1 Execution site(s)
Hanna K., born in 1932: "One month after the beginning of the war, a ghetto was created. It was located in a Jewish quarter and surrounded by a fence. The fence was built by Germans and local policemen. There were watchtowers and an entrance, all guarded by the Germans and policemen, all armed with machine guns and pistols. Local Jews were confined there and not allowed to leave. They could cook inside the ghetto, but there wasn’t enough food for everyone. Locals would bring food to the Jews. Some guards would let them give food to them, others would not, and they would beat those who brought food. One Jewish woman managed to escape to Slobodivka(-Iaryshivksa) and find refuge in the house of a local woman. This ghetto existed for a month, and then in autumn all the Jews were shot. A pit had been dug by policemen under German supervision three days before the shooting." (Witness n°2817U, interviewed in Iaryshiv, on October 16, 2020)
"On August 28, 1942, Germano-fascist invaders from the SS division took 595 Jews out of the ghetto, mostly women, children aged 1 to 16 and the elderly, took them outside Iaryshiv and shot them at the edge of a ravine. The children were thrown into the pit and buried alive. Thus, the criminals in our temporarily occupied territory shot 595 inhabitants of the Iaryshiv commune. [...] " [Act drawn up by Soviet State Extraordinary Commission, on April 12, 1945; GARF7021-54-1263, p.35/Copy USHMM]
Iaryshiv is a town, part of historical Podolia region, located 120 km (75mi) southwest of Vinnytsia. The first record of the Jewish community dates back to the 18th century. By 1897, their number had increased, and they comprised 41% of the town’s total population, with 1,499 Jews living in the town. The majority of the town’s Jews lived off small scale trade and handicraft. Some worked in agriculture, such as tobacco growing. During the 1930s, a Jewish collective farm was created. The community had a prayer house. Under Soviet rule, a seven-year Yiddish school was created. On the eve of the war, only 18% of the total population was Jewish, as many of the younger Jewish locals had moved to bigger cities in search of better jobs and economic opportunities.
Iaryshiv was occupied by German and Romanian troops on July 19, 1941. On the first day of the occupation about a dozen Jewish men came out to greet the troops. They were shot on the spot. From September 1941 Iaryshiv became part of Transnistria, which remained under Romanian occupation. Shortly after a ghetto was created in the Jewish quarter. It was surrounded with barbed wire and guarded by local police. The ghetto inmates were forced to sew Stars of David onto their clothes on the chest and the back. During the ghetto existence the Jews were humiliated, beaten, and forced to perform various types of labor. On August 12, 1942, the Jews of all ages and sexes were ordered to gather to be displaced. They were allowed to take their most necessary belongings. The column was taken to the outskirts of Iaryshivka, to a ravine behind the Ukrainian cemetery. Upon arrival, the victims forced to strip naked and before being murdered in groups of two. There was only one shooter who fired with an automatic weapon. The Jews’ clothes and belongings from the Jewish homes were taken away by the SS soldiers, who left the village the same day. The next day, Germans in yellow-green uniforms and policemen came to check the pit to make sure no one could get out. According to sources, the execution was carried out by German rural policemen from the Bar District, policemen from the Kamianets-Podilskyi, Security Police and local auxiliary policemen. The approximate number of victims ranged from 200, according to the report of the chief of the German rural police in the Bar district, to 595, according to Soviet archives. Able-bodied Jews were deported to the labor camp at Letychiv and murdered there in late 1942. Today there is a memorial bearing an inscription that 364 Jews were murdered there.
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