1 Execution site(s)
Hryhorii Iu., born in 1934 : ”In summer and early spring a thousand Jews were brought here. They were taken to the collective farm stables. Back then we had four farms here, and the Jews were dispatched between these farms. The column that I saw being brought in was taken to the farm 7th Partsoyuz. The stables were about 100m long and about 40m large. The stables weren’t guarded. All the region was occupied, and they had nowhere to go. Although, some villagers managed to hide the Jews who survived the war. It was possible for the local residents in case they needed a labor force to go to ask for the Jews from the ghetto. They hired them for food, and some managed to survive with the help of the locals.” (Witness n°2764U, interviewed in Viitivka, on August 28, 2020)
« […] In the village of Voytovka [today Viitivka] as a result of the criminal activity of the German and Romanian executioners, between November and January 1941, 2,500 Jews native from Bukovina and Bessarabia died from torture, cold, and hunger. [Among the victims] there were 1,200 men, 750 women and 550 children, who during the wintertime were locked up in the destroyed stables. The [people] responsible for these acts is the Gendarmery commandant.” [Act drawn up by Soviet State Extraordinary Commission on April 13, 1945; GARF 7021-54-1265]
Viitivka is located 150km (93mi) south east of Vinnytsia. The village was created in the first half of the 17th century. It was always home to Ukrainians. According to the local witnesses interviewed by Yahad, before the Second World War, there were only three Jewish families who moved out of Bershad. These families were artisans. The majority of Jews lived in Bershad, located 8km (5mi) away. According to the 1897 census, 6,600 residents out of 8,885 were Jewish. In 1910, the Jewish population outnumbered the non-Jewish by making up 61%.
Viitivka was occupied by the German and Romanian troops on July 29, 1941. The village remained under Romanians and became part of Transnistria from September 1941. In October 1941, thousands of Jews from Bukovina and Bessarabia were deported to Transnistria. According to the Soviet archives, about 2,500 Jews were brought to Viitivka and locked up in the partially destroyed stables that used to belong to collective farms. Before the war, there were four collective farms. While staying in the stables, many Jews could leave the ghetto under the request of the local residents who could take them for different kinds of jobs. Thousands of Jews died of hunger, cold, and diseases under the occupation. Their bodies were buried in the silo pits dug on the territory of the collective farm.
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