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Yalta

Yalta, Yalta County, Crimean ASSR (today Autonomous Republic of Crimea) District, Russia (today Ukraine)

To enlarge the map click here Gate of Yalta's ghetto
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Photo by Mikhail Tyaglyy, 2011 Gate of Yalta's ghetto
Photo by Mikhail Tyaglyy, 2011
The International Institute for Holocaust Research at Yad Vashem Location of Yalta's Judenrat
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Photo by Mikhail Tyaglyy, 2011 Location of Yalta's Judenrat
Photo by Mikhail Tyaglyy, 2011
The International Institute for Holocaust Research at Yad Vashem

Jews settled in Yalta in the early 19th century. In 1887 they numbered 1,025 (of a total of 13,000 residents). A pogrom victimized the local Jews on March 13-14, 1905. Jews earned their livelihood mainly from the tourist trade in the area's many vacation sites; other Jews were craftsmen or physicians. Under Soviet rule in the 1920s a number of Jewish kolkhozes, such as Osnova and Komzet, were set up nearby. In 1939 the Jewish population of 2,060 amounted to 6.3 percent of the total city population.
About one thousand Jews succeeded in leaving the city before the Germans occupied Yalta on November 8, 1941. A week (or according to another testimony, two days) after the German occupation began Sonderkommando 11a appointed a Judenrat (Jewish council) of six prominent Yalta Jews to carry out a registration of the Jews. The Jews were ordered to wear yellow Stars of David on their chests and backs, to register with the Judenrat, and to surrender their valuables. On November 21 Sonderkommando 11a shot to death about 15 Jews outside the city. At the end of November the Germans ordered the Judenrat to establish a ghetto. On December 5 the Jews were moved to the ghetto, which had been set up on the outskirts of Yalta, at the Agriculture Institute near Massandra village, at the Massandra barracks, which were surrounded by a high stone wall and barbed wire. The ghetto was very crowded and the Jews were starved, abused, and beaten. According to one testimony, in order to deceive the Jews about their intentions the Germans allowed the ghetto inmates out to the city daily from the morning until 2 p.m. The Germans also spread the rumor that rich American Jews were going to pay to free the ghetto population, which would be allowed to move to Palestine. On German orders the Judenrat established workshops, cooperatives, a hospital, and a police force in the ghetto. Further confiscation of Jewish property by the Germans was carried out via the Judenrat.
On December 17, 1941 a unit of Sonderkommando 11a shot to death healthy Jewish men from the ghetto at the ravine (or, according to one testimony, a reservoir) outside the city near the Massandra vineyards. On the following day Jews from the ghetto of Yalta and from its environs – mainly women, children, and the elderly, were shot to death by a unit of Sonderkommando 11a at the same place. According to Soviet documents, about 2,000 Jews from Yalta and nearby towns were murdered on December 17 and 18.
Yalta was liberated by the Red Army on May 16, 1944.