During this research trip, the team interviewed 33 witnesses and located 12 execution sites.
– First of all, we met with Krimchak (Crimean Jews) who managed to survive. We also located the mass graves of those who perished in shootings.
– During this investigation, we identified the premises of an ancient Krimchak sovkhoze. We learned that everyone who worked there was shot. The sovkhoze disappeared. Russian witnesses living in the Ukraine greatly helped us.
– We identified the exact location of the mass graves of the Yalta Jews.
– Thanks to our connection with the Hesed centres and to locals in small villages, we located ancient Jewish kolkhozes.
– In the regions of Crimea or Kherson, the Jews from the kolkhozes were shot or thrown alive into wells in the middle of the fields. Each well is the final resting place of 1000 to 2000 people.
– The Jewish communities were first gathered in the village school. They were told they would go to Kiev, which would become a Jewish city.
The next morning, trucks led them from all the villages to the wells. In many of these villages, the trucks were used to gas the Jewish children.
Witnesses saw the children getting into the trucks and they also saw them getting out of the trucks alive because the trucks didn't function.
– In other villages, many witnesses saw Germans placing cyanide in children's mouth: they died instantly.
– Other saw how the German used to celebrate in the village after the execution, generally in the house of the kolkhoze chief.
– We received confirmation that the Einsatzgruppen followed the battlefield in order to not allow the Jews to escape to Russian territories.