Zimovniki | Rostov 

/ The road by which the column of Jews and POWs was taken to the execution site. ©Jordi Lagoutte /Yahad-In Unum Yahad-In Unum’s team on their way to the execution site. ©Jordi Lagoutte /Yahad-In Unum Anatoliy P., born in 1936: “When the column passed by,  my grandmother managed to hide under her skirt a boy pushed by his mother out of the column.” ©Jordi Lagoutte /Yahad-In Unum Yahad-In Unum’s team during an interview. ©Jordi Lagoutte /Yahad-In Unum The execution site of about 500 Jews. The site was located close to the hamlet of Nikolayevskiy, which doesn’t exist anymore. ©Jordi Lagoutte /Yahad-In Unum

Execution of Jews in Zimovniki

1 Execution site(s)

Kind of place before:
Animal remain cemetery
Period of occupation:
Number of victims:
About 500

Witness interview

Anatoliy P., born in 1936: YIU: Where were you when you saw the column pass?
They were taken from the railway station by the Tretiakov Street. They passed by the horse breed farm. We lived close to that farm. There was a fence. Back then we used to do it with logs and soil. It was that high. We stayed behind the fence. There were many other families outside who watched the victims being taken. Our house was located at the edge of the village; behind it there was a valley. Back then women had long skirts. My grandmother told me that a woman (I did not remember that because I was only 6 years old), but she said that a Jewish woman pushed a little boy out of the column a. And my grandmother covered him with the skirt. The column passed and the boy stayed with us.” (Witness n°864R, interviewed in Zimovniki, on November 17, 2018)

Soviet archives

“We, undersigned, […] have drawn up this act determining that under the German occupation of the Zimovniki district, from August 3, 1942 to January 8, 1943, the German fascists brutes committed the actions of the brigands in [illegible] kolkhoz ‘Volgo-Don’. In some cases, the residents were chased away from their homes. The German troops robbed and confiscated the food products, cattle and poultry. They destroyed the kolkhoz buildings, took away the wood by truck in an unknown direction. Part of it was used for heating. In all, they destroyed [illegible] number of buildings. Besides that, they rounded-up and shot the innocent civilians: Aleksandra Soskina, daughter of Naum, and Dora Poliakova, daughter of Moisey, along with her daughter Rima, daughter of Yakov, and her mother of 75 years old [were among the victims].
All the bodies were thrown into the animal cemetery. In the same cemetery about 500 people were shot, brought from the unknown direction in German trucks. The executions were conducted on the edge of the pits. The victims were shot with a bullet in a head. Among the poor innocent there were children who tried to escape, but were shot dead with the enemy bullet on the spot.” [Act drawn up by Soviet State Extraordinary Commission on August 30, 1943; GARF : Fond 7021, opis 40, delo 774, p.353]

Historical note

Zimovniki is located 250km (155mi) west of Rostov –on-Don. The village was founded in 1898, during the railroad construction. There was a station called Kalmytskaya, located nearby, that contributed in the growth of the village. It quickly became a place for fairs where the livestock was sold.  In 1904, Kalmytskaya station was renamed into Zimovniki station. In 1924, it became the administrative center of the newly established Zimovniki district. According to the 1926 population census, 2,885 people lived in the village of Zimovniki. The majority of the residents were Ukrainians ― 1,731, and Russians ― 798. On the eve of the war 9,439 people lived here. There is no exact information whether there were any Jews prior to WWII.

Holocaust by bullets in figures

Zimovniki was occupied by the German troops on August 3, 1942. The execution of about 500 Jews brought from the unknown direction was conducted shortly after the occupation. According to the Soviet archives, the victims were shot in the animal cemetery, although the local witnesses mentioned that they were silo pits. Without any eyewitnesses we couldn’t find any other detail about the execution. According to the witness interviewed by Yahad, there were also prisoners of war who were shot along with the Jews.

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