Holocaust on the territory of Pskov and Pskov region.
The present work is devoted to the problem of extermination of Jewish population on the territory of Pskov and Pskov region.
The aim of my work is to collect and summarize information about Holocaust in the land of Pskov. In order to do it I used archive data, scientific literature containing materials devoted to period of Pskov occupation and biographies of the Jews who were prisoners of ghetto in Pskov region.
My tasks are: 1. To analyze printed information and archive data which describe the places of execution of the Jews on the territory of Pskov and Pskov region during the Great Patriotic war. 2. To collect the accounts of eye-witnesses who lived in Pskov in the time of the Great Patriotic war. 3. To summarize data about the victims of Holocaust. 4. To collect material about the perpetuation of the memory of Holocaust victims in Pskov land.
In the process of writing this work I used the following sources: “The Book of Memory”, “Holocaust”, “the Victims of Hatred”, “Tell Your Children About It…”, the materials of Pskov Regional Hessed Itshak Charitable Center, the documents from archives and museums of Pskov and Pskov region, the accounts of people who witnessed the humiliation over the Jewish population and autobiographies of the Jews.
I would like to send words of thanks to the director of Pskov Regional Hessed Itshak Charitable Center for giving the list of the Jews who were the victims of Holocaust on the territory of Pskov region, to the director of Sebezh museum Alexei Petrenko for giving me a chance to use the archive data of the State Committee Extraordinary.
To describe the genocide of the Jews on the territory of the USSR, which was carried out by the Nazis Germany during the Second World war, the Greek world “Holocaust”, or sometimes the Hebrew word “Shoah” is used. It was a crime against the humankind, which has a great scale over the history. The population of the former Soviet Union suffered in the greatest way. The information from the archives and results of independent investigations have been made open for general public only recently. Millions of innocent people died during punitive operations and in annihilation camps which were specially made. No union army, even American army, had so many Jewish people holding the highest positions, as Soviet army did. There was absolutely no anti-Semitism in the way of promotion and getting military ranks and incentives for the Jews in the Soviet army during the war. The best proof of this statement is the number of the Jews who were generals and had other high military ranks (in the Soviet army during the war there were about 200 Jewish generals)1, and the number of the Jews who got high military awards of the Soviet state, and the highest award – the star of the Hero of the Soviet Union.
“Dear Pskov land… You suffered the great ordeals of the years of fascist occupation. In the region centers there were ghettoes surrounded by barbed wire. Old people and teenagers were to dig ditches. After this they all, including children and women were put at the edge of these ditches and shot. 2
Systematic extermination of Jewish population of the North-West of Russia followed the movement of the German army, the territory of the present Pskov region was under the command of Infantry General F. Von Rok.3 This territory was under the control of the commander of SS and Security Police of Northern group of Armies.
AK-1 under the command of F. Pantsiger worked in Pskov, Ostrov and Opochka. The headquarters of AG”A” settled in Pskov on the 18 of July 1941 (that is only 9 days after the seizure of the town where lived more than 1000 Jews). Pskov became a center of military and administrative organs of Northern group of occupation armies.
There was a growing need in workforce, which led to a majority of work-camps for the Jews. The occupants gave the name of Work-camps or Labor-camps to the places of temporary concentration of the Jews where they were made to work during a long period of time, and also using free labor force of the Jews at the agricultural works. Unlike it was made in ghettoes, men and women were kept separately in these camps.
1 Holocaust. Itshak Arad. Jerusalem. 1990. P.9
2 Data of Pskov Regional Hessed Itshak Charitable Center.
3 Altman I.A. The Victims of Hatred: Holocaust in the USSR 1941-1945 M: “Sovershenno Sekretno” Collection, 2002. P.248
They were placed in the special houses which were guarded by the local police. There were no Jewish government institutions here. Prisoners didn’t get any payment of medical treatment. They were totally separated from there relatives.
In the first shootings of the Jews on the Land of Pskov there took part the subdivisions of AG”B”, which were concentrated in that time on the border of present Smolensk, Vitebsk and Pskov regions. It were they, who carried out the extermination of the Jews in Nevel, Sebezh, and Velikiye Luki. 4.
One of the first ghettoes on the territory of Russia was created on the 7th of August 1941, in the town of Nevel, Pskov region. 5 It existed less than one month. More than 1000 people, mostly women and children, were sent to the territory of the park of Blue Dacha which was situated in the outskirts of the town, by the order of burgomaster Vasilyev. The information sent to Moscow after the liberation of the town read as follows: “After making Blue Dacha a concentration camp, the Nazis made a very strict order, the prisoners were made to work much, and during this work they were mocked at, beaten and tormented. 6.
Final solution of “the Jewish Problem”. In the summer of 1943 there took place the extermination of the last Jews on the territory of the region: in the town of Porhov (40) and Ostrov (200 Jews). 7 These were the prisoners of labor-camps. Thus, “the Jewish problem” on the land of Pskov was “solved” during the first half-year of occupation, when more than 80% of local Jewish population were exterminated. Only 250 Jews lived until the summer of 1943.
As a result, Nazis and their assistants including local and Estonian police, exterminated at least 5200 local and evacuated Jews on the territory of Pskov region.
4 Altman I.A. The Victims of Hatred: Holocaust in the USSR 1941-1945 M: “Sovershenno Sekretno” Collection,
5 same. P.96
6 same. P.96
7 same. P.252