Chapayevka (Spychyntsi) | Vinnytsia

/ Yahad team with a witness on the execution site ©Aleksey Kasyanov/Yahad-In Unum Olga K., born in 1923: "A truck filled with Jews approached the pit, in reverse. Then, the guards started to push them into the pit and shoot them from above." ©Aleksey Kasyanov/Yahad-In Unum The execution site of Jews from Spychyntsi in Chapayevka ©Aleksey Kasyanov/Yahad-In Unum

Execution of the Spytchyntsi Jews in Chapayevka

1 Execution site(s)

Kind of place before:
Hill close to the forest
Period of occupation:
1941 - 1944
Number of victims:
Several dozens

Witness interview

Olga K., born in 1923, remembers: "A truck filled with Jews approached the pit, in reverse.
YIU: Were the people alive in the truck?
W: Yes, of course. When the pit was filled in, the ground was moving.
YIU: Did someone fire at them?
W: Someone fired. By the time that the Jews got off the truck and went inside the pit someone fired, but the shooters didn’t stay at the edge of the pit.
YIU: What do you mean? How did they fire then?
W: They stood close to the pit and fired. There were so many on the site watching that no one attempted to escape.
YIU: Did they stay all around the pit?
W: Yes.
YIU: Did they fire inside the pit?
W: The guards started to push them into the pit and shoot them from above." (Eyewitness n°2164, interviewed on November 11, 2016 in Bulai)

Historical note

Chapayivka is located 6km west from Spychyntsi. As far as we know from the accounts of the local witness there was a kolkhoz where two Jewish women worked. However, the majority of Jews lived in the nearby towns Spychyntsi and Plyskiv.  Spychyntsi is located 75km north east of Vinnytsia.  The first record about Jewish community in Spychyntsi dates back to the middle of 18th century. By the end of 19th century 35% of local population were Jews. In 1918-1919 Jewish community suffered from a wave of pogroms during which their houses and shops were damaged and looted. The majority of Jews in Spychyntsi worked as artisans in kolkhoz or merchants. There was a butcher and diary shop run by Jews. Some Jews worked at the sugar factory. In 1920s a Jewish primary school was opened in Spychyntsi, however, according to the local witnesses, the secondary school was one for Jewish and non-Jewish children.  There was a Jewish cemetery and a synagogue.  The Jews were very religious and celebrated all holidays, including Shabbat. On the eve of the war 15-205% of local population were Jews. Spychyntsi was occupied by Germans on July 22, 1941. By that time many Jewish refugees from Poland and Western Ukraine arrived and only a small percentage of Jews managed to evacuate. 

Holocaust by bullets in figures

Until the late October the villages remained under military administration. All the Jews from Spychyntsi were marked and forced to work. According to the archives and other historical sources all Jews from Spychyntsi are believed to be transported to Plyskiv where they were executed on October 22, 1941, by Eisantzcommando 5 helped by local police. Thanks to the local witness interviewed by Yahad we could identify the unmarked mass grave of a couple dozen Jews in Chapayevka. The execution site is located South East on the outskirts of the village, close to the forest. The Jews were brought in trucks from Spychyntsi. Once on the site, the Jews got down from the truck and into the pit and the shooters fired at them at that moment. According to the witness, there were about several dozen Jews in the truck.

 For more information about the Jews from Spychyntsi please refer to Plyskiv profile 

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