Svetlograd | Stavropol

/ Nina P., born in 1931: “Only when all the Jews got off the train, the train left and the Jews were taken by the railroads in the direction of the execution site. “ © Cristian Monterroso  /Yahad-In Unum Aleksandr R., born in 1930: “The Jews were shot in a stone quarry, but I didn’t see the shooting itself. I came there afterwards once the Germans left." © Cristian Monterroso  /Yahad-In Unum Mikhail P., born in 1927: “One boy was taken for a Jew when he was passing by the street. The Germans started to fire at him on the spot, but he managed to run away.” © Cristian Monterroso  /Yahad-In Unum Yahad’s team during an interview. © Cristian Monterroso  /Yahad-In Unum The execution site, called Baranyacha Gora, where 927 victims, including about 500 Jews, were murdered in September 1942. © Cristian Monterroso  /Yahad-In Unum

Execution of Jews in Svetlograd

1 Execution site(s)

Kind of place before:
Stone quarry
Period of occupation:
Number of victims:
About 500

Witness interview

Aleksandr R., born in 1930: “I saw a German passing with a dog in front of my house. He was escorting someone. They went in the direction of the hill. After an hour and a half the German came back but I didn’t see another person anymore. I think he was shot dead at the place where the others Jews were killed. Back then it was a stone quarry. Today, there is nothing at that place. With friends of mine we went there to take a look after the shooting. The pit was filled in with sand but we could see the legs and arms coming out.” (Witness n°724, interviewed in Svetlograd on May 23, 2017)

Soviet archives

“That is what the eyewitnesses Yefrosinia P. and Aleksandra G. told about the terrible massacre of the Jews in September 1942: One day, all the residents of the district were gathered in the yard located on the Turgeniyevksaya street, 7. According to the testimonies, there were at least 500 people. All these Jews were confined into the barrack. In the evening, all the area was sealed off by the fascist soldiers. It was forbidden for the residents of the area to go outside et to look through the windows under threat of reprisals. The residents who were in the yard nearby say they could hear the noises of blows, insults, and human screams of adults and children who were abused in the yard. Every half an hour in the course of two or three hours, a covered truck entered into the yard. The executioners threw the victims previously undressed inside the truck. Once the engine started to work, the screams stopped. The fact that the bodies were discovered without any traces of firearm as well as the testimonies of the eyewitnesses makes believe that the victims were killed inside the truck with a toxic substance.” [Act drawn up by State Extraordinary commission on July 10, 1943, in Petrovskoye; RG.22-002M/Fond 7021, opis 17, delo 1, pp. 157-167].

German archives

« I am aware of the following things regarding the mass shootings of the Soviet Jewish citizens in the village of Petrovskoye. About 300 Jews lived in the village of Petrovskoye in October 1942. They were those who couldn’t evacuate further in time. […] Another mass execution took place for the second time in November 1942, - I don’t remember the exact date. At this moment, four members of SD arrived into the village of Petrovsk. They ordered the head of the police to take about a hundred Jews who were confined in a hangar, a former NKVD building. I don’t know where those people were from. Under the order of head of the police the policemen forced the people out of the hangar, put them in column, and took them on foot in the direction Baranaya Gora. Those who were ill or unable to walk were taken in two carts. The victims were undressed until underwear close to Baranaya Gora. In groups of twos they were brought to the edge of the ravine and shot with a submachine gun. Two Germans from SD unit fired all the time. The local police sealed off the territory where the execution was carried out.” [Interrogation of Nikolay N., Russian, born in 1909 in the village of Petrovskoye, made on October 14, 1966 in Nikoyalev; B162-1288 p.192 / AR-Z 219/59 Vol.VII p.1391]

Historical note

Svetlograd, former names Petrovskoye, is located on the banks of the Kalaus river, 76km northeast of Stavropol. Only few Jews lived in this area before World War II. However, many refugees including Jews arrived to the village in June-July when the Soviet union was invaded by Germans. The village was occupied on August 3, 1942.

Holocaust by bullets in figures

Straight after the occupation all the Jews were registered. In September about 500 Jews living in the village were first gathered in the barrack at the Turgeniev Street, n°7, and then, in small groups, taken to the ravine, called Baranyacha Gora. The undressed Jews were transported in gas vans and on their way were all suffocated with exhaust fumes.  The place was guarded by Germans. However, according to the local witnesses interviewed by Yahad not all the Jews were murdered in the gas vans and not all of them were murdered at once. The mass and isolated executions took place at Baranyahca Gora until the liberation, in January 1943. Besides the Jews hundreds prisoners of war detained in the camp located in Svetlograd were murdered as well.

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