Hrytsiv (Grytsiv, Gritsev, Grizew) | Khmelnytskyi

/ The Yahad - In Unum team during an interview. ©Nicolas Tkatchouk/Yahad - In Unum Tatiana F., born in 1920: “The policemen received an order to bring all the Jews, men, women and children to the school. They came with their belongings.” ©Nicolas Tkatchouk/Yahad - In Unum Anna D., born in 1923: “Shortly after the Germans’ arrival they rounded up some Jews and made them go into the lake while they fired at them. They didn’t kill anyone, they did it to humiliate them.” ©Nicolas Tkatchouk/Yahad - In Unum Ihor Sh., born in 1935. ©Nicolas Tkatchouk/Yahad - In Unum Yevguenia B., born in 1933: “Fifteen or twenty men had to dig the pit. The policemen gave them shovels. Once the pit was ready, the Jews were shot.” ©Nicolas Tkatchouk/Yahad - In Unum Kateryna M., born in 1918: “you know I was young, and I wanted to see what was happening. I was afraid of being taken as well because they didn’t differentiate.” ©Nicolas Tkatchouk/Yahad - In Unum The school building where the Jewish population was gathered. Upon their arrival, 286 Jews were selected and taken to be shot. ©Nicolas Tkatchouk/Yahad - In Unum The execution site of about 286 Jews murdered in the forest on August 4, 1941. ©Nicolas Tkatchouk/Yahad - In Unum The monument at the mass grave  site where 286 Jews were murdered in August 1941. ©Nicolas Tkatchouk/Yahad - In Unum

Execution of Jews in Hrytsiv

1 Execution site(s)

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

Witness interview

Ihor Sh., born in 1935: “Then, all the Jews were gathered in the school. The ghetto was created. Alongside the local Jews they brought in Jews from the nearby villages. After a while, the ghetto was liquidated. That day, the trucks arrived and took all the inmates to the execution site. In each truck there were four soldiers, two in front and two at the rear. There were entire families, women, men and children. Some of them were standing, others were sitting. They cried and screamed, knowing what would happen to them. The trucks made three or four round trips to take all the Jews from the ghetto to the site.” (Witness n°882U, interviewed in Hrytsiv, on January 14, 2010)

Soviet archives

"Then, the Jews from Ostropol, Gritsev and Siniava [today Stara Synyava] were taken to the town. On the way those who could not walk anymore were shot." [Act drawn up by Soviet Extraordinary Commission in April 1945; RG-22.002M/7021-64/815]

Historical note

Hrytsiv is located 76km (47mi) northeast of Khmelnytskyi. The first record of the Jewish community goes back to the early 17th century. The community suffered from the pogroms carried out during the Khmelnytskyi Uprising and the Civil War which left several dozen dead. By 1897, the Jewish population numbered 979 Jews, making up more than the half of the total population. The majority of Jews lived off small-scale trade and handcraft. In the 1920s, a kolkhoz [collective farm] was created, and all private workshops were reunited in the cooperative organizations, as private business was banned. Many Jews engaged the agricultural work. The community had a Yiddish school which operated until the 1930s. There were synagogues as well. One the eve of the war, 36% of the total population was Jewish, numbering 1,095 Jews. 

Holocaust by bullets in figures

Hrytsiv was occupied by German troops on July 5, 1941. Only a few Jews managed to evacuate before the Germans’ arrival. Straight after the occupation, the humiliation of the Jewish population started. A group of Jews was forced inside the lake while the Germans were firing at them.  The first execution was conducted during the first weeks of the occupation. Two groups of Jewish men were selected and shot not far away from the village of Gora. Shortly after that, all the Jews were marked with yellow distinguishing badges. The ghetto was created in the beginning of August 1941. It was fenced in with barbed wire and guarded by local police. Every day, the men were taken from the ghetto to perform hard physical labor, such as cutting wood, while the women were taken to clean the local commandant’s and police offices.

The next mass shooting was conducted on August 4, 1941, by part of the 10th SS- Infantry Regiment, 1st SS- Infantry Brigade, who were helped by the local police. At day, the Jews were gathered at the school building under the pretext of a registration. Once gathered, a group of 286 Jews, mainly men, but including some women, aged 15 and older, was selected and forced onto the trucks. The victims were taken 2,5km away towards the forest where they were shot. On September 4, 1941, another group of Jews was executed. In May 1942 the remaining Jews from the Hrytsiv ghetto were transferred to Starokostyantyniv. They were executed in November 1942 outside the town along with the Jews from Ostropol, Stara Synyava and Starokostyantyniv.

For more information about the killings in Starokostyantyniv please refer to the corresponding profile 

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