1 Execution site(s)
Ivan S., born in 1924: "Y. U.: So, 4 men from Ozaryntsi were shot here. And what happened to the remaining Ozaryntsi Jews?
Witness: From the beginning of August, they started forcing the groups of Jews away in different directions. Some of them were brought to our village. About 300 Jews were forced into a village club building. The rest of the Jews were spread around different villages, such as Sugarky or Tropova. Towards the end of August or beginning of September, an old Jewish man came to us. He came from Tropova, and his daughter, a Jewish woman, said (my mother was at home alone): “Let my father stay with you.” They were originally from Floresti, it is a district center in Moldova. So, they left an old man with me, and the daughter said that they would come back for him. From September to May, this old man lived with us. He stayed with us for the entire winter. They would, of course, go to Mohyliv to buy soap and other things… And they would share with us, because it was hard to get those things back then. So, the Jewish man lived with us until May, when it became warm and he went back to his village, it’s about 12 km away. So, that’s how it was.” (Witness n°2811U, interviewed in Mohyliv-Podilsk, on October 13, 2020)
"On July 21, 1941, I saw that when the Romanians arrived in Ozaryntsi, they arrested 43 Jewish men, detained them for a few hours in the synagogue, then loaded them onto a truck, took them to the Polish cemetery. They shot then them and buried them in a nearby gutter. In addition to this, on July 25, 1941, I saw Romanian gendarmes take 28 Jewish men out [of their homes] in Ozaryntsi. They forced them to lie on the ground and bayoneted them in the chest. Anyone who remained alive was finished off with a rifle. All 28 people were buried in the Jewish cemetery outside the village." [Deposition of Chaika Barat, born in 1920, a Jewish survivor; GARF 7021-54-1271, p.71]
Ozaryntsi is a village, 99 km (61mi) southwest of Vinnytsia. The first record of Jews living in the town dates back to the mid-18th century. The village was home to Ukrainians, Poles, and some Jews. The latter lived mainly in the center and were engaged in small-scale trade or handcrafts. According to the 1897 census, 994 Jews lived there, comprising 25% of the total population. During the 1920s, a Jewish kolkhoz [collective farm] was created. In 1926, only 600 Jews remained in Ozaryntsi, where they comprised 14% of the total population. This was due to relocation of many Jews, especially younger members of the Jewish community, to the bigger cities. Some refugees from Chernivtsi and Mohyliv-Podilskiy arrived Ozaryntsi and stayed there after the outbreak of war.
Ozaryntsi was occupied by German and Romanian troops on July 20, 1941. Shortly after Romanian soldiers locked the entire Jewish population of the town in the building of a former synagogue, with the intention of either blowing the building up or burning it down with all the victims inside. Ultimately, however, the Jews were released, although several dozen Jewish men, mainly refugees from Bessarabia, were loaded onto trucks under the pretext of being sent to work and taken to be shot at the local Polish cemetery. Several days later, Romanian soldiers brutally murdered about 30 more Jewish men in the town itself and buried them at the Jewish cemetery. In September 1941, Ozaryntsi was absorbed into the region of Transnistria, which remained under Romanian occupation. Ghetto inmates were marked with white armbands bearing yellow Star of David. Many of them died through the winter of 1941-1942 as a result of a typhus epidemic.
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