Viitivka (Voytovka, Voitovca) | Vinnytsia

/ Olha Kh., born in 1928: “A Jewish hairdresser used to come to our house to ask for food every two days. He said that he was brought from Bershad.” ©Les Kasyanov/Yahad-In Unum Hryhorii Iu., born in 1934 : “The Jews could go to the village to ask for work or food from the local population. We did help them as we could.” ©Les Kasyanov/Yahad-In Unum Petro Kh., born in 1925: “Those who were fit to work had to shovel snow from the streets in winter. Today the winters are not the same.” ©Les Kasyanov/Yahad-In Unum Hryhorii Iu., born in 1934, near the silo pit where the Jews who died inside the camp were buried. ©Les Kasyanov/Yahad-In Unum The Yahad-In Unum’s team during an interview with Olha Kh., born in 1928. ©Les Kasyanov/Yahad-In Unum Here several buildings of the collective farm were located. The Jews brought from Bukovina and Bessarabia were confined here. ©Les Kasyanov/Yahad-In Unum Another collective farm which today is still an agricultural farm. The location of the former stables and a silo pit where the bodies of the ghetto inmates were buried. ©Les Kasyanov/Yahad-In Unum Another collective farm which today is still an agricultural farm. The location of the former stables and a silo pit where the bodies of the ghetto inmates were buried. ©Les Kasyanov/Yahad-In Unum The monument is in the memory of 2,500 Jews who died as a result of torture, cold, and hunger under the Romanian occupation. ©Les Kasyanov/ Yahad-In Unum

Execution of Jews in Viitivka

1 Execution site(s)

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

Witness interview

Hryhorii Iu., born in 1934 : ”In summer and early spring a thousand Jews were brought here. They were taken to the collective farm stables. Back then we had four farms here, and the Jews were dispatched between these farms. The column that I saw being brought in was taken to the farm 7th Partsoyuz. The stables were about 100m long and about 40m large. The stables weren’t guarded. All the region was occupied, and they had nowhere to go. Although, some villagers managed to hide the Jews who survived the war. It was possible for the local residents in case they needed a labor force to go to ask for the Jews from the ghetto. They hired them for food, and some managed to survive with the help of the locals.” (Witness n°2764U, interviewed in Viitivka, on August 28, 2020)

Soviet archives

« […] In the village of Voytovka [today Viitivka] as a result of the criminal activity of the German and Romanian executioners, between November and January 1941, 2,500 Jews native from Bukovina and Bessarabia died from torture, cold, and hunger. [Among the victims] there were 1,200 men, 750 women and 550 children, who during the wintertime were locked up in the destroyed stables. The [people] responsible for these acts is the Gendarmery commandant.” [Act drawn up by Soviet State Extraordinary Commission on April 13, 1945; GARF 7021-54-1265]

Historical note

Viitivka is located 150km (93mi) south east of Vinnytsia. The village was created  in the first half of the 17th century. It was always home to Ukrainians. According to the local witnesses interviewed by Yahad, before the Second World War, there were only three Jewish families who moved out of Bershad. These families were artisans. The majority of Jews lived in Bershad, located 8km (5mi) away. According to the 1897 census, 6,600 residents out of 8,885 were Jewish. In 1910, the Jewish population outnumbered the non-Jewish by making up 61%. 

Holocaust by bullets in figures

Viitivka was occupied by the German and Romanian troops on July 29, 1941. The village remained under Romanians and became part of Transnistria from September 1941. In October 1941, thousands of Jews from Bukovina and Bessarabia were deported to Transnistria. According to the Soviet archives, about 2,500 Jews were brought to Viitivka and locked up in the partially destroyed stables that used to belong to collective farms. Before the war, there were four collective farms. While staying in the stables, many Jews could leave the ghetto under the request of the local residents who could take them for different kinds of jobs. Thousands of Jews died of hunger, cold, and diseases under the occupation. Their bodies were buried in the silo pits dug on the territory of the collective farm.  

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