Peschanaya Gora (Russian: Песчаная Гора) – Sand Mountain, was a nickname for a place on the outskirts of Kremenchug on the eastern bank of the Dnepr River. Peschanaya Gora is a place where thousands of Jews were shot in the fall of 1941 and in the winter of 1942.
As the city grew, the old name Peschanaya Gora has disappeared. Today this area is a part of a Kremenchug city – a district of Kievskaya Street and Park of Peace. There are apartment buildings, two schools and a junior college.
There are currently two commemorative signs for the victims of these tragic events. One is a small obelisk near the synagogue erected in 2008 and another is a memorial stone along Kievskaya Street, erected in August of 2014 (see the pictures below).
Plans of the local volunteers and the Jewish community of Kremenchug for creation of the Holocaust Memorial Park or Holocaust museum remain just plans due to the lack of money.
The WWII and the Holocaust
Kremenchug, a city in Poltava region, was founded on the banks of Dnepr River over 500 years ago. The city had a large Jewish population and first Jewish names that are found on the city tax records dated back to 1801. Kremenchug Jewish population was stadily growing, and census of 1939 provided a figure of 19,880 Jews – almost a quarter of the Kremenchug’s population.
In late summer of 1941, Kremenchug played a vital role in an attempt to stop advances of German Army, preventing encircling Kiev. Sadly, after intense fighting, Group South of German’s Army crossed Dnepr River and captured the city on September 8th, 1941.
Einsatzgruppen SS 4-B entered the city immediately following the first German Army units and the fate of Jewish population that remained in the city was pre-determined.
Nazis conducted census in Kremenchug on September 26, 1941. The most dramatic day for the city was on October 28, 1941 when almost 3 thousand Jews were shot in one day in the vicinity of the Peschanaya Gora and dumped into many large pits. Picture below is from the Bundesarchiv and believe to be taken in vicinity of the Peschanaya Gora.