The Info List - Gully Of Petrushino

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Gully of Petrushino
Gully of Petrushino
(Russian: Петрушинская балка or Балка смерти from German: Todesschlucht) is a site on the outskirts of Taganrog, Russia
at which 7,000 Soviet civilians were massacred by the German military in 1941-1943 during the Occupation of Taganrog.


1 Background 2 Massacres 3 Investigation 4 Remembrance 5 In fiction 6 See also 7 External links and references

Background[edit] Main article: Taganrog
during World War II On October 17, 1941, the armored divisions SS Division Wiking
SS Division Wiking
and 1st SS Division Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler of 1st Panzer Group
1st Panzer Group
arrived on the outskirts of Taganrog
and several panzers made breakthrough to the seaport and opened fire at gunboats "Krenkel" and "Rostov-Don" and the last transport ship evacuating women and children. The city was left by the Red Army
Red Army
on October 22, 1941.

Spit of Petrushino on a 19th-century postcard

Petrushino is a thin sand spit on the Gulf of Taganrog, Azov Sea
Azov Sea
on the Southwestern outskirts of Taganrog. The Gully of Petrushino
Gully of Petrushino
is a quarry situated near Beriev
Aircraft Company, which was formed in the early 20th century after extractions of clay for a no longer existing brickworks. Massacres[edit] The SS Einsatzgruppe
Sonderkommando 10a performed systematic genocide of Taganrog
citizens from the first days of occupation. The large groups of citizens (old men, women, communists, young communists, gypsies, Jews, and anyone suspected in aiding the Taganrog
resistance movement) were taken from Vladimirskaya Plaza in Taganrog
to Petrushino village (near Beriev) and shot in the Gully of Petrushino (Todesschlucht). The massacres in Taganrog
started with the Final Solution
Final Solution
of the Jewish question. On October 22, 1941 the Ortskommandant issued an order for all Jewish people to wear a Star of David
Star of David
sign and to register at the Ortskommandantur. It was followed by Appeal to the Jewish Population of Taganrog
signed by the Ortskommandant Alberti. The "appeal" was calling all Jews to assemble on October 29, 1941 at 8:00AM on Vladimirskaya Plaza in Taganrog
from where they were supposed to be taken to a ghetto. Alberti explained this measure as necessary due to alleged rise of antisemitism among local population, and that the German police and Gestapo
would better manage the question if the Jewish population were separated into a certain district of the city:

In order to implement this measure, the Jews of both sexes and of all ages, including the persons born of marriages between Jews and not-Jews must be present on Wednesday, October 29, 1941 at 8 o'clock in the morning at Vladimirskaya Ploshad of Taganrog. All Jews must have documents and hand in the keys to currently occupied houses and flats. A pasteboard tag with full names and full address must be attached to the keys by a wire or a lace. We highly recommend the Jews to take with them all valuables and cash...(excerpt) [1]

Ruins of the Taganrog
school no.27 in 1943. This is the building where the Jews of Taganrog
came to register prior to be taken to the Gully of Petrushino.

On October 29, 1941 all Jews of Taganrog
(around 2,500 people) were gathered on Vladimirskaya Plaza, promptly registered at the building of the school no.27 in front of Vladimirskaya Plaza and taken by trucks to the Gully of Petrushino
Gully of Petrushino
near Beriev
Aircraft Factory, where they were shot to death by Schutzmannschaft
collaborationists under control of Otto Ohlendorf's Einsatzgruppe
D. Of all the Jewish children who lived in Taganrog
in 1941 only a 14-year-old boy Volodya Kobrin (Russian: Кобрин, Владимир Моисеевич) managed to escape the certain death, thanks to the help of various people in Taganrog
and especially Anna Mikhailovna Pokrovskaya, who was awarded the title of the Righteous among the Nations
Righteous among the Nations
by the Professor Alisa Shenar, Ambassador
of Israel
in Russia
on July 19, 1996.[2] On August 21, 1943, one week prior to Taganrog's liberation by Red Army, 80 citizens (workers, women and young people) were shot to death on the seashore of Gulf of Taganrog, on the Spit of Petrushino.[3] Estimates of the total number killed at both Gully of Petrushino
Gully of Petrushino
and in the city of Taganrog
during the Nazi occupation vary. According to the information of the State Archive, some 7,000 Taganrogers (1,500 of them children of various age) were shot to death in the Gully of Petrushino.[4] However most modern sources estimate the number to be at least 10,000 and more.[5] Investigation[edit] After the liberation of Taganrog, on September 1, 1943 the mass grave of citizens murdered in the Gully of Petrushino
Gully of Petrushino
was publicly examined. The Secretary of the Taganrog
City Communist Party committee Alexander Zobov held a speech before the gathered citizens. The medical commission permitted the exhumation of 31 dead bodies from the upper level.[6] Remembrance[edit] In August 1945 a modest obelisk was placed on the common grave in the Gully of Death. The work on the project of a large memorial complex was started in 1965. In May–July 1967 the project of a memorial complex designed by architects from Rostov on Don
Rostov on Don
was displayed for public at the Taganrog's house of culture. Although the project was favorably received, it was not implemented. The next design was suggested by the architect Vladimir Pavlovich Grachev, which was partially realized in 1973 for the 40th anniversary of Taganrog's liberation by the Red Army. The stela is 18 meters high, the hand from the index finger to the foundation - 4 meters. The first name of the composition was "Victims"(Жертвы), but after several discussions it was changed into "Fighters"(Борцы).[7] Every year the day of Taganrog's liberation, on August 30 delegations of Taganrog
local government officials and workers, war veterans, survivors of the Nazi occupation, school students, clergy visit the complex, where commemorative events are held.[8][9]

Monument "Fighters"

View of the memorial

Memorial stone (reads: "around 10000 people of various nationalities and religious beliefs were shot to death here during fascist occupation")

Memorial plaque to Jewish population in the Gully of Death

Memorial stone to an unknown sailor

In fiction[edit] The events at the Gully of Death (Gully of Petrushino) are described in the novel Heroes of Taganrog
by Soviet writer Genrikh Borisovich Gofman.[10] See also[edit]

during World War II History of Taganrog

External links and references[edit]

Таганрог. Энциклопедия, Таганрог, издательство АНТОН, 2008 Балка смерти photographs of several memorials on the site of the Gully of Petrushino

^ "Воззвание к еврейскому населению Таганрога" ^ Всё это я пережил...В.Кобрин from the Taganrog Local Government's almanac №18 Вехи Таганрога - "Евреи Таганрога", Таганрог, декабрь 2003 г. ^ Таганрогская Правда №2 (5954) Четверг, 2 сентября 1943 г. ^ Центр документации новейшей истории Ростовской области, ф.3. оп.3, д.23 ^ Балка смерти ^ Таганрогская Правда №2 (5954) Четверг, 2 сентября 1943 г. ^ Мемориал "Борцы" ^ Балка смерти и Самбекские высоты ^ Вчера в Таганроге вспоминали трагические события, произошедшие в нашем городе 70 лет назад. ^ Генрих Гофман, "Герои Таганрога", 1966

v t e

and Einsatzkommandos



Reinhard Heydrich Ernst Kaltenbrunner

Commanders of Einsatzgruppen

Humbert Achamer-Pifrader Walther Bierkamp Horst Böhme Erich Ehrlinger Wilhelm Fuchs Heinz Jost Erich Naumann Arthur Nebe Otto Ohlendorf Friedrich Panzinger Otto Rasch Heinrich Seetzen Franz Walter Stahlecker Bruno Streckenbach

Commanders of Einsatzkommandos, Sonderkommandos

Erich von dem Bach-Zelewski Rudolf Batz Ernst Biberstein Wolfgang Birkner Helmut Bischoff Paul Blobel Walter Blume Friedrich-Wilhelm Bock Otto Bradfisch Werner Braune Friedrich Buchardt Fritz Dietrich Karl Jäger Friedrich Jeckeln Waldemar Klingelhöfer Wolfgang Kügler Walter Kutschmann Rudolf Lange Gustav Adolf Nosske Hans-Adolf Prützmann Walter Rauff Martin Sandberger Hermann Schaper Karl Eberhard Schöngarth Erwin Schulz Franz Six Eugen Steimle Eduard Strauch Martin Weiss Udo von Woyrsch

Other members

August Becker Lothar Fendler Joachim Hamann Emil Haussmann Felix Landau Albert Widmann


Viktors Arājs Herberts Cukurs Antanas Impulevičius Konrāds Kalējs Algirdas Klimaitis



SS RSHA SD Orpo 8th SS Cavalry Division Florian Geyer Volksdeutscher Selbstschutz Sonderdienst


(Belarusian, Estonian, Latvian, Lithuanian, Ukrainian) Arajs Kommando Lithuanian Security Police Rollkommando Hamann TDA Ypatingasis būrys



Łachwa Ghetto Minsk Ghetto Slutsk Affair




Burning of the Riga synagogues Dünamünde Action Jelgava Pogulianski Rumbula Liepāja (Šķēde)


Ninth Fort Kaunas June 1941 Kaunas 29 October 1941 Ninth Fort
Ninth Fort
November 1941 Ponary


Operation Tannenberg Intelligenzaktion AB-Aktion Operation Reinhard


Gully of Petrushino Zmievskaya Balka Lokot Autonomy


Babi Yar Drobytsky Yar Drohobycz Kamianets-Podilskyi Lviv pogroms Mizocz Ghetto Odessa


The Black Book Commissar Order Einsatzgruppen
trial Generalplan Ost Jäger Report Korherr Report Special Prosecution Book-Poland
Special Prosecution Book-Poland
(Sonderfahndungsbuch Polen) Einsatzgruppen

Coordinates: 47°11′28″N 38°52′03″E / 47.1910°N 38.8674°E