Smilchyntsi (Smilchinsti) | Cherkasy

/ Lyubov O., born in 1927, saw a column of Jews carrying shovels being taken to the ravine. Afterwards, she learned that they were shot. ©Les Kasyanov/Yahad-In Unum Oksana B., born in 1927: “I saw a column of people being taken in the direction of Zvenyhorodka. They were the Jews confined previously in the stables.” © Les Kasyanov/Yahad-In Unum “They might have been brought from Lysianka or Zvenyhorodka, or elsewhere. They were quite a few, but I can’t say how many. “, Varvara B., born in 1929. ©Les Kasyanov/Yahad-In Unum The location of the former labor camp, created in the building of the railway station where several dozen Jews, including those brought from Lysianka were confined prior to being massacred. ©Les Kasyanov/Yahad-In Unum The memorial in the memory of 200 Jews murdered in the Hubskyi Forest. ©Les Kasyanov/Yahad-In Unum The execution site in the Vovchyi Ravine. There is no marker today at the site. According to the witness, two dozen Jews were murdered here. ©Les Kasyanov/Yahad-In Unum

Execution of Jews in Smilchynsti

2 Execution site(s)

Kind of place before:
Forest Hubskiy (1); Ravine Vovchyi (2)
Period of occupation:
Number of victims:

Witness interview

Lyubov O., born in 1927: “The Jews were brought from Lysianka. It is a village located not far away from here. They were brought by policemen. I don’t know exactly how many there were because I didn’t count them, but I would say there were about twenty people; adults and children. I lived not so far away from the stable; my house was 500m away. One day, I saw them being forced out of the stable and taken in the direction of the ravine. They carried shovels. Afterwards, I learned that they were forced to dig their own grave. It was already cold, and the ground was muddy. The poor things walked barefooted in the mud.” (Witness n°2753U, interviewed in Smilchyntsi, on August 23, 2020)

Historical note

Smilchytnsi is located 80 km (50mi) northeast of Uman and 120 km (74mi) southwest of Cherkasy.  Before the war, the village was home to Ukrainians and several ethnic Germans. There were no Jews living in Smilchytnsi. A big Jewish community lived in the town of Zvenyhorodka, located 5km away. On the eve of the war, 1,957 Jews lived in Zvenyhorodka, comprising 14% of the total population. 

Holocaust by bullets in figures

Smilchytnsi was occupied by the German troops on July 29, 1941. The village remained under German military administration until December 1941. Then it was taken over by the Civil administration until its liberation in late January 1944. A labor camp was created in Smilchytnsi in May 1942. The camp was created in the building of the railway station. Among the detainees there were Jews brought from Lysianka. While being confined in the camp, the inmates were subjected to perform different work, for example, shoveling snow. On November 2, 1942, about 50 Jews from the Smilchyntsi camp were taken to the forest, called Hubskyi Forest, south of the village, where they were shot along with about 150 Jews brought from the Nemorozh camp. Before being killed in small groups on the edge of the pit, the victims were forced to strip naked. According to the local witnesses interviewed by Yahad, another shooting of about two dozen Jews from the Smilchyntsi camp, took place in the Vovchyi Yar ravine. The massacres were most probably carried out by the German Security or Order Police. After the shooting the remaining inmates from the camp were transferred to the Budysche camp.

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