Zolochiv (Kharkiv) | Kharkiv

A prewar class picture shown to our team by Ivan L. ©Les Kasyanov/Yahad - In Unum / Ivan L., born in 1925, is Righteous among the nations, whose family helped to save the Jews during the war. ©Les Kasyanov/Yahad - In Unum The Yahad team with a witness during an interview. ©Les Kasyanov/Yahad - In Unum The road towards the execution site located in the ‘Kivshik’ ravine, which no longer exists. ©Les Kasyanov/Yahad - In Unum The execution site of about 13 Jews murdered in Zolochiv on January 22 (January 11), 1942. The monument includes a list of the victims’ names. ©Les Kasyanov/Yahad - In Unum

Execution of Jews in Zolochiv

1 Execution site(s)

Kind of place before:
Period of occupation:
Number of victims:

Witness interview

Ivan L., born in 1925: “During the occupation, Germans would organize raids during which they would round people up to send them to Germany for forced labor. There was a post office in the town where an acquaintance of ours worked. He was from Chechia. So before one of the raids he warned my mother to not go out. He was arrested, and so was my mother. She was taken to the Kommandantur located on Litvinova Street.It was German SS headquarters. Once arrested, the people were selected according to their age. My mother was 48 years old at that time, so she was put aside, because she was too old for them and unfit to work. A former Russian pilot who was also rounded up during this raid was deported to a labor camp Germany. I knew him personally.” (Witness n°2963U, interviewed in Zolochiv, on October 9, 2021)

Soviet archives

“In October 1941, on the orders of the Kommandant and the police, all the other Jews from Zolotchiv were gathered in my apartment occupied by the Poliak family (this apartment had a separate entrance): [continued the list of the gathered Jews], seven people in all. They lived with the Poliak family for about two months. The police forbade them from moving freely in the town; likewise, neighbors, including me, were forbidden to enter the home of the Jews. B. Poliak and … [sic Diliurik] complained to me that they were regularly summoned to the police station at night by the chief of police Vasily G*** and his deputy Piotr K***, where they were raped and humiliated. The Jewish families gathered in my apartment were looted daily. I saw the policemen bursting into the apartment, beating the Jews, and confiscating personal belongings and furniture with my own eyes.
On January 21, 1942, at about four o’clock in the afternoon, four policemen, who I didn’t know, except for D***, arrived at my apartment and ordered all the Jews to get dressed and report immediately to the police station. The next morning, the policemen returned to the Jews’ apartment and took all their personal belongings and furniture. When I asked them where the Jews had been sent, they answered: to Kharkiv.
On January 23, in the morning, Maria F*** told me that all the Jews who lived in my apartment had been shot by the Germans on January 22, at five o’clock in the evening, in a ravine on the other side of the railroad. The same day [January 23] I went to the execution site and saw the bodies of the shot citizens, there were thirteen in all. The Kommandant and the police did not allow anyone to approach the bodies, nor to bury them. Only when the population insisted on burying them, this was done. In addition, to the eleven people who had lived in my apartment and whom I named earlier, the Germans and policemen shot Sara Silivatova and her son Gennady who had lived with Sara’s father-in-law on Vokzalnaya Street. Relations between me, the Poliak family and other Jews were normal. I don’t have any of the possessions of these families that stayed with me.” [Deposition of Yekateria R., born in 1902, given to the State Soviet Extraordinary Commission (ChGK) on October 12, 1943; GARF 7021-86-732, pp. 274-275]

Historical note

Zolochiv is located 47 km (27mi) northwest of Kharkiv. According to the local witnesses interviewed by Yahad - In Unum, there there was a relatively small Jewish community in Zolochiv. Only about 40 Jews lived there alongside Ukrainians, Russsians and Roma (Gypsies). Some Jews worked at the hospital, while others owned shops. There were four or five kolkhozes in the town, but Jews didn’t work there. The Jews lived in nice houses, in town mostly, but not in a specific or separate neighborhood according to the witness.

Holocaust by bullets in figures

Zolochiv was occupied by Germans in October 1941. At the end of 1941, 13 local Jews were killed in the town. After having been detained for about 2 months in an apartment where the Polaik family, who were also Jewish, lived, they were murdered on January 11, 1942, (January 22, 1941, according to Ukrainian historian Kruglov). That day, they were taken by Germans and local policemen to the Kivshik ravine near the town and shot.

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