Hrytsiv (Grytsiv, Gritsev, Grizew) | Khmelnytskyi

Execution of Jews in Hrytsiv

1 Execution site(s)

Kind of place before :
Forest
Memorials :
Yes
Period of occupation:
1941-1944
Number of victims :
Over 300

Witness interview

Ihor Sh., born in 1935: “Then, all the Jews were gathered in the school. The ghetto was created. Alongside the local Jews they brought in Jews from the nearby villages. After a while, the ghetto was liquidated. That day, the trucks arrived and took all the inmates to the execution site. In each truck there were four soldiers, two in front and two at the rear. There were entire families, women, men and children. Some of them were standing, others were sitting. They cried and screamed, knowing what would happen to them. The trucks made three or four round trips to take all the Jews from the ghetto to the site.” (Witness n°882U, interviewed in Hrytsiv, on January 14, 2010)

Soviet archives

"Then, the Jews from Ostropol, Gritsev and Siniava [today Stara Synyava] were taken to the town. On the way those who could not walk anymore were shot." [Act drawn up by Soviet Extraordinary Commission in April 1945; RG-22.002M/7021-64/815]

Historical note

Hrytsiv is located 76km (47mi) northeast of Khmelnytskyi. The first record of the Jewish community goes back to the early 17th century. The community suffered from the pogroms carried out during the Khmelnytskyi Uprising and the Civil War which left several dozen dead. By 1897, the Jewish population numbered 979 Jews, making up more than the half of the total population. The majority of Jews lived off small-scale trade and handcraft. In the 1920s, a kolkhoz [collective farm] was created, and all private workshops were reunited in the cooperative organizations, as private business was banned. Many Jews engaged the agricultural work. The community had a Yiddish school which operated until the 1930s. There were synagogues as well. One the eve of the war, 36% of the total population was Jewish, numbering 1,095 Jews. 

Holocaust by bullets in figures

Hrytsiv was occupied by German troops on July 5, 1941. Only a few Jews managed to evacuate before the Germans’ arrival. Straight after the occupation, the humiliation of the Jewish population started. A group of Jews was forced inside the lake while the Germans were firing at them.  The first execution was conducted during the first weeks of the occupation. Two groups of Jewish men were selected and shot not far away from the village of Gora. Shortly after that, all the Jews were marked with yellow distinguishing badges. The ghetto was created in the beginning of August 1941. It was fenced in with barbed wire and guarded by local police. Every day, the men were taken from the ghetto to perform hard physical labor, such as cutting wood, while the women were taken to clean the local commandant’s and police offices.

The next mass shooting was conducted on August 4, 1941, by part of the 10th SS- Infantry Regiment, 1st SS- Infantry Brigade, who were helped by the local police. At day, the Jews were gathered at the school building under the pretext of a registration. Once gathered, a group of 286 Jews, mainly men, but including some women, aged 15 and older, was selected and forced onto the trucks. The victims were taken 2,5km away towards the forest where they were shot. On September 4, 1941, another group of Jews was executed. In May 1942 the remaining Jews from the Hrytsiv ghetto were transferred to Starokostyantyniv. They were executed in November 1942 outside the town along with the Jews from Ostropol, Stara Synyava and Starokostyantyniv.

For more information about the killings in Starokostyantyniv please refer to the corresponding profile 

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