Mykhailivka (Michajlowka) | Vinnytsia

/ Fedir S., born in 1924: “In the summer of 1942, Jewish men, women and children from Ukraine and from Romanian occupied territory were brought to our village and confined in two separate stables.”  ©Nicolas Tkatchouk/Yahad - In Unum Vasyl H., born in 1931: “There were Jewish skilled workers among the labor camp inmates, confined in the stables. The guards allowed local residents to enter the camp to have their hair cut  in exchange for food.”  ©Nicolas Tkatchouk/Yahad - In Unum Olga K., born in 1929: “My uncle was among the partisans who organized an attack on the labor camp in order to liberate its detainees. The camp commandant, killed during that action, was buried by my family.”  ©Nicolas Tkatchouk/Yahad - In Unum Lidia S., born in 1931: “In winter, from the window of my house, I saw the columns of Jews being marched to their execution site in the forest. They were followed by 3 carts, transporting some detainees.”  ©Nicolas Tkatchouk/Yahad - In Unum Vasyl H. pointing out the former location of the stables where the labor camp inmates were confined. The original buildings no longer exist. During construction work, human remains were found at the site. ©Nicolas Tkatchouk/Yahad - In Unum The location of the former Jewish labor camp in the school building of Mykhailivka, where Jewish men, women and children were confined from the winter of 1942-43. ©Nicolas Tkatchouk/Yahad - In Unum The execution site of hundreds of Jewish inmates of the Mykhailivka labor camp. The victims were killed and b buried in three separate mass graves located in the forest, on the hill known as “Lysa Hora”. ©Nicolas Tkatchouk/Yahad - In Unum

Executions of the Jews of Mikhailivka

1 Execution site(s)

Kind of place before:
Period of occupation:
Number of victims:
Over 300

Witness interview

Fedir S., born in 1924: YIU.: "You’ve mentioned that the Jews read the kaddish at Lysa Hora, could you tell us more about this?"
Witness: "Well, I can’t tell you exactly what it was. It happened in winter. The Kommandant allowed them to go to the site where "selected" Jews had been shot, as I told you earlier, to read a kaddish."
YIU.: "Was there a rabbi?"
Witness: "There were people of various professions among the Romanian Jews, like rabbis, painters, prosecutors and even lawyers. They read the kaddish in the winter."
YIU.: "You accompanied them to the site so they could read the kaddish, correct?"
Witness: "Absolutely. I accompanied them to the mass grave where the victims were shot. They read the kaddish. I went hunting in the meantime. They let me know when they were done and we headed back to the camp."
Y. U.: "Did you leave them unsupervised?"
Witness: "Yes. I wasn’t worried. I also let them go door to door when they asked [the villagers] for potatoes in the fall. They always came back. They respected me. As I’ve told you, I brought them bread that my mother baked. I brought them potatoes too. I felt pity for them, so did my mother. Those people were going through hard times." (Testimony N°YIU1196U, interviewed in Mykhailivka, on May 22, 2011)

German archives

"In south-western Ukraine, German road construction companies used Jewish workers, forcibly confined in camps on both sides of the Bug River, to build the road from Haysyn to Uman. These companies did not consider it necessary to pay these workers, as they had acquired them at a high price from the SS, who received 16 pfennigs per day for each slave.
One day, a German from the Todt group asked me quite innocently if I wasn’t surprised that there hadn’t been any workplace executions recently. Indeed, I had never asked myself that question before, so inscrutable were the decisions taken from above and the reasons behind them. The German himself gave me an explanation: the August Dohrmann company, our "owner", had protested against executions in the workplace, as it interfered with the day’s work of the person who lost his life. The company felt that the off-site executions would impress us less. Which of us was so impressionable? It was only at the beginning that young Hermann B. fainted after being ordered to clean the blood off the Unteroffizier Z.’s bicycle and truncheon, who had just returned from an off-site execution." [Extracts from the book "Let me live" of Arnold Daghani, treating Mykhailivka labor camp, BARch162-6153, p.2]

Historical note

Mykhailivka, situated approximately 107 km (67 mi) southeast of Vinnytsia, has a rich history dating back to the early 19th century when the village was founded. Notably, Mykhailivka played a strategic role as the road connecting Haysyn and Uman passed through its borders. Although there is limited information available about the Jewish residents of the village, Yahad witnesses shared accounts of several Jewish women who were married to local inhabitants. A thriving Jewish community once existed, however, in the nearby town of Haysyn, located just 11 km (7 mi) to the east.

Holocaust by bullets in figures

Mykhailivka fell under German occupation on July 28, 1941. In the summer of 1942, a Jewish labor camp was established in the village. Ukrainian Jews and individuals from the Romanian-occupied Transnistria region, numbering several hundred, including men, women, and children, were transported to Mykhailivka and confined within two separate kolkhoz stables. These areas were encircled by barbed wire and initially guarded by Lithuanian officials, later assisted by Ukrainian policemen. From November 1942 onwards, the living conditions for camp inmates improved when they were transferred to two school buildings. The Jewish detainees were coerced into forced labor, contributing to the construction of the DGIV highway (by working on the section of the road linking Haysyn and Uman), under the supervision of German engineers of the Organization Todt. A number of Jews succumbed to harsh living conditions, including malnutrition, lack of healthcare, and challenging working conditions.

Regular inspections were conducted in the labor camp by members of the Security Police from Haysyn, aided by the camp commandant. Those deemed unfit to work were subjected to numerous shootings following each selection, including three main shootings conducted on August 19, 1942 (resulting in the murder of 16 Jews), in November 1942 (leading to the death of 107 Jews), and on April 26, 1943 (leading to the killing of 55 Jews). During each massacre, victims were led in columns (later, in trucks) to the execution site on the hill known as "Lysa Hora", located in the forest. Anyone too weak to walk was killed within the camp itself and transported to the execution site on a cart. Before being shot to death in the mass graves prepared in advance, the victims, totaling over 300 Jews, were forced to undress, and their gold teeth were extracted.

After a partisan attack in August 1943, resulting in the death of the camp commandant, the remaining labor camp inmates were transferred to Tarasivka village, where a similar camp had been established at an earlier date. The Tarasivka camp was liquidated during an Aktion on December 10, 1943, during which all remaining Jewish inmates were murdered.  

For more information about the killing of Jews in Tarasivka please follow the corresponding profile.

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