Horodok (Gorodok) | Khmelnytskyi

/ Yelena K., born in 1931: “The column of Jews was guarded by a dozen guards, comprising Germans and local Schutzmanns.” ©Guillaume Ribot/Yahad – In Unum The Yahad – In Unum team during an interview. ©Guillaume Ribot/Yahad – In Unum The execution site of the Horodok Jews murdered in December 1942. According to the historical sources, 87 Jews, mainly women and children, were shot here. ©Guillaume Ribot/ Yahad – In Unum

Execution of Jews in Horodok

1 Execution site(s)

Investigated by Yahad:
Kind of place before:
Dam near the sugar factory
Period of occupation:
Number of victims:
Ca. 100

Witness interview

Teodosia L., born in 1932: "One day, a Jewish man, who knew that he was going to be killed – he was called Mikhail Brois – came to see my grandfather. He gave him his fur coat, so that my grandfather could give it to his son, who was fighting with the partisans. Shortly after that, all the Jews were arrested and taken away. The guards would stop in front of each house, force each Jewish family out and make them join the column. The Jews walked calmly without resisting." (Witness n°720bis, interviewed in Horodok, on August 27, 2008)

Soviet archives

“In 1942 the order from Romanovich was passed on to us by the local administration to the effect that at 6 a.m. we, cart drivers, had to come to the local administration building. We did so. Under the command of the Ukrainian policeman Ch., we were ordered to wait with our carts. The Ukrainian policemen forced as many as ninety of the [Jewish] residents out of their homes and loaded them onto the carts and took them to the dam next to the sugar factory, where they were shot to death. While standing near the guard post, I saw the following scene: for some reason the Ukrainian policemen returned one resident, Shoikhet, and drove him back home. A few minutes later he came back with a piece of gold, which he handed over to Kite, the head of the Gendarmerie, while he [Shoikhet] was muttering something in his language and crawling on his knees before Kite. However, the gendarme kicked him, made me put Shoikhet into my cart and take him to the same dam where about 100 others like him had been shot to death. He was guarded by the Ukrainian policeman Ch. I approached the dam.... O. forced Shoikhet to strip naked and then shot him to death with a submachine-gun on the spot.” [Deposition of a local man requisitioned to transport the Jews towards the killing site, Yosif S., given to the State Soviet Extraordinary Commission (ChGK) on June 11, 1944; TsGAOOU 166-3-215]

Historical note

Horodok is a town located 48 km (30mi) southwest of Khmelnytskyi. First Jews started to settle down in the town in the 17th century. According to the 1897 census, 37% of the population was Jewish: 3,194 Jews lived in the town. The majority of Jews lived in the center of the town. Many Jews occupied high positions at the district and regional administration. Many of others were merchants or craftsmen. On the eve of the war, only 2,329 Jews remained in the town due to relocation of many local Jews to bigger towns for more security and economic stability.

Holocaust by bullets in figures

Horodok was occupied by German forces on July 8, 1941. Shortly after their arrival, all Jews were marked with distinguishing yellow badges and a sort of open ghetto was created. The ghetto wasn’t fenced in and was located in the area where the majority of Jews lived before the war. In the autumn of 1941, some women and children from Kuzmyn were taken to the Horodok ghetto. Any Jew fit for work was subjected different kinds of hard labor, like digging ditches.

In late summer or early autumn, several people from the underground movement, including some Jews and a certain Mr Bakarov, who was married to a Jewish woman, were arrested, tortured and publicly hanged.  

In October 1942, the majority of the Horodok Jews, with the exception of 87 crafstmen and their families, and those who had managed to hide, were arrested at their homes and taken on foot towards Yarmolyntsi where, after being held in a military base for several days, they were shot alongside the Yarmolyntsi Jews, the Jews from Sharivka, Sataniv, Kuzmyn, Mykhailivka, Frampil and Kupyn.

The remaining 87 artisans were killed in December 1942. The victims were transported by cart to the dam located 2 km outside Horodok. According to the local witness interviewed by Yahad, a schoolteacher, Berta Mykhailovna, along with her two mischlinge children was killed during this action. The victims were forced to undress before being killed with a sub machine gun. According to the Soviet archives, the shooting was conducted by local auxiliary policeman. In January 1942, about 16 Jews were found in hiding and shot at the local Jewish cemetery. 

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