Kuzmyna Greblia (Kuzmina Hreblia) | Cherkasy

Mykola T., born in 1930: “I used to give food to the Jewish boy who was taken to carry out forced labor in the stone quarry. He would leave the column to take the food as the column passed my house.” ©Les Kasyanov/Yahad - In Unum Riva E., a Jewish survivor, born in 1928, spent about 9 months in the Kuzmyna Greblia labor camp before being transferred to Bershad. ©Les Kasyanov/Yahad - In Unum Oleksandr Sh., a Jewish survivor, born in 1930, spent about one year in the Kuzmyna Greblia labor camp, where he was subjected to forced labor in the stone quarry. His brother was killed in the camp. ©Les Kasyanov/Yahad - In Unum The Yahad team during an interview.  ©Les Kasyanov/Yahad - In Unum The village of Kuzmyna Greblia. ©Les Kasyanov/Yahad - In Unum The former Jewish labor camp at Kuzmyna Greblia. At the time, the camp was housed in this building, which had been used as a Klub. Today, it is the House of Culture. ©Les Kasyanov/Yahad - In Unum The execution site of about 70 Jews, killed in Kuzmyna Greblia throughout the occupation period. The victims were shot and buried in the numerous pits dug in the clay quarry. ©Les Kasyanov/Yahad - In Unum A drone view at the execution site, located on the outskirts of Kuzmyna Greblia. ©Les Kasyanov/Yahad - In Unum The monument in memory of over 70 Jews from the Uman Ghetto and the ghettos of surrounding villages, shot by fascists and their police auxiliaries in 1941-1942. ©Les Kasyanov/Yahad - In Unum Monuments to the victims of the Holocaust and Holodomor, erected in the village of Kuzmyna Greblia, near the Orthodox cemetery. ©Les Kasyanov/Yahad - In Unum

Execution of Jews in Kuzmyna Greblia

1 Execution site(s)

Kind of place before:
Clay quarry
Memorials:
Yes
Period of occupation:
1941-1944
Number of victims:
Over 70

Witness interview

Oleksandr Sh., a Jewish survivor, born in 1930: "When my brother and I were in the Uman labor camp, we were taken to prison and then transferred to the Kuzmyna Greblia labor camp. This occurred when a Ukrainian guard from Kuzmyna Greblia came to Uman to select two men for transfer. The Uman camp commander bribed him to take my brother and I instead. From the prison, we were escorted to a courtyard with trucks full of Jews, loaded onto one, and transported to Kuzmyna Greblia. Upon arrival, we were locked in a former Klub building, surrounded by a barbed-wire fence, and forced to work in a stone quarry for about a year. Tragically, one day upon my return from the quarry, a girl told me that my brother had died. A month later, I was transferred to the Mykhailivka camp." (Testimony N°YIU2309U, interviewed in Chernivtsi, on September 28, 2017)

Historical note

Kuzmyna Greblia, situated about 195 km (121 mi) southwest of Cherkasy, had a sparse Jewish population before the war according to witnesses interviewed by Yahad. Kuzmyna Greblia was predominantly home to Ukrainians. The local populace primarily sustained themselves through agriculture, often laboring in the collective farm. Meanwhile, the nearby town of Uman, approximately 18 km (11 mi) northeast, was home to a substantial Jewish community.

Holocaust by bullets in figures

Kuzmyna Greblia came under German occupation in July 1941, transitioning to German civil administration shortly after. A German administration and Ukrainian police unit were established in the village.

Following the liquidation of the Uman ghetto in April 1942, 200 able-bodied Jews were transferred to Kuzmyna Greblia, where a labor camp was set up in the Klub building. Later, another 150 Jews who had escaped during the Uman ghetto massacre were also brought to the camp. The detainees, including men, women, and children, relied on locals for sustenance or traded valuables for food. Guarded by Germans and local police, they were forced to work in a nearby stone quarry, their labor supporting road construction in Tomashivka village, 4 kilometers away.

Throughout the camp’s existence, sick and weak Jews were regularly murdered every 2-3 days. They were taken to a clay quarry in Molotchne, 400 meters away, forced to dig a pit, and then shot. Despite the absence of a memorial at the execution site, a memorial in Kuzmyna Greblia honors over 70 Jews from various ghettos who were killed there.

The labor camp operated for about a year before the remaining detainees were transferred to other locations, notably Bershad and Mykhailivka.

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