Popivtsi (Popovtsy) | Vinnytsia

/ Pavlo S., born in 1930: “Fania Abramovna, the local Jewish woman who lived in Katsmaniv, wasn’t taken to the camp. She was baptized and became orthodox, so was allowed to stay in the village.”©Les Kasyanov/Yahad - In Unum Pavlo Z., born in 1925: “I used to go to the camp to exchange food for cigarettes.” ©Les Kasyanov/Yahad - In Unum The location of the camp where circa. 1,000 Jews from Bukovina and Bessarabia were detained. The camp is located close to the village of Katsmaziv, about 10 km away from Popivtsi.  ©Les Kasyanov/Yahad - In Unum Pavlo S., born in 1930, pointing out the location of the camp. ©Les Kasyanov/Yahad - In Unum The Yahad team with a witness during an interview at his house. ©Les Kasyanov/Yahad - In Unum The Yahad team with a witness at the mass grave site. ©Les Kasyanov/Yahad - In Unum The location of the mass grave where circa. 800 Jews were buried with no memorial. ©Les Kasyanov/Yahad - In Unum A panorama view at the mass grave site where circa. 800 Jews who died in the camp from hunger or mistreatment were buried. Today, there is no memorial at the site. ©Les Kasyanov/Yahad - In Unum

Execution of Jews in Popivtsi

1 Execution site(s)

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

Witness interview

Pavlo Z., born in 1925: "Hundreds of Jews, children and adults included, were taken to Katsmaziv. They were taken there from the Chernivtsi region with their belongings and placed in the former camp for Uzbekh prisoners, who built the road here in 1938. There were several buildings inside the camp where the Jews put. They didn’t stay long. As far as I remember, they spent the winter and summer here. The camp wasn’t guarded, but it was fenced in with barbed wire. Some Jews were able to leave the camp. They had to leave it to look for food because they weren’t given any. One Jewish hairdresser, David, passed through the village and offered his services in exchange for food.” (Witness n°2587U, interviewed in Nastasivka, on April 13, 2019)

Soviet archives

"In the village of Popivtsi, there was a camp in which the Jewish population, about 1,000 people, deported by the Romanians from Bessarabia and North Bukovina in the autumn of 1941, was detained. 790 of them died from mistreatment and beatings. The individuals responsible for these acts are the head of the gendarmerie of Kopaigorod plutonier V., village gendarmes Nikolai P. and Konstantin Ch., pretor of the prefecture of Kopaigorod V., engineer of the prefecture N." [Act n°4 drawn up by Soviet State Extraordinary Commission, on April 14, 1945; GARF 7021-54-1239., p.10].

Historical note

Popivtsi is located 69 km (59mi) southwest of Vinnytsia. The first record of the Jewish community dates back to the late 17th century. The Jewish community of Popivtsi was small. In 1897, only 32 residents out of 766 were Jewish. They were mainly artisans, such as tailors, shoemakers, or small merchants. There was no synagogue or cemetery in the village. For religious holidays or to bury the dead, they would go to the nearby town of Kopaihorod, where the community was bigger. 

Holocaust by bullets in figures

Popivtsi was occupied by German and Romanian troops in the second half of July 1941. By that time, some Jews, mostly more wealthy individuals, managed to evacuate. The village remained under Romanian control and became part of the region of Transnistria from September 1941. In late autumn-winter 1941, about a thousand Jews from Bessarabia and Bukovina were sent to the camp located in Katsmaziv, 10 km from Popivtsi. The camp was fenced in with barbed wire and had several barrack buildings on its territory, as it was used as a camp for Uzbek prisoners in 1938. These prisoners were used as forced labor on road construction. The camp existed for more than six months. As a result of hunger, inhumane living conditions and mistreatment, circa. 790 Jews died and were buried in three or four mass graves located outside the camp, in the middle of the nearby fields.  

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