Zarvantsi | Vinnytsia

/ The countryside of the Zarvantsi village. © Aleksey Kasyanov/Yahad-in Unum Dmytro M., born in 1931: “The Jews were lined up in front of the pit and shot. The women advanced, the police fired without stopping. I watched the scene for about one hour.” © Aleksey Kasyanov/Yahad-in Unum The Yahad-In Unum team with a witness going to the execution site. © Aleksey Kasyanov/Yahad-in Unum The former location of the camp created in May 1942. © Aleksey Kasyanov/Yahad-in Unum Dmytro M., born in 1931: “My friend and I climbed on a tree 500 meters from the pit and watched. The pit had been dug by POWs. Around 30-35 policemen from Vinnytsia brought the Jews to the pit.” © Aleksey Kasyanov/Yahad-in Unum The execution site located close to the village of Zarvantsi. At this location the Jews from Yaltushkovo and other villages were shot on November 7, 1942. ©Aleksey Kasyanov/Yahad-In Unum A drone view of the execution site in Zarvantsi. The camp for the prisoners of war was located nearby. ©Aleksey Kasyanov/Yahad-In Unum

Execution of the Vinnytsia Jews in Zarvantsi

1 Execution site(s)

Kind of place before :
Forest
Memorials :
Yes
Period of occupation:
1941-1944
Number of victims :
At least 440

Witness interview

Dmytro M., born in 1931 : «The camp was created in summer, right after the war broke out. About 440 people were brought there. The majority of the detainees were women. They stayed in a long building that was built before the war and was supposed to use for school. But the war started, and the building remained empty. So, they decided to fence it in with barbed wire and create a camp. The barbed wire was built by the Soviet prisoners of war brought from Vinnytsia. The detainees stayed in the camp for several months. They did not go to work. They stayed all that time inside the camp and it was forbidden to the local population to come close to it.” (Witness n°2636, interviewed in Zarvantsi, on September 5, 2019)

Historical note

Zarvantsi is located about 10 km west of Vinnytsia. The local Jewish community was very small. According to the witness only several Jewish families lived in Zarvantsi.  The local community didn’t have a synagogue neither a cemetery. The majority of Jews lived in Vinnytsia. The first record of a Jewish presence dates to the early 16th century. In the mid-17th century, several dozen Jewish families lived in Vinnytsia. In 1847 there were 3,882 Jews in Vinnytsia and by 1897 11, 689 Jews lived in the city making up almost 40% of the total population. On the eve of the war, 36% of the city’s population was Jewish. By the time Vinnytsia was occupied more than half of the Jewish inhabitants had managed to evacuate.g

Holocaust by bullets in figures

The area was occupied by the Germans on July 19, 1941. At this time, according to the Martin Dean Encyclopedia, approximately 18,000 Jews remained in the city of Vinnytsia. Until October 1941 Vinnytsia remained under German military administration. On October 20, 1941, it became part of Generalkommissariat Shitomir. One of the first measures undertaken by the military administration was to register all Jews and mark them with armbands bearing the Star of David. There is no exact information of what had happened to the local Jews. Most probably those who didn’t evacuate were displaced to the Vinnytsia ghetto. There was a labor camp created in Zarvantsi in May 1942. About 440 Jews, mainly women, were brought there from Vinnytsia. They stayed in the camp created in the school building for several months. The camp was fenced in with barbed wire and was guarded by German police. The camp was liquidated in November 1942 when all the detainees were taken to the pit dug in the forest by the Soviet prisoners of war. The Jews were brought from the camp by 30-35 policemen with dogs. The victims were shot dressed. At the end the pit was filled in by the Soviet prisoners of war.

For more information about the killings of Vinnytsia Jews please refer to the corresponding profile

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