Vysoke (Vysokoye) | Kherson

/ Before the war in Jewish colony n°17 was located here © Aleksey Kasyanov/Yahad-In Unum Viktor K., born in 1934, saw the execution of about 20 Jews in a well © Aleksey Kasyanov/Yahad-In Unum Tetiana P., born in 1925: “The shooters pushed those who didn’t fall inside the well with their submachine guns.” © Aleksey Kasyanov/Yahad-In Unum Yahad’s team brought by a witness to the execution site of about 500-600 Jews© Aleksey Kasyanov/Yahad-In Unum A local witness showing the location of the well that served as a execution site  © Aleksey Kasyanov/Yahad-In Unum

Execution of Jews from the Jewish colony Nayfeld

1 Execution site(s)

Kind of place before:
Well in a field
Period of occupation:
Number of victims:
About 500-600

Witness interview

Viktor K., born in 1934, says: “The execution occurred in the fields of the Stalino kolkhoz where a nonfunctioning - almost completely destroyed - well was located. The day of the execution, I was playing in the anti-tank trench with my friends. We came there looking for bullet shells. The Jews were taken to the site by a German in green uniform and two local policemen who were dressed in civilian clothes, but they were wearing armbands. The Jews had marched on foot; some elderly people were taken by carts. There were about 18-20 people, the majority of whom were women and children, and only four or five men. They came from the Jewish colony n° 17, located 3km away. The Jews were lined up at the edge of the well, on one side, and shot by the German. The shooting lasted about an hour. When the executioners left we approached to the execution site and saw victims’ personal objects, such as combs as well as torn hair.” (Testimony n°2183 interviewed in Vysoke on May 11th, 2017)

Historical note

Vysoke is located 60km north-east of Kherson. It was created in 1928 as a Jewish agricultural colony, called Nayfeld (Colony n°20), following the decision by the Russian government to resettle the Jews from the northwestern regions of Russian Empire and send them to cultivate the deserted land in Southern Ukraine. The first colonists received houses, land, agricultural implements and got other benefits such as exemption from taxes and military service. However, despite the benefits, at the beginning the economic situation of the newly-created colony had difficult due to lack of agricultural experience. The colony was run by starosta. Jewish international organizations such as The American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee and the Jewish Colonization Association played an important role in the development of local economic situation supplying the colonists with agricultural equipment, seeds, and helping them to buy livestock. Local Jews lived off agricultural work, breeding, vegetable gardens, vineyards and small-scale trade.

Holocaust by bullets in figures

Vysoke was occupied in late August, 1941. Thanks to the witnesses’ testimonies recorded by Yahad-In Unum’s team we were able to discover the shooting site of about 500-600 Jews. According to the interviewed witnesses the victims were brought to Vysoke from the nearby Jewish colonies n°17, 18, 19 and killed in the well located in the nearby field. Above-mentioned colonies were destroyed over the years and today there remains no trace of their existence.

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