Orativ (Oratov) | Vinnytsia

/ Anastasia Sh., born in 1927: “A Jewish woman came to our house with her kid. She was looking for a hiding place. But we were too close to the Kommandantur, that is why she left. We gave her some food.” Aleksey Kasyanov/Yahad - In Unum Varvara I., born in 1930: “One day I was passing by the town center, where the bank is today, when I heard people screaming.” ©Aleksey Kasyanov/Yahad - In Unum Yahad - In Unum’s team during an interview. ©Aleksey Kasyanv/Yahad - In Unum One of the remaining tombstones at the Jewish cemetery of Orativ. ©Aleksey Kasyanv/Yahad - In Unum The former Jewish cemetery in Ortaiv. Today, only a couple of tombstones remain. ©Aleksey Kasyanv/Yahad - In Unum The execution site of 3 Orativ Jews near the Dembrovskyi forest. ©Aleksey Kasyanv/Yahad - In Unum A drone view of the former ravine. The mass grave where the 34 Jews from Orativ were shot. ©Aleksey Kasyanv/Yahad - In Unum

Execution of Jews in Orativ

1 Execution site(s)

Kind of place before:
Ravine near the Dembrovskyi Forest
Period of occupation:
Number of victims:

Witness interview

Varvara I., born in 1930: “One day I was passing by the town center, where the bank is today, when I heard people screaming. When I turned, I saw a truck full of people, men and women. They were crammed inside the truck, standing up. There was no room to sit down. The truck was surrounded by Germans and local police. The truck left in the direction of Haysyn. The Germans followed it on motorbikes. After that episode, there were no more Jews in the village.” (Witness n°2663, interviewed in Orativ, on September 17, 2019)

Soviet archives

« On October 15, 1942, the German gendarmerie of the Oratov district, headed by the German officer Forkel, and his deputy officer Schleipner, rounded up 74 Soviet civilians from their houses, including elderly people, women and children. Forty of them were transported to Monastryrysche where they were shot. The remaining 34 were transported by the German rascals to the ravine located next to the Dembrovski forest, about 2km away from Oratov, and shot with automatic weapons. The bodies were buried at the execution site. [The list of 74 names follows].” [Act drawn up by Soviet Extraordinary Commission (ChGK), on April 15, 1945; GARF 7021-54-1238]

Historical note

Orativ is located about 75km (47miles) east of Vinnytsia. The first records of the Jewish community go back to the 18th century. By 1897, the Jewish community numbered 529 people, making up 22% of the total population. The Jews had their own synagogue. The majority of them worked in small scale trade and many were craftsmen. During  the period 1914-1920, many Jews left the village due to the violence and pogroms organized by different groups during the civil war. On the eve of the war, only 5% of the population was Jewish (144 Jews).

Holocaust by bullets in figures

Orativ was occupied by the German troops on July 27, 1941. It remained under German occupation until its liberation. By this time, about 70-80 Jews remained in the village while others managed to escape to the East. Shortly after the occupation, the German military administration implemented several anti-Jewish measures. All the Jews were registered and marked with white armbands bearing the Star of David. Those fit to work were subjected to perform different types of labor.

In October, the German military administration was taken over by a civilian one. Sometime in the fall of 1941, a Jewish ghetto was created. All the Jews from Orativ, as well as surrounding villages, were forced to move there. On October 15, 1942, the ghetto was liquidated. According to some sources, about 40 Jews were transferred to Monastyrysche and murdered there, while another 30-35 Jews were taken to the Dembrovskyi forest, located 2km from Orativ. They were shot in a ravine.   


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