Oleksandr Trubakov


Oleksandr Trubakov


On the third of February I was arrested by ukrainian police at my apartment and was taken to the Gestapo which was placed on the Korolenko street, 33, where I was kept in the ward number 17. That was intended for Jewish only. 

I was accused of belonging to the guerillas. In the Gestapo I was  not interrogated more because before I was repeatedly interrogated by the police on the Korolenko street, 15, where I was initially taken.

By the 17th of February, 1943 I was in the Gestapo and then with the other prisoners I was taken under guard to the concentration camp Gestapo at the Syrets by gas van (dushegubka), where were 50 people.  Fon Radoms’kyj was the chief of the concentration camp Gestapo at the Syrets. He was wearing a Gestapo form. I do not know what was his nationality, because he did not speak Russian . Maybe he was German, but his surname was not German. His deputy Reeder was an ethnic German and he also was wearing a Gestapo form.

I also remember another German - troop leader nicknamed Ryizhiy (Redhead). Ivan Rhine was an interpreter-translator and a companion of Radoms’kyj.

In general, these persons headed the German administration of the camp, and overmen and centurions were appointed from the prisoners by the German administration.

Overwork, poor nutrition, daily abuse led to the fact that prisoners did not outlast 2 months and died. Besides, there were as executions , as single execution  for the slightest disobedience.

There were about  two and a half thousand prisoners in the camp. Frankly speaking, I can not say how many of them died after all. The group of people buried corpses in the pit, which was on the same yard near our dugout. Radoms’kyj gave the police an order to execute people.

I remember well that there was made a mass execution in our camp allegedly because of the Gestapo commander assassination . It happened in July-August 1943. Each third person of the hundreds was  placed facedown and Radoms’kyj with police shot him or her in the back of the head in the presence of all the prisoners.

At this time, were shot football players Trusevych and Klymenko. Before dying Trusevych shouted: " Live long the Soviet Union and Soviet sport!" Then Radoms’kyj run up to him and emptied a whole magazine of his pistol. So died Trusevych and I was an eyewitness of his death.

Radoms’kyj  and Ryizhiy  dealt with prisoners the most savagely as it was nothing for them to kill people. Radoms’kyj, usually did not to leave the camp, if he did not kill three prisoners. Not less cruel were Ivan Moroz, Kostya Bryantsev, Podlesnyy and several other among brigade leaders and centurions. Killing a prisoner was a mere trifle for them, and they were often practiced.

Czech Anton Prokop was an overman. He was distinguished by his savagery: prisoners were put to cruel tortures as he gave the police an order to kill them.

There were so many crimes that it is simply impossible to tell about all of them. Suffice to say that if the prisoner was tapped out, he or she was finished off without giving him or her the opportunity to rise. Prisoners tried not to check into a ‘hospital’ as nobody came back from there. Death reigned everywhere in this camp, so the prisoners among themselves called him "death camp".

I was there until August 18, 1943, and then among the hundred, which included Jews, not registered communists and guerillas, was sent to Babyn Yar, where we were put into a pit, which was strenuously guarded exclusively by officers from the "SS " troops ( Schutzstaffel-- protection Squad/ security service).

Then one of the officers in bastard Russian said that he wanted  two locksmiths to go out, then 5 prisoners more, then he called 5 prisoners every 10 minutes but nobody came back. With the third or fourth five prisoners he called me and I saw that the prisoners wore shackles on their feet.

When all were shackled, we were given shovels and forced to dig a ditch. We were working until dark, when we were huddled into a prearranged dugout.  We had been dugging a pit for 3 days until we got to a solid ground, as we thought, but it turned out to be corpses.

From the Jewish cemetery were brought tombstones and iron fences, and then was planned an area (ten-by-ten meters) , we reveted it with tombstones and iron  fences in staggered arrangement to obtain an ash-pit, stacked firewood in rows and poured corpses over with oil.

      In that burner placed 2 - 2.5 thousand corpses and they were burned from all directions simultaneously .  At first, issued clouds of smoke, then burned evenly, and a black thick mass outflowed from under the ash-pit. The mass flowed down into a specially adapted pit, and then was buried.

We were  forced to grind the survivors bones and to  sprinkle the ash in the nearby vegetable gardens.

Both  – Rapoport (died) and  I— were  forced to check the corpses before burning for the extraction of gold and other precious things.

Gradually our brigade numbered 320 people from two different dugouts. We were together until September 28, 1943, right up to the escape. During this time I witnessed the burning of about 125,000 corpses. Prisoners tried to escape from that hell and they decided to  break jail on the night of the 28th/29th September 1943. Fedor Ershov was an organizer of that event.


As a result, I and another 15 people were rescued, and now only nine of them are alive— Davydov, Budnik, Kuklja, Berlyand, Ostrovs‘kij, Kaper, Steyuk, Iovenko and I. They can also tell you about the crimes, that German occupiers did  during World War II in Kyiv. German named Topayde controled  the process of burning corpses; prisoners called him "engineer." He developed special hooks for pulling corpses and made the scheme of the said burners building. I do not know anybody else,  who was involved in the destruction of corpses at the Babyn Yar.