The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Nikolay Yakovlevich Dorofeyev


"Prior to the Great Patriotic War I lived with my family in the village of Begemka, Dzhankoy district, Crimean region. On the second day after thr treacherous aggression of hitlerite Germany against the Soviet Union, I was drafted into the Red Army.

"At the end of August 1941, during a battle to the west of the city of Zhitomir, not far from the village of Vysolkaya Pech', our unit was surrounded and I was forced to become a prisoner of the Germans. At first I and my comrades were sent to the Zhitomar war prisoners camp. There I became acquainted with fellow-countryman residents of the city of Dzhankoy: Prokhorenko, Kirill Pimenovich, Savenko, Yakov Kliment'yevich, Stoletniy Grigoriy Sidorovich, and Fedorenko, Fedor. I do not recall the patronymic of the latter. We tried to keep in touch with each other.

"After about a month we were sent from Zhitomir to the city of Rowno, where there was also a camp for war prisoners, and in the fall of 1941, to the city of Chelm (Kholm). In the Chelm camp we had to dig mud huts and perform other work. The war prisoners were fed bery poorly, kept in mud huts which became flooded during the autumn rains. There was no warm clothing and the war prisoners suffered bitterly from the cold. Many died of cold and hunger.

"It is precisely during this period that I remember Fedorenko, because he engaged systematically in the exchange of foodstuffs, clothing and tobacco with profit for himself. Among the war prisoners he was considered a person who could obtain anything. He obtained food and other items to be exchanged through the war prisoners who were assigned to work beyond the precincts of the camp.

"One day, in the winter of 1942, Germans in military uniform and in civilian dress came to the camp of Chelm. The prisoners were aligned and each was asked what his work had been before the war and during his service in the armed forces. I, Savenko, Stoletniy and Fedorenko declared that we were drivers. A group of war prisoners numbering about 100 was selected with us. We were put on trucks and taken to a camp in the small town of Trawniki. Our consent for this was not asked by the Germans. We thought that we were being sent to work, but it turned out that this camp was a training camp for guards.

"After their arrival at the Trawniki camp, the war prisoners were separated into crews. I, Stoletniy, Savenko and Prokhorenko were assigned to a crew that trained drivers for German cars, while Fedorenko was assigned to a drill sub-unit where guards of concentration camps were trained.

"In the Trawniki camp we were given uniforms of German soldiers. The uniform consisted in a pair of trousers falling free, a field jacket and a gray overcoat, a forage cap and boots. No weapons were given us. We were given the rank of wachman (guard). All guards, including myself and Fedorenko, signed a pledge of loyalty to fascist Germany, the content of which I cannot now repeat because it was printed in the German language.

"After our training was completed, I was sent to the city of Lublin to work in a garage of `SS' troops and the police. Fedorenko remained in Trawniki and I have not seen him since.

"In 1974, I heard from Stoletniy, with whom we had been together in the camps, that Fedorenko had visited his relatives in the city of Dzhankoy. Stoletniy had met him and told me that Fedorenko lives in the USA. At present Stoletniy is no longer alive. He died in 1975."

"Will you be able to recognize Fedorenko in a photograph?"

"After the long time elapsed since I saw Fedorenko the last time, I find it difficult to recognize him, and [photocopy unreadable] combed his hair upward, had a large nose, spoke Russian with a Ukrainian accent. Fedorenko was born in about [unreadable], was a native of the village of Sivash, [unreadable] Region. I remember this because I also was born in the [unreadable] and while a prisoner, in conversation with Fedorenko, we determined who of us was born in what village and where he lived prior to the war."

The interrogation began at 10.00 a.m. and was completed at 1.00 p.m.

The record was read to me on my request, the testimony taken down from my words was written down correctly, I have no additions or corrections to make.

First Deputy Procurator of the Crimean Region (SIGNATURE)

The Copy is True Chief of USSR Procurat[unreadable] Office (SIGNATURE)

The original plaintext version of this file is available via ftp.

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