1 Execution site(s)
Ivan S., born in 1931: “There were craftsmen among the Jewish deportees. About thirty of them, such as carpenters, tailors, shoemakers, were hired by locals. As a result, they and their families lived in the homes of the locals until the liberation. The Romanians didn’t go after the specialists. My neighbor, for example, hosted a Jewish family in his house. They could stay living in the house and got food in exchange for various jobs. Some of them made clothes, others chopped the wood. Jewish children would graze the cows. They did everything they could to survive. At the liberation, the majority of specialists and their families survived. When the Soviets arrived, the nursery building was demolished as there was no one left alive. The specialists, for their part came back home. They sent letters to the families who had taken them in during the war to say how grateful they were.” (Witness n°2835U, interviewed in Shevchenkove, on October 31, 2020)
"In the village of Shevchenkove, there was a camp in which the Jewish population was detained. In all, 450 people were deported by the Romanian authorities from Bessarabia and Northern Bukovina in autumn 1941. 350 of them died as a result of mistreatment, violence and beatings. The following are guilty of these acts: Kopaihorod gendarmerie chief Vartsan, Kopaihorod prefecture pretor Vode, prefecture engineer Nikuleski, village gendarmerie chief Balan".."” [Act n°3 drawn up by Soviet Extraordinary Commission (ChGK) on April 15, 1945; GARF 7021-54-1239/ Source: USHMM, RG22-002M]
Shevchenkove is a village located 80km (50mi) southwest of Vinnytsia. According to the local witness interviewed by Yahad, the village was home to Ukrainians only. The Jewish community lived in the town of Kopaihorod, located 4km (2mi) away. The first record about the Jewish community goes back to the 17th century. According to the first official census in 1847, 617 Jews lived in Kopaihorod and nearby villages. By 1897, the Jewish community grew up to 1,720 people comprising almost 60% of the total population. The majority of Jews were merchants or artisans. On the eve of the war, only 1,075 Jews lived in the town, making up about 37% of the entire population.
Shevchenkove was occupied by the German and Romanian troops in the second half of July 1941. By that time, about 70% of the local Jews had managed to evacuate. The village remained under Romanians and became part of Transnistria in September 1941. According to the sources, around 450 Jews from Bessarabia and Northern Bukovina were brought to the village by the Romanians. According to the witness interviewed by Yahad, they were confined to a nursery building and forbidden to move around or have any contact with the local population. To survive, the inmates gathered fruit and herbs, as well as animal carcasses, which they prepared in a makeshift kitchen in the nursery. As a result of bad living conditions and lack of access to food and water, the Jews began to die with the arrival of autumn. The bodies were buried outside the village in the ravine. According to the archives, 350 Jews died in deportation. Some testimonies claim that several Jewish specialists who were among the deportees were allowed to work and live in Ukrainian homes. Thanks to this, all the specialists managed to survive the war, and on liberation, they returned home.
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