Hraniv (Granów) | Vinnytsia

/ / Lidia B., born in 1920: “Before the war, there were Ukrainians, Poles and Jews living in the village. Their children attended the same school. Everyone got along very well, there were even mixed marriages.” ©Nicolas Tkatchouk/Yahad - In Unum Mykhailo Z., born in 1930: “Some of Hraniv’s Jews were taken to the brick factory to be murdered. Over time, the outlines of the pit faded. Today, no trace remains.” ©Nicolas Tkatchouk/Yahad - In Unum Volodymyr Sh., born in 1927: “A Jewish translator and a family of a Jewish tailor were spared during the mass shooting and left in the village. Later on, they were also executed in the forest.” ©Nicolas Tkatchouk/Yahad - In Unum The execution site of several dozen Jews, murdered in the first months of the German occupation. At the time, the victims were killed in the pit dug in the ravine, located near the brick factory. Execution site N°1. ©Nicolas Tkatchouk/Yahad - In Unum Execution site of four Jewish skilled workers, located in the forest near Hraniv. Execution site N°2.   ©Nicolas Tkatchouk/Yahad - In Unum Mykhailo Z., born in 1930, showing the team the execution site of Jewish skilled workers. ©Nicolas Tkatchouk/Yahad - In Unum

Execution of Jews in Hraniv

2 Execution site(s)

Kind of place before:
Ravine near the brick factory (1); Forest (2)
Period of occupation:
Number of victims:

Witness interview

Mykhailo Z., born in 1930: "In my neighborhood of Hraniv, there was an elderly Jewish couple who were artisans. The Germans offered to spare them from being shot if they converted to Christianity, and they accepted, continuing to live and work as before. For about a year, they were required to attend a school organized by the Germans, which served as a house of prayer, twice a week. However, despite this, between 6 and 12 months later, they were arrested and murdered. I witnessed their arrest as they were taken to the rural council building, where they spent the night alongside a few captured partisans. The following day, they were escorted by Germans and policemen into the forest, where they were shot." (Testimony N°YIU1206U, interviewed in Hraniv, on May 24, 2011)

Soviet archives

"During the occupation, the German fascist invaders committed the following atrocities on the territory of the village: the German gendarmerie, whose commander’s name is unknown, shot dead 70 civilians from the village of Granov." [Act drawn by State Extraordinary Soviet Commission (ChGK), on August 28, 1944, p.59; GARF 7021-54-1272/ Copy USHMM RG.22-002M]

Historical note

Hraniv is located approximately 105 km (65 mi) southeast of Vinnytsia and has a rich history dating back to the 15th century when it was known as Verbych. In the early 15th century, it became the property of the Polish magnate, Hranowski, after whom it was renamed Hraniv. The recorded Jewish presence in Hraniv dates back to 1738, though the community faced attacks by Haidamaks in the same century, resulting in a significant decline in population. By 1765, the Jewish community numbered 662 individuals, but due to these attacks, it was reduced to 146 by 1776. Throughout the 19th century, Hraniv thrived as a Jewish-dominated shtetl, with 753 Jewish residents recorded in 1897. Jews were integral to the town’s commerce and artisanal activities. However, the Jewish population began to decline at the start of the 20th century, exacerbated by the Russian Civil War.

During the Soviet era, some Jews transitioned into agricultural work and formed their own kolkhoz. Despite these changes, Jewish skilled workers remained essential to the town’s economy, contributing as doctors, nurses, teachers, and artisans. The town boasted Jewish prayer houses and a cemetery. Although information about Hraniv’s Jewish residents prior to the Second World War is limited, Yahad witnesses suggest that several dozen Jews lived in the town at that time.

Holocaust by bullets in figures

Before the German troops arrived in Hraniv on July 27, 1941, some Jewish residents had already fled to join the partisans, while others sought refuge by evacuating to the East. Following a brief period of military control, the town shifted to German civil administration in the fall of 1941. This change brought about the establishment of a Kommandantur, overseen by a German Kommandant, alongside a Ukrainian administrative head known as the Starosta and the formation of a Ukrainian police unit.

During the early stages of occupation, most local Jews were rounded up and executed during an Aktion, likely occurring in the summer or fall. The victims were forcibly taken from their homes by the Germans, aided by local policemen, and transported to the brick factory, where they were shot in a pit dug in a nearby ravine. Some were later transferred to Haysyn, where they met the same fate, according to local witnesses.

A small group of Jewish skilled workers, including an interpreter and a family of tailors, were spared on the condition of converting to Christianity. They lived and worked in Hraniv for a period ranging from a few months to a year before being arrested and executed in the forest alongside a group of partisans. Post-war, the bodies of the partisans and Soviet soldiers killed during the occupation were exhumed and reburied in a mass grave in Hraniv, while the Jewish victims’ remains were left undisturbed.

According to the Soviet archives, 48 out of the 70 civilians who perished in Hraniv during the Second World War were Jewish.


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