2 Execution site(s)
Oleksandr Ch., born in 1930: “In the fall a group of Jews was brought here from the Western Ukraine. At the beginning they were all confined into the farm building located in the outskirts of the forest. The building was not heated, and the living conditions were rather difficult. Many of them died there due to the diseases and lack of food. After a while, the Romanians authorized local people to take some of the Jews and shelter them at their houses. That is how two Jewish boys, Yankel and Nut happened to stay with us. They stayed in our house for two weeks, and then they moved to the local teacher’s house. Maria Rozhynkivka, the schoolteacher, had more room in her house and agreed to shelter the boys who stayed there until the liberation.” (Witness n°2775U, interviewed in Osiivka, on September 09, 2021)
“[…] In October 1941, the German and Romanian invaders brought 210 Jews from Bukovina and Bessarabia in the village of Osiyevka [ukr. Osiivka) and confined them in the pigsties that belonged to the collective farm ‘Kominterna’. 160 among them died due to bad treatment, torture, cold, and lack of food. These people who names weren’t established had been buried in the north-east of the village, in the Jewish cemetery.” [Act drawn up on April 13, 1945, by the Soviet Extraordinary Commission (ChGK); GARF 7021-54-1242]
Osiivka is located 156km (100mi) south east of Vinnytsia. Little is known about the Jewish community living in Osiivka before the war. According to the residents interviewed by Yahad, the village was home mainly to Ukrainians and Russians. The main occupation was agriculture. There were at least two collective farms (kolkhozes). Only few Jewish families lived here before the war. For instance, witness remembered Markhovetsky, who was the chief of the collective farm; a certain Chaim who repaired the jackets; and Chernobylsky who was a merchant. All of them managed to evacuate before the occupation.
Osiivka was occupied by German and Romanian forces at the end of July 1941. The village remained under the Romanians and became part of Transnistria in September 1941. According to the archives, a group of 210 Jews were brought here in October 1941 from Bukovina and Bessarabia. They were confined into the pigsties that belong to the collective farm ‘Kominterna’. The buildings were not fenced in, although it was forbidden for the Jewish people to leave the territory. According to the witness, a group of ten Jews fit to work were placed separately in the sovkhoz [state-owned farm] along with their families. They were used as forced labor and received some food as a pay. Other Jews, unfit to work, were placed in the pigsties and sauna building located in the center. These Jews were subjected to systematic robberies and torture. Some Jews, who managed to bribe the gendarmes and leave the ghetto, found shelter within the local people. They worked in exchange for food and a place to sleep. Many of them survived thanks to that. In all, according to the Soviet archives, under the occupation 160 Jewish refugees died from starvation, cold and inhuman condition, and treatment. Today, there is a memorial, but only at one burial place.
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