Kalynivka (Vinnytsia)/Kalinovka | Vinnytsia

/ Maria Ya., born in 1927: “One Jewish man, an ironsmith, managed to hide in the orthodox cemetery and survived the war.”© Aleksey Kasyanov/Yahad-In Unum Hanna G., born in 1929: “My father was arrested on April 22, 1942, and on May 29, 1942, he was shot along with the Jews.” © Aleksey Kasyanov/Yahad-In Unum Larysa K., born in 1930, witnessed a shooting from about a dozen meters: “The Jews were forced to strip naked. After the shooting, all their belongings and valuables were taken away.” © Aleksey Kasyanov/Yahad-In Unum The Yahad-In Unum’s team during an interview. ©Aleksey Kasyanv/Yahad-In Unum One of the remaining tombstones in the Jewish cemetery of Kalynivka. ©Aleksey Kasyanv/Yahad-In Unum The Jewish cemetery in Kalynivka with some after war tombs© Aleksey Kasyanov/Yahad-In Unum A drone view at the two mass graves located 500m from one another where 700 people, including Jews, POWs and communists, were murdered under the occupation.  ©Aleksey Kasyanv/Yahad-In Unum The mass grave of Jewish men, POWs and communists. © Aleksey Kasyanov/Yahad-In Unum The mass grave of Jewish women and children.© Aleksey Kasyanov/Yahad-In Unum

Execution of Jews in Kalynivka

2 Execution site(s)

Kind of place before:
Period of occupation:
Number of victims:

Witness interview

Hanna G., born in 1929. Her father was shot along with the Jews as a communist: “My father worked as a chief of the brigade in a collective farm. My uncle, my father’s brother, was a member of the Communist Party and the head of this collective farm. My father wasn’t a communist, and yet he was arrested and was accused of communism. He was arrested on April 22, 1942, along with his brother. For more than a month they were held in prison and interrogated. Then, they were shot. They were shot on May 29, the same day as the Jews.
On that day, I saw the Jews being confined in the collective farm’s stables. We went there hoping to find our father. The stable was guarded by Germans and it was impossible to get close.” (Witness n°2656U, interviewed in Kalynivka, on September 13, 2019)

Soviet archives

“On June 30, 1942 a mass raid of the Jewish population was carried out in the area of the towns of Kalinovka and Novy and Stary Pikov. The following policemen, the German allies, participated: (...), and Gendarmerie translator G., as well as German gendarmes whose names could not be determined
The round up, in which about 700 women, elderly people, and children were arrested, started at 4 a.m. The gathering point was the stables of the Molotov kolkhoz, where they [the Jews] were kept until 3 p.m., i.e. until the pits were ready.
After that Lieutenant L*** arrived at the stables and selected skilled workers, for instance shoemakers, ironsmiths, tailors, etc., a total of 33 people, who were placed in a cell at the Gendarmerie station. Several Jews who tried to pass as Ukrainians were separated and locked up until their ethnic origins were clarified.
Under an order of Gendarmerie Chief L*** the rest, about 600 people, were taken under guard by local policemen P., B., and others to the shooting site, where 8 Gestapo men who had arrived from Vinnitsa [and] whose names have not been determined, were waiting.
Gebietskommissar P*** also participated in the shooting. On his command Gestapo men started the brutal massacre, in other words, the shooting. Local policemen cordoned off the site for the shooting. Gestapo men ordered the people to strip naked. Afterwards, one of the Gestapo men took groups of five down to the pit and forced them to lie facing the ground, while two other Gestapo men shot the victims in the head with submachine guns. Before the shooting people screamed, cried, and begged to be spared, but they were told that "your time is up." In this way all the arrested people, about 700 of them, were shot. [They included] 500 residents of the town of Kalinovka,including 12 Communists.” [Act drawn up by Soviet State Extraordinary Commission (ChGK) on August 12, 1944; GARF : 7021-54-1274, pp.119-124]

Historical note

Kalynivka is located 26km (16mi) north of Vinnytsia. The first records about the Jewish community go back to the second half of the 18th century. By 1897, the Jewish community was rather big and represented 41% of the entire population. Jews were involved in small scale and whole scale trade. They owned most of the shops and warehouses. Some Jews were artisans, such as shoemakers, tailors, and ironsmiths. The Jewish community suffered from a pogrom carried out in 1918, during which Jewish houses and commerce were plundered and eight Jews were killed. On the eve of the war, in 1939, only 20% of the population was Jewish. In September 1939, after the outbreak of World War II, a number of Jewish refugees from Poland arrived to Kalynivka.

Holocaust by bullets in figures

Kalynivka was occupied by the German troops on July 22, 1941, and remained under German Civil administration until its liberation, in March 1944. Many Jews managed to evacuate to the East before the Germans arrived, despite the bombing of the railroads. However, several dozen Jews and non-Jews died in bombings. Shortly after the occupation, a ghetto was created in the area inhabited by the Jews before the war. Those Jews who lived outside this area were forced to move in. The ghetto was guarded but wasn’t fenced in, although it was still forbidden to leave its territory. All the inmates were marked with distinguishing signs. The Jewish inmates fit to work were subjected to perform different types of heavy labor. For instance, about 100 Kalynivka Jews were taken from the ghetto to work on the airfield construction in mid-May 1942. In all, about 400-500 Jews from Kalynivka, Pykiv, Ulaniv and Ivaniv, were displaced to this newly created labor camp. The camp was fenced in with barbed wire and it existed until the middle of 1943. During the liquidation of the camp, the remaining Jews were taken to the village of Kordelivka, 5km away, and shot there. According to the historian Martin Dean, they were about a hundred. Most of the Kalynivka Jews, about 500 people, were murdered, together with about 200 Jews from the area, including Pykiv, on May 29, 1942, a short distance from the town, in the pits dug in advance. After the aktion in Kalynivka, the same Gestapo unit conducted the execution in the nearby village of Ivaniv. One of the witnesses interviewed by Yahad, whose father was executed at the same time as the Jews, confirmed that the shooting was carried out on May 29. All this in mind, we believe that the date of June 30, 1942, mentioned in the Soviet archives, is not correct. Prior to the execution, all the Jews were herded into the stables of the Molotov collective farm where a selection was carried out. As a result of which, 33 skilled workers and several dozen people who claimed to be non-Jews were separated from the others. After a verification only one woman was recognized as Ukrainian, while the others were taken to be shot. In the afternoon about 600 Jews were taken to the field, located 1,5km away, and shot in small groups of fives with the submachine guns. Before getting inside the pit and lying down facing the ground, the victims were forced to undress. Those Jews who managed to hide during the ghetto liquidation were tracked down and shot during the following weeks. There was an attempt to organize resistance among the Kalynivka Jews under the leadership of Efim Kamenetskii and with the help of the Soviet partisan movement. Unfortunately, all the resistance activities were stopped with the massacre of the Jews in May 1941.

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