Demydivka (Demidovka)/Vinnytsia | Vinnytsia

/ Yukhym G., born in 1930 : “The Jews were placed in a stable with no heating, today there is a long grave. In 1942 a lot of them died of typhus.”© Les Kasyanov/Yahad-In Unum. Yukhym G., born in 1930© Les Kasyanov/Yahad-In Unum. The Yahad-In Unum team with a local witness. © Les Kasyanov/Yahad-In Unum. The former stables where hundreds of the Bukovina and Bessarabia Jews were confined under the Romanian occupation. © Les Kasyanov/Yahad-In Unum. The local witness takes Yahad’s team to the isolated killings sites. © Les Kasyanov/Yahad-In Unum. The execution site of a Jewish man Aron. © Les Kasyanov/Yahad-In Unum. The execution site of two Jewish women who allegedly were used as ‘comfort girls’. © Les Kasyanov/Yahad-In Unum.

Execution of Jews in Demydivka

2 Execution site(s)

Kind of place before:
Outside the village (1); Forest (2)
Period of occupation:
Number of victims:
About a dozen

Witness interview

Yukhym G., born in 1930: “Y. U. : Were there only the Ukrainians living in Demydivka or were there also the Jews or Roma ?
Witness : Before the collectivization the Jews also lived here, for example, Leiba owned a tavern. The Jews lived here but they were few.
Y. U. : Was his tavern closed during the collectivization ?
Witness : I think he closed it himself. There was also a Jew called Hytsko he was a tailor, he carried his sewing machine with him and offered his services to people. It was before the war, but he continued to do it during the war as well.
Y. U. : Was this tailor from Berchad ?
Witness : Yes.
Y. U. : Did people pay him with money or food?
Witness : Why should he be paid with food? He arrived in people’s houses with his sewing machine, stayed with them and ate with them while working, for two weeks for example, and then they paid him.
Y. U. : Did he sew clothes for your family?
Witness : Yes, he did. There were four children in our family, so we used to take the clothes in for smaller children.
Y. U. : When the war started who did occupy your village, the Romanians or the Germans ?
Witness : It was the Romanians. The right bank of the river Bug up to Trostianchyk, it’s in eight km from here, was occupied by the Romanians and the left bank by the Germans.” (Witness n°2690U, interviewed in Demydivka, on October 29, 2019)

Historical note

Demydivka is located 135km(mi) southwest of Vinnytsia.  According to the local villager interviewed by Yahad only few Jews lived here before the war. The local Jew called Leiba owned a tavern in Demydivka. There was no synagogue or cemetery in the village. Big Jewish communities lived in the nearby towns of Bershad and Obodivka, located about 20km and 14km away.  The Jew used to come from Bershad or Obodivka to sell goods in Demydivka.

Holocaust by bullets in figures

Demydivka was occupied by German and Romanian forces on July 28, 1941. The village remained under the Romanians and became part of Transnistria in September 1941. According to the available historical sources in November 1941 about 200 Jews- men, women, and children among them- were brought from Bessarabia and Bukovina and placed in the stables that belonged to the collective farm. The buildings were not fenced in. The rich Jews who managed to bribe Romanian gendarmes stayed within the local Jews in their houses. They worked in exchange for food and a place to sleep. According to the local witness, the majority of Jewish deportees survived the occupation unlike to others nearby villages, for instance Obodivka, where hundreds died only over the winter 1941-1942. In September 1943 185 Jews remained in the camp (ghetto). With the help of the local witness Yahad-In Unum managed to identify two isolated killing sites, where two Jewish women and one man, Aron, were shot respectively. They were executed by a German Kommandant from Trostianets. Unfortunately, it was impossible to establish when the shootings took place but most probably, it happened in 1942.

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