Zinkiv (Zenkov) | Khmelnytskyi

/ The Yahad team during an interview in 2008. ©Guillaume Ribot /Yahad – In Unum Anna D., born in 1924: “Small children, elderly people and handicapped people, like myself, were shot, orstabbed with knives or bayonets on the spot.  ©Guillaume Ribot/Yahad – In Unum The execution site near the village of Stanislavivka with the natural ravines, traces of the ravines can still be seen today. In all, over 2,000 Jews were murdered here. ©Guillaume Ribot /Yahad – In Unum The execution site near the village of Stanislavivka with the natural ravines, traces of the ravines can still be seen today. In all, over 2,000 Jews were murdered here. ©Guillaume Ribot /Yahad – In Unum Ivan T., born in 1926: “ I went to the shooting place afterwards. I didn’t see the shooting itself. The Jews were killed in natural ravines. Every time it rained, the corpses would come out up the surface and slide down to the river.”©Guillaume Ribot /Yah Halyna G., born in 1928: “I was gazing my cows when I saw the Jews being led away. Almost all the Jews from the shtetl were taken that day. They were escorted by Germans and local police.” ©Guillaume Ribot /Yahad – In Unum Vasyl P., born in 1928: “The looting started the moment the Jews were rounded up.”  ©Guillaume Ribot /Yahad – In Unum Mykola G., born in 1928: “In order to fill in the ravines, the Germans blew up the ground nearby.” ©Guillaume Ribot /Yahad – In Unum Halyna B., born in 1925: “There was noting to eat in the ghetto. Even though some Jews were rich and had gold, many of them died of hunger.” ©Guillaume Ribot /Yahad – In Unum

Execution of Jews in Zinkiv

1 Execution site(s)

Kind of place before:
Period of occupation:
Number of victims:
More than 2,000

Witness interview

Halyna B., born in 1925: “Back then they would take young girls and boys to Germany by force in order to make them work at the factories. So an acquaintance of my mother managed to get me a place at the local training school for tailors. That is where I ended up working with Jewish women. They were skilled workers, the majority of them were tailors. They weren’t shot with the other Jews but kept alive for the Germans. They worked in a building under guard during the day and they would go back to the ghetto at night. One day, the building was surrounded, and all the Jewish artisans were arrested. One girl, Fira, tried to escape by dressing as Ukrainian, but she was caught and beaten to death. Another girl, Lucia, hid in the wardrobe but was also discovered. Another Jewish woman, whom I remember well, was Sonia Rosenmann. She was savagely killed in the street.” (Witness n°693U, interviewed in Zinkiv, on August 21, 2008)

Soviet archives

“We, the undersigned, […], established the fact that during the German occupation, on August 4, 1942, 1,882 Soviet citizens, civilians from Zinkov were shot to death by machine gun fire on the outskirts of Stanislavovka village, Vinkovtsy county, Kamianets-Podolskyi District. The shooting was carried out on the orders of Gebietskommissar of Dunayevtsy Eggers and the head of the Vinkovtsy Gendarmerie, Buss.” [Act drawn up by Soviet State Extraordinary Commission (ChGK) on May 24, 1944; GARF 7021-64-795]

Historical note

Zinkiv is a small town located 47 km south of Khmelnytskyi, today Proskuriv. The first records of a local Jewish community dates back to the 16th century. The community was destroyed during the Khmelnytskyi uprising (1648-1651), but managed to rebuild itself. In the first half of the 18th century, it became one of the leading centers of Hasidism in the Podolia region. According to the 1897 census, 53% of the total population was Jewish, with 3,719 Jews living in the town. In the 1920s-1930s, a Jewish council was created, as well as a Jewish kolkhoz, where 160 families worked. However, the principal activity for Jews remained trade and handicraft. Under Soviet rule, many Jewish artisans and craftsmen worked in state-owned cooperatives. One the eve of the war in 1939, 2,248 Jews lived in Zinkiv, making up 35% of the total population.

Holocaust by bullets in figures

Zinkiv was occupied by the Germans in the mid July 1941. Immediately after the occupation, twenty Jewish men were taken hostage. Some of them were released while others were hanged. A few weeks later, the anti-Jewish measures began. The Jews were registered, marked with a yellow star of David and were subjected to different kind of abuse. Jews were also enrolled in different forced labor programs, such as cleaning, or working on the roads and railroads.

In August 1941, a ghetto was created. It was fenced in with barbed wire and guarded by local police. The first mass execution was conducted on May 9, 1942. That day, 588 Jews, mainly sick, elderly people, women and children, were shot to death in a ravine 3 km outside the town, close to the village of Stanislavivka. About 450 Jews from Vinkivtsi were also shot at the same time, at the same location. The ravine had been deepened three days before the murder. After the shooting, the Jews were relocated to a smaller ghetto. In June 1942, more than 100 Jews deemed fit to work were selected and taken to the labor camp in Lezneve, a neighborhood of Khmelnytskyi.

The second shooting was carried out on August 4, 1942, when 1,882 Jews were shot at the same ravine near the village of Stanislavivka. According to testimonies recorded by Yahad, many Jews were shot on the spot during the round-up. Once on the site, the Jews were forced to strip naked and, in groups of five, were lined up on the edge of the ravine and shot to death with sub-machine guns. The Aktions were conducted by an SS unit. About 150 Jewish artisans and their families were kept alive and gathered in a single house. They were murdered on October 7, 1942.

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