1 Execution site(s)
Anatoliy B., born in 1931, remembered: “In the Jewish quarter, where the ghetto was located, there was a big house which was guarded by policemen and Germans. One day, we went there to take a look but the policemen chased us away. We were curious and managed to crawl through the gardens to the place where the house was and we stayed watching hiding in the bushes. The windows were shut, the front door was opened, and a German with a rifle was standing in the yard. I understood that everyone who should be killed was in the house. Suddenly, one German went out with a canister in his hands. Then, he threw the burning rag from a distance in the house. In a moment the house blew up, apparently, the gasoline had been already poured inside. We saw the smog and we clearly heard children and women screaming”. (Testimony n°1996, interviewed in Bobrynets, on March 30, 2016)
“From the first days, the Germans torturers started to exterminate the Soviet civilians, the residents of the town of Bobrynets. G. reported that on August 10, 1941, on the fourth day of occupation, the Germans killed 5 Jewish civilian. The same year, in the yard of the school n°1, the Germans shot 13 prisoners of war. Their corpses were found in two pits. In late 1943 and early 1942, there was the mass extermination of the Jewish population. All Jews were confined in the “ghetto” fence din with barbed wire and guarded day and night by the police. During the nights the Germans and policemen entered the ghetto and raped women, beat and looted the Jews. After, all Jewish inmates were taken in groups to the valley, outside of the town, where they were killed. The witnesses […] reported that 358 victims were executed. There were 72 men, 180 women and 106 children among them.
After attempting to escape, 10 Jews were shot and burned inside their houses, located on the street Pochtova.” [Act drawn in July, 1944, to the State Extraordinary Commission; RG22.002M. Fond 7021. Opis 66. Delo 124].
Bobrynets is located 53 km south of Kirovohrad. There were 2,265 Jews in the town in 1926 and due to relocation to other parts of the country. On the eve of the war, only 654 Jews remained living in Bobrynets. According to the witness, the Jews worked in the kolkhoz. However, the majority of Jews lived off trade and handcraft.They were also doctors. The Jewish children went to school together with non-Jews. There was a synagogue and a Jewish quarter in the town. The Germans occupied Bobrynets on August 6, 1941. By that time about 40% of local Jews managed to escape to the East.
Straight after the German arrival, the first anti-Jewish Aktion was conducted. According to the archives, 5 Jews were killed on August 10, 1941. Shortly after, all Jews were registered and marked. According to the witness interviewed by Yahad, it was the white armbands with the yellow 6-pointed star. The Jews were regularly humiliated and beaten by Ukrainian police and forced to do physical labor.
At the end of December 1941, under the order of German civil administration installed from mid-November, all Jews were confined in the ghetto. According to the archives, the ghetto was surrounded with barbed wire; however, the local witness didn’t confirm this information. It existed only a couple of months, until its liquidation in winter 1942.
In January, 1942, one Jew managed to escape from the ghetto. This escape was severely punished. As a result, 10 Jews were gathered in one house inside the ghetto by Germans and local police and burned alive. The local witness remembered that there were women and children among the victims. The biggestAktion was conducted in late January –early February, when about 344 Jews were shot in the valley out of the town. Through the accounts of the local eyewitness, Yahad found out that, supposedly, the Jews were taken in a column which was guarded from the both sides by Germans with dogs. There were men, women, children and elderly people among the victims. The Jews were lined up in about 50 meters of the pit which was dug in advance and the Germans ordered them to turn their backs to the shooters. The Jews were blindfolded and taken to the edge of the pit by groups. After that, they were shot with a submachine gun.
In May 1942, 20 Jews were shot not far away from the regional hospital. According the archives, there were 358 Jews killed in Bobrynets, however, other historical sources give the number of 379.
Some Jews from Bobrynets were killed near Ustynivka village. For more information about the execution of Jews in Ustynivka please, refer to the corresponding profile.
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