Ivanopil (Ivanopol, Ianushpol, Yanushpol, Januschpol) | Zhytomyr

/ Jewish cemetery. It was almost completely destroyed in WWII ©Victoria Bahr/Yahad-In Unum Vanda V., born in 1928. The day of the shooting, she was working in the kitchen garden: “While working, we heard somebody screaming. A while later, we heard the bursts of gunfire.We were about 500m away from the killing site.” ©Victoria Bahr/Yahad-In Unum Bronislav O., born in 1927, saw the prisoners of war digging the pit 300 m away from his house: “The pit was 4m large and 15 m long. And it was about 1,5m deep.” ©Victoria Bahr/Yahad-In Unum Yelena M., bon in 1932: “After the shooting, other kids and I went to the site to take a look. The pit was not covered well and we could see the naked corpses. They were arranged on the long side of the pit.”  ©Victoria Bahr/Yahad-In Unum Petro S., born in 1930: “Before being taken to the shooting, the Jews were confined to a ghetto. It was not fenced in, but it was guarded by the local police.” ©Victoria Bahr/Yahad-In Unum Yahad team during the interview ©Victoria Bahr/Yahad-In Unum Bronislav O. shows our team where the column of Jews arrived from. ©Victoria Bahr/Yahad-In Unum The execution site of about 800 Soviet citizens, including Jews ©Victoria Bahr/Yahad-In Unum

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Execution of Jews in Ivanopil

1 Execution site(s)

Kind of place before :
Field
Memorials :
Yes
Period of occupation:
1941-1943
Number of victims :
From 560 to 800

Witness interview

Olena M., born in 1932, remembers the shooting: “That day, we were hiding in the bushes, not far from the field where the shooting took place. The boys who were with us climbed over a fir tree, so they could see better. The Jews were brought in a column by the Germans and police. When they were walking, we didn’t hear them screaming, but once near the pit, they started to cry. The Jews were forced to line up at the edge of the pit and the Germans fired at their backs with submachine guns. Once the shooting ended, we came closer to take a look. The pit was not covered very well, so we could see the bodies. They were arranged well inside the pit. The corpses were naked; I think they were asked to undress just near the pit.” (Eyewitness n°1715, interviewed in Ivanopil, on May 31, 2016)

Soviet archives

“[…] between 1941 and 1943, the Germans invaders conducted fierce Aktions against the local population. Moreover, they murdered over 100 prisoners of war; 60 Gypsies; about 400 Jews from others districts were shot; 558 Jews native to Ianushpol.” [Act of the Soviet Extraordinary Commission drawn up on April 15, 1945; 22.002M.7021- 60-317]

Historical note

Ivanopil is situated 55km southwest of Zhytomyr. On the eve of the war, about 721 Jews lived in the town. According to the witnesses interviewed by Yahad, there was a synagogue and a Jewish school. There were five kolkhozes but the Jews didn’t work in them. The majority of them were involved in commerce, while others lived off of craftsmanship, including tailors, hairdressers and pottery makers.  The town was occupied by Germans on July 3, 1941. By that time, some Jews had managed to evacuate, while the young men were enrolled in the Soviet army. 

Holocaust by bullets in figures

Immediately after the Germans’ arrival, an open ghetto was established on July 15, 1941. All Jews were marked with yellow fabric in the form of the Star of David on the chest and back. They were subjected to different kinds of forced labor. Unlike many villages in the region of Zhytomyr, where all the Jews were exterminated by the end of 1941, the Jews from Ivanopil remained in the open ghetto up to the end of May 1942.

On May 29, 1942, about 558 Jews from Ivanopil and 400 Jews from neighboring areas were shot in the field by German Security and mobile SD units. According to Martin Dean, about 80 Jews fit to work were selected and sent to the camp of Berdychiv, where they were exterminated. Through the accounts of local witnesses, Yahad was able to establish different stages of the Holocaust, like the creation of an open ghetto, column, shooting and looting as well as get establish more precise details on the mass shooting of the Jews. According to the historical sources, and confirmed by local witnesses, in addition to the Jews, there was a shooting of the Gypsies and communists in Ivanopil.

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