Holocaust in Shostka region

Specifics of the Holocaust in the Shostka region lie in the fact that killings of the Jews here were combined with anti-partisan actions. The first report of the execution of the Jews dates from November 1, 1941, when “in order to cleanse and pacify the city of Konotop, a unit of Feldzandmermeria of the 1st Motor Brigade of the SS arrested and killed 153 Jews on 01.11. During a roadside inspection, other Jewish fugitives were captured and punished by the unit of Feldzandmermeria” (Activity Report of the 1st Motor Brigade of the SS, October 31 – November 7, 1941).

  • On November 3, 1941, 736 Jews were shot in Krolevets.
  • On December 1, 1941, 95 Jews were shot at the prisoner-of-war camp in Konotop.
  • In the early hours of July 19, 1942, different estimates say that another 452 people were shot at the Chemical-Technical College in Shostka.
  • A report of Sondercommand 4a stated that 1,508 people were shot in Konotop, Buryn, Krolevets, Shostka, Seredynna Buda, Yampil and Khilchichi districts from July 9 through 30, 1942.
  • Field Commandant No. 197 complained about very cruel actions of Sondercommand 4a in their report. “Just to give you a full picture, we must point out that on July 18, SD delivered approximately 600-800 people to Shostka. Although most people were released, 260 people, half of whom were women, were shot in the courtyard of the Technical School” (BA-MA, WF 03 / 7458-9, FK 197, Lagebericht für 18.6.-17.7.1942. [18.7. 1942.], S. 986.)
  • The results of the Nazi occupational policy in the Shostka region are summarized in the documents of the Extraordinary State Commission for the Investigation of Nazi Crimes. Based on examinations of the shooting sites and witness interviews, the Commission found that 1,198 people were killed in the city of Shostka and 818 in the Shostka district.
  • The last punitive action took place on March 10 in the village of Ivot when 394 people were killed and 223 houses were burned down.

In an atmosphere of fear and violence, ordinary human support turned into acts of heroism. During the occupation, Shostka resident Maria Gomolyaka adopted a Jewish girl, Svetlana Khanina, whose mother was killed in the bombing of the train with the evacuees. The girl got a new name – Nina. In July 1942, Germans shot Maria for helping the guerrillas. Grandmother Matrona Gomolyaka continued to care for the child, and in 1944, Mary’s sister, Anna Tumakova, formally adopted the child.