Zahnitkiv (Zagnitkiv, Zagnitkov, Zahnitków) | Odesa

/ Local ambiance in Zagnitkiv. The carts still remain the principal means of transport. © Jordi Lagoutte/Yahad-In Unum In the attic of the witness’s house © Jordi Lagoutte/Yahad-In Unum The former building of the Kommandantur where the Jews were confined prior to the shooting. © Jordi Lagoutte/Yahad-In Unum Domna M., born in 1928: “There were many Jews in the village. The majority of them owned the convenience shops. The Jewish children went to school with the Ukrainians. One of my teachers at school was Jewish.”© Jordi Lagoutte/Yahad-In Unum Anastasia A., born in 1925: “When the local Jews were killed, all their belongings were looted by the locals and their houses were destroyed.” © Jordi Lagoutte/Yahad-In Unum Anna K., born in 1932: "The Romanians started to bring the Jews away in the morning. There were men, women, and children who screamed and refused to go there, so the Romanians hit them and pushed them.” © Jordi Lagoutte/Yahad-In Unum Anna K., with the Yahad team, explaining how the shooting was conducted. © Jordi Lagoutte/Yahad-In Unum Anna K., born in 1932: “Once they were near the pit, the Jews were lined up and shot in the back. The bodies of those who didn’t fall into the pit were shoved in with a kick." © Jordi Lagoutte/Yahad-In Unum The monument to 100 Jewish victims murdered in Zagnitkiv. The monument is located close to the dump. © Jordi Lagoutte/Yahad-In Unum

Execution of Jews in Zahnitkiv

1 Execution site(s)

Kind of place before:
Period of occupation:
Number of victims:
About 100

Witness interview

Domna M., born in 1928, remembers: “For about two or three days in a row, I saw different groups of Jews passing by my house. There were not many of them. There were groups of three or five men, women and children. They walked calmly, holding each other’s hands. They were taken by two Romanians in the direction of the execution site.
YIU: Was it in winter or in summer?
W: It wasn’t in winter because it was not cold outside. It was warm, but I don’t remember exactly when it was.
YIU: Were there only Romanians who marched them or were there also Germans?
W: They were Romanians. The ones who stayed in the local kommandantur. The shooting was conducted only by Romanians. I followed the group for a while, but then at one moment, the Romanians chased me away.“ (Witness n°2041, interviewed in Zahnitkiv, on May 18, 2016)

Historical note

Zagnitkiv is a village located on the border with Moldova, 290 km northwest of Odessa. According to the local witnesses, there were Jews living in the village before the war and they represented about 10% of the total population. The majority of Jews lived off of trade, owning their own shops; others were artisans, for example, tailors and shoemakers. There was no synagogue in the village, but there was a house of prayer. The Jews were religious and respected the Shabbat. The Jewish children went to the Ukrainian school, along with local children. The village was occupied by Germans in early August 1941, which became part of Transnistria from September 1941 till 1944. 

Holocaust by bullets in figures

Little is known from the historical sources about the execution of Jews in Zagnitkiv. According to Aleksandr Kruglov, 70 Jews were shot in December 1941. However, the local eyewitness interviewed by Yahad said that the anti-Jewish measures started from the very beginning of the occupation and the first shooting was conducted in summer. The execution site is located southwest of the village, close to the road coming from Moldova. Back then, there were private vineyards. According to the eyewitness, the pit had been dug in advance and measures approximatively 4m long and 3m large. The Jews were shot in groups of 5-10 people at the edge of the pit. The shooters fired at their backs, with submachine guns. The execution was conducted by Romanians. 

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