2 Execution site(s)
Vira K., born in 1930, could see the shooting from her yard : « A pit had been dug in advance. It was a long deep ditch dug close to the cemetery. We watched the execution from far away with other neighbors. There were no trees, so the view was clear, even if we stayed rather far away. There were men, women and children among the victims. All were shot. They were lined up in groups at the edge of the pit and the policemen fired at them. I can’t tell you exactly if they were policemen or Germans, but it was what people said. Those who were closer to the site said that some Jews were shot dressed while others were undressed. But, I can’t confirm that with you because for us it was too far to see the details. The shootings lasted for a couple of days at that place. ” (Testimony n°2166, interviewed in Plyskiv, on November 12, 2016)
« In October 1942, the Jewish population was rounded-up. During several days, the policemen searched in the houses and forced the people out before locking up the doors. In that way, 513 people were assembled by the police and confined in the building for 3 days without food. During these days they were subjected to different kinds of abuse. Three days later, exhausted they were taken outside, separated in two groups and taken to the Frunzinovskiy Forest. Once there, they were taken in groups of tens towards the burial pit where they were shot. All 513 were shot in that way. After, the police brought Jewish women who were forced to cover the pit. On October 1941, 120 civilians of Jewish nationality were rounded-up by German police and shot at different places in the town of Pliskov.” [Deposition of the witness Zyama G., made to State extraordinary commission, RG.22-002M: Fond 7021, opis 54, delo 1269]
Plyskiv is located 56 km north east of Vinnytsia. Spychyntsi is located 15km north west of Plyskiv. The first record of Jewish communities in these villages dates back to the middle of 18th century. By the end of 19th century Jews represented almost the half of the local population in Plyskiv, and about 35% in Spychyntsi. In 1918-1919 Jewish communities suffered from a wave of pogroms during which their houses and shops were damaged and looted. Due to pogroms and relocation of youth to the bigger towns the Jewish population dropped roughly.
The majority of Jews in Spychyntsi worked as artisans in kolkhoz or merchants. There was a butcher and diary shop ran 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. In Plyskiv there was also a synagogue. The Jews were very religious and celebrated all holidays, including Shabbat. On the eve of the war 25% of local population was Jews (793 Jews lived in Plyskiv).
Plyskiv and Spychyntsi were 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 before the German arrival.
Until the late October the villages remained under military administration. According to some historical sources, immediately after the Germans arrival all the Jews were marked and forced to work in the farm. As all the Jews lived in one area it was easy to congegate them there. Information about the executions varies according to different sources. According to the Soviet archives there were three executions within the main one in October 1942, which is indicated in all sources and was confirmed by local witnesses. The first one was conducted in October 1941, when 120 Jews were shot in 5 mass graves close to the building of the former NKVD. Others sources indicates an execution of 30 men in summer 1941, and another one, speaks about the execution of 23 activists in September 1941. The second aktion was conducted on October 22, 1941 by Eisantzcommando 5 with help from the local police. During this Aktion 513 Jews from Plyskiv and Spychyntsi were taken to the Fruzynivskyi Forest, 2km away from Plyskiv, where they were killed. According to the local witnesses, beforehand all the Jews were assembled in the central square and then were taken in covered trucks to the mass graves in the forest. While the Plyskiv Jews were first assembled in the school building under the pretext of being relocated. They were told to take the food for three days and necessary belongings. Then they were marched to the shooting site. Apparently, after the second execution a formal ghetto was crated. It numbered about 250 Jews. The remaining Jews from Plyskiv and nearing villages were executed on October 17, 1942 (or July 1942 according to some sources). This day 365 Jews were taken to the same Fruzynivskiy forest where they were shot in small groups in the animal remains pit. In all, over 1000 Jews from Plyskiv, Spychyntsi, Dzyunkiv and other nearing villages were shot in Plyskiv.
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