, men, children and the elderly, escorted by armed policemen. Everyone walked slowly.” © Victoria Bahr – Yahad – In Mykola T., born in 1924, remembers that the Rabbi was the first Jew to be killed by the Germans © Victoria Bahr – Yahad – In Unum Anna T., born in 1931: “The German gave orders and showed the Jews where they had to lie down. The victims did everything that they were told to do.” © Victoria Bahr – Yahad – In Unum Grygory V., born in 1930 : “The Jews took all their belongings with them, including clothes, blankets, pillows because they were told they were going to be deported to Palestine. ”© Victoria Bahr – Yahad- In Unum During the interview © Victoria Bahr – Yahad – In Unum The execution site of about 1500 Jews in Stara Kotelnya© Victoria Bahr – Yahad- In Unum

Execution of Jews in Stara Kotelnya

1 Execution site(s)

Kind of place before:
Clay quarry near the brickyard
Period of occupation:

Witness interview

Grygoriy V., born in 1930, remembers the shooting :
“YIU: Who made them come closer to the pit? Were they Germans or police?
W: They were policemen. The Germans didn’t do much. There was only one German who fired, but he didn’t stay long. He lost consciousness and he was replaced by another.
YIU: There was one shooter who fired with a machine gun, right? Was it a machine gun on a tripod or a manual?
W: The Jews could have escaped. They had a machine gun on a tripod. It was positioned on the ground and the German fired from there. They also had submachine guns.
YIU: How did it happen? Were the Jews lined up facing the pit or with their backs to the pit?
W: Facing the pit. The perpetrators could not fire all the time, so they took turns. At the very beginning, there were two shooters on both sides and one in the middle, but afterwards, they fired in turn.
YIU: There were three shooters, is that right? Did they all fire at the same time or in turn?
W: They all fired at the same time. Once they were tired, another three shooters came to take their place.” (Eyewitness N°1732, interviewed in Stara Kotelnya, on June 5, 2013).

Historical note

Stara Kotelnya is located 71 km from Zhytomyr. Many Jews lived in the village before the war. The majority of them were small traders or artisans. The Germans occupied the village in early July 1941.

Holocaust by bullets in figures

During the German occupation of the village two principal shootings of Jews took place. The first one was carried out in Nova Kotelnya, a small village next to Stara Kotelnya. 266 to 360 Jews were shot in small groups behind the Catholic church of the village. The second one, which resulted in 1500 victims, was carried out in the village itself, near a brick factory. According to Yahad’s witnesses, before the shooting, the Jews were gathered at the market place and then brought in trucks to the execution site. The shooting started at 10am. The aktions were carried out by Germans, who were assisted by local police.

For more information about the execution in Nova Kotelnya, please refer to the village’s profile

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