Kupyn (Kupin) | Khmelnytskyi

/ Mykola B., born in 1930: “Mothers held their children in their arms. Some young Jews tried to escape but they were caught and shot." ©Les Kasyanov/Yahad - In Unum Polina V., born in 1930: “The victims were ordered to strip naked and throw their clothes on a pile before standing next to the pit.” ©Les Kasyanov/Yahad - In Unum Anastasia N., born in 1932: “There were about 500 people walking, men, women, children and elderly people. I heard cries, then gunfire. It lasted three hours”’ ©Les Kasyanov/Yahad - In Unum Oleksandr H., born in 1935: "The Jews threw their valuables in the waterfall and after they were shot, people tried to find their gold in there. Locals and the police looted the Jewish houses.’ ©Les Kasyanov/Yahad - In Unum The Yahad team interviewing Polina V. ©Les Kasyanov/Yahad - In Unum The mass grave and its memorial in Kupyn. Hundreds of Jews were shot at this site. ©Les Kasyanov/Yahad - In Unum The mass grave seen from above. The victims were shot in this field near the Jewish cemetery. ©Les Kasyanov/Yahad - In Unum The memorial plaque stating that 291 Jews and 3 Ukrainians were shot at the site. ©Les Kasyanov/Yahad - In Unum The old Jewish cemetery, not far from the execution site. ©Les Kasyanov/Yahad - In Unum One of Kupyn’s abandoned former synagogues. ©Les Kasyanov/Yahad - In Unum

Execution of Jews in Kupyn

1 Execution site(s)

Kind of place before:
Field next to the Jewish cemetery
Period of occupation:
Number of victims:

Witness interview

Polina V., born in 1930: “In 1942, a German detachment arrived in the village. They assembled the Jews and led them to the cemetery in rows. Some of them tried to escape into the fields. They threw their gold into the river so that the Germans would not get it. A pit had been dug in advance. There were two shooters and many Germans at the site. The victims were ordered to strip naked and throw their clothes on a pile before standing next to the pit. The Jews were shot with machine guns. After that, the mass grave was filled in, blood was leaking from the ground. We could hear the gunfire from the village.” (Witness n°2892U, interviewed in Kupyn, on December 14, 2020)

Historical note

Kupyn is a village in the district of Horodok, Khmelnytskyi region, western Ukraine, located 56 km (35mi) XXXX? The earliest written references to Kupyn date back to the early 15th century. Jews first settled in Kupyn in the 18th century. Their population quickly grew and in 1897 there were 1,391 living in the village. In 1889, there were three working synagogues and a Jewish cemetery in the village. By the beginning of the 20th century, the Jews owned warehouses, the majority of shops in the village and Kupyn’s sole doctor was Jewish. In the 1920s, a Jewish kolkhoz (collective farm] was created. A pogrom was organized in Kupyn in 1919. In 1926 there were 1,094 Jews living in the village, about a third of the total population.

Holocaust by bullets in figures

Kupyn was occupied by the Germans in July 1941. Very few Jews had managed to escape Kupyn by that time. Shortly after the occupation, Jews were forced to wear a distinctive badges and were not allowed to leave the village. They were sometimes forced to perform forced labor for the Germans. According to some sources, a ghetto was set up but none of the witnesses interviewed by Yahad have confirmed this information. In September 1942, on German orders, all Jews in Kupyn were assembled and taken to a field next to the Jewish cemetery. Some had packed some belongings with them because they believed they were going to be resettled. When they arrived at the field, a pit had already been dug by requisitioned villagers. Once on site, the Jews were asked to undress before being shot on the edge of the pit. The execution was carried by the Germans, assisted by local police. The memorial on site says 291 Jews were murdered there: 78 men, 95 women and 118 children.


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