3 Execution site(s)
Stepan F., born in 1935: “I was curious, so I climbed over a tree so I could see the execution. I was about 300m away. The view was clear, so I could see everything. The shootings lasted for seven days, from morning until evening. The victims were taken there in trucks. Each time there were about fifteen people inside a truck. Once the group arrived, they were forced to get climb down from the truck, strip naked before being lined up in groups of six or seven on the edge of the pit with their backs to the shooters. There was only one shooter who fired a submachine gun. If some victims didn’t fall directly into the pit, the other Jews pushed their bodies in.” (Witness n°877U, interviewed in Manivtsi, on January 13, 2010)
“On one occasion the head of the agricultural cooperative, Kh. P. Savchuk, who is no longer alive, ordered me and other cart-drivers to take the [Jewish] children and old people to Manivtsy in our carts. This was in August 1942. We arrived with our carts in the center of Kulchiny. Armed Germans and policemen, who had come from the county center Antoniny, ordered all the Soviet civilians of Jewish nationality to leave their houses, to take any belongings they might need with them, and to assemble at the marker square. All the Jewish families gathered there. Seven Jewish children, aged approximately 3-7 and a woman with the last name of Vaisman, along with her baby, were put into my cart.
All the civilians of Jewish nationality whose state of health allowed them to walk were put into a column by the Germans and policemen and taken on foot in the direction of Manivtsy. The children and old people were taken there in carts. Among the armed policemen who took the Jews from Kulchiny to Manivtsy was P. (I think with a pistol); I saw him with my own eyes. Before the war a military unit stationed near Manivtsy village had a vegetable patch there. During the occupation, there were still buildings for cattle, such as cowsheds and stables. The Germans and policemen put all the Soviet civilians of Jewish nationality from Kulchiny and other localities into those buildings. The next day, or several days later, the Germans carried out the shooting of the Jews near the village of Manivtsy. […]” [From the testimony of Mikhail M., in the framework of the investigation against a former policeman from Antoniny, Nikita P., January 15, 1979; SBU State Security Archives ]
Manivtsi is a village in Khmelnytskyi region, western Ukraine, located 50 km north of Khmelnytskyi itself and 7 km (4mi) east of Kulchyny. According to the local accounts recorded by Yahad - In Unum, only two Jewish families lived in Manivtsi before the war. They were the families of Pinia, who was a merchant and had a shop, and Weiner – who was a butcher. Weiner had four children: two daughters, Fania and Sonia, and two sons, one of whom, Misha, managed to escape from the truck and was hidden by a local family and survived the war. A relatively large Jewish community lived in Kulchyny, located nearby. The village was also the center of a Jewish selsoviet in the 1930s. In 1931, 1,060 Jews lived in Kulchyny, but the population decreased during the Holodomor famines (1932-1933). More fled right before the occupation in 1941, leaving about 400 Jews in Kulchyny at the start of the occupation.
Manivtsi was occupied by German forces in mid-July 1941. The two Jewish families from Manivtsi escaped to Kulchyny before the Germans’ arrival. A transit ghetto was established in Manivtsi, on the former premises of the kolkhoz [collective farm]. The Jews from the entire district were transferred there. In all, 2,000 Jews were confined in this ghetto, including 300 skilled workers who lived separately. The ghetto comprised the stables, the cowshed, and a two-story building, which was used as a shop before the war. The ghetto was guarded by local police. All the Jews that passed through this ghetto were murdered. One of the biggest mass executions was in August 1942, when the Jews from the Kulchyny ghetto were taken to the Manivtsi ghetto. Those unable to walk were put in carts. Any Jews attempting to escape were shot on the spot. Once in Manivtsi, the Jews were placed in the stables and the cowshed overnight. The following day, the Jews were taken to the forest, where a large pit was dug by the Jews themselves. After being forced to strip naked, the Jews were shot on the edge of the pit in their backs by a single shooter. After the shootings, the bodies were covered with lime. Alongside the German Feldgendermerie, some local policemen also participated in the shootings. In September, one month later, the Jewish skilled workers were murdered in turn in the field located close to the forest of the first execution site. The last victims, mainly artisans who had managed to avoid being killed during the first two executions, were killed near the kolkhoz stables.
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