Ositna/Pogorila (Pogorela) | Vinnytsia

Afanasia D., born in 1916: “Before the war, two Jewish sisters and their brother worked in the sugar factory in Pogorila. During the war, they were hidden by local residents.” ©David Merlin-Dufey/Yahad - In Unum Maria K., born in 1929: “During the entire period of occupation, a Jewish family was hidden by my family in our house.” ©David Merlin-Dufey/Yahad - In Unum Ksenia K., born in 1922: “Jewish men, women and children were confined in the building in the Pogorila village under supervision of the guards. The detainees were subjected to the forced labor.” ©David Merlin-Dufey/Yahad - In Unum Hanna H., born in 1926: “I was subjected to forced labor on the road construction. Jewish prisoners worked on the same road under supervision of the German guards. They were mistreated and starving.” ©David Merlin-Dufey/Yahad - In Unum The execution site of several dozen Jews from the Pogorila labor camp, murdered in the summer of 1943. The victims’ corpses are buried in a pit, located in the forest, near the road connecting Ositna and Pogorila. ©David Merlin-Dufey/Yahad - In Unum

Execution of Pogorila Jews in Ositna/Pogorila

1 Execution site(s)

Kind of place before:
Forest
Memorials:
Yes
Period of occupation:
1941-1944
Number of victims:
Several dozen

Witness interview

Ksenia K., born in 1922: "In the summer of 1943, several inhabitants of our village were requisitioned to dig a pit under German supervision. It was dug on the edge of the nearby forest, some fifty meters from the road. When it was ready, around midday, I saw a cart with young Jewish boys and girls, some of them teenagers, being transported from the village of Pogorila towards the execution site. I heard them speaking in the Jewish language. Once they arrived at the site, they were lined up on one side of the pit, facing it, before being shot by two Germans armed with machine guns. Local residents waited nearby to fill the pit after the execution." (Testimony N°YIU1114U, interviewed in Pogorila, on December 22 2010)

Historical note

Pogorila, situated approximately 146 km (91 mi) southeast of Vinnytsia, near the border with the Cherkasy region, had a scant Jewish presence before the war. According to accounts from local residents interviewed by Yahad, the village was predominantly inhabited by Ukrainians, although there was one Jewish family, which included two sisters and one brother. The majority of the local population were involved in farming and agricultural activities, whereas the Jewish residents were employed at the local sugar factory.

Holocaust by bullets in figures

Pogorila fell under German occupation in July 1941, transitioning from military to civil administration shortly thereafter. Local Jews were hidden by Ukrainian inhabitants of Pogorila throughout the occupation period.

According to accounts from local witnesses, several months after the occupation began, around the summer of 1942, a Jewish labor camp was established near the sugar factory of Pogorila (in a barn/school). This camp housed several dozen Jews presumably brought from the Romanian-occupied zone. Overseen by German guards, Jewish prisoners were forced to work on the DGIV highway, connecting Vinnytsia to Uman.

The camp was most probably liquidated in the summer of 1943, when several dozen Jews, including children and teenagers, were murdered during an Aktion conducted by the Germans. The victims were transported by carts to a nearby forest along the road connecting Pogorila and Ositna villages, where they were forced to line up at the edge of a pit previously dug by requisitioned local residents and shot to death by the Germans. The pit was then filled in by the same local residents.

As there were many children and teenagers among the victims, it is possible that some other Jewish camp inmates, deemed fit for work, were transferred to other labor camps set up in the area, as was common practice in the region.

Jewishgen

Nearby villages

  • Ositna
  • Udych
To support the work of Yahad-in Unum please consider making a donation

Do you have additional information regarding a village that you would like to share with Yahad ?

Please contact us at contact@yahadinunum.org
or by calling Yahad – In Unum at +33 (0) 1 53 20 13 17