Samhorodok (Samgorodok, Samhorodek) | Vinnytsia 

/ A typical yard in the region of Vinnytsia © Aleksey Kasyanov/Yahad-In Unum The horse carts are still used as the principal mean of trasnport in the villages. © Aleksey Kasyanov/Yahad-In Unum Former Jewish cemetery. ©Aleksey Kasyanov/Yahad-In Unum Former school where Jews have been gathered. ©Aleksey Kasyanov/Yahad-In Unum Orthodox church built in the place of a Jewish school.  ©Aleksey Kasyanov/Yahad-In Unum Ivan P., born in 1926 : « 10 men from my village were requisitioned to gather the anti-tank trenches of the first world war in a pit. The Jews were ordered to take their best belongings for moving to Palestine. » ©Aleksey Kasyanov/Yahad-In Unum Lyubov V., born in 1933 : « My house was just close to the field where the Jews have been shot. When Germans and policemen left, I went to see the pit. A rise of soil overhung it. The ground didn’t move. »  ©Aleksey Kasyanov/Yahad-In Unum Stepan D., born in 1930 : "Jews were gathered in a part of the village. They had nothing to eat and came during the day to exchange clothes against food. My mother gave them milk and eggs". Aleksey Kasyanov/Yahad-In Unum Antonina K., born in 1926 : "A policeman V. advised my father to hide me when they chose people to send in Germany. I hid in spite of the threats of the starosta". ©Aleksey Kasyanov/Yahad-In Unum Vira P., born in 1931 : « When the persecutions against Jews began, my Jewish neighbor came at home and asked for help. But it was forbidden to speak with them, so I brought every day some milk to his home. » ©Aleksey Kasyanov/Yahad-In Unum Lyubov V., born in 1933, poits out the place from which she was watching shooting. The execution site was located not far away from her house and she could see everything.©Aleksey Kasyanov/Yahad-In Unum By this road the Jews were taken tot he shooting. ©Aleksey Kasyanov/Yahad-In Unum Yahad team with the witness on the execution site ©Aleksey Kasyanov/Yahad-In Unum The execution site where 492 Jews had been killed and buried. According the witnesses, the pit is 3 meters long or more. ©Aleksey Kasyanov/Yahad-In Unum

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Execution of Jews in Samhorodok

1 Execution site(s)

Kind of place before :
Anti-tank trench
Memorials :
Yes
Period of occupation:
1941 - 1944
Number of victims :
About 500

Witness interview

Lyubov V., born in 1933, recalls: “I was in the courtyard of my house when I heard that the Jews were about to be taken to the shooting. It was about noon. I was hiding in the trees at 500 meters from the road when I saw a column of men, women and children walking on the road leading from Samhorodok and Lozivka. They were lined up in rows of 3 or 4, without any belongings. At the end of the column there was a cart driven by a local villager. People said that those who attempted to escape were dead on the spot and their bodies were thrown onto this cart. The column was guarded by 3 or 5 soldiers in green uniforms and caps armed with machine guns. There were also 2 dogs. It was forbidden to approach the column. Everyone who tried to approach it was chased away. ” (Witness n°2161 interviewed in Samhorodok on October 11, 2016)

Soviet archives

“During their internment in the ghetto, the Jews were subjected to d barbaric beatings and were forced to perform different kind of forced labor. I remember the following.
In summer 1941, the elderly people were brought to work, and they had to weed the plot close to the catholic church as well as move stones from one place to another. At the end of the workday, they were forced to run around the catholic church. Those who could not physically do that were beaten badly. For example, the Germans pulled one Jew’s eye out because he was not able to run. He names was Shultser. (…)
On June 4, 1942, at about 3am the German shooters (Hungarian) accompanied by German gendarmerie and local police surrounded the ghetto and started to round up the Jews and take them to the school building. (…) About 10am, on June 4, 1942, almost all inmates from the ghetto numbering 540 people were assembled at the school building. After, when everyone was put in column, specialists, such as carpenters, shoemakers, plumbers, mechanics, and young girls of 16-18, in all 15 people were put aside and send to Kozyatin. All others were marched in the direction of Germanovka, the district of Samhorodok, to be shot…”
[Deposition of a local villager, Yelizaveta L., born in 1909, made to State extraordinary commission on October 26, 1944; RG.22-002M: Fond 7021, opis 54, delo 1261]

German archives

“One morning in June 1942, the chief of the brigade Andrey K., who perished at the front, came to see me. I was told to take my shovel and to go immediately to the administrative building. When I got there, about 30 other people with shovel had already been gathered. There were two Germans on horseback close to the building who ordered us to get into their carts. There were four carts which transported us escorted by the Germans 1,5km away from Samhorodok in the direction of the village of Losovka. I don’t know the names of those who drove the carts. Once there, the carts stopped and Germans ordered to dig a pit in the field. About 50 people were requisitioned from the nearing villages to dig the pit. (…) There was a destroyed former
military shelter in the field from which we had to take out the rubbles. We dug a pit across. It measured about 6x3m. Once the pit was ready, the Germans ordered the Jews to go further but not to leave the place.
Shortly after, two trucks full of Germans with Hungarians arrived and they surrounded the territory around the pit. From the field, at the distance of 300-400m away from the pit, I saw a big group of Jews being brought from Samhorodok towards the pit.” [Interrogatory of a requisitioned local man Mikhail K., made on August 22, 1953 in Samhorodok; B162-7555 p.30]

Historical note

Samhorodok is located 41 km northeast of Vinnytsia. The record of the first Jewish community dates back the middle of 18th or early 19th century. During the pogrom of 1919 several Jews were killed and their houses and shops were plundered.  In 1926, 1,243 Jews lived in the town, most of them in the center. They were storekeepers and artisans. There was a Jewish school but Jews could also go to the Ukrainian school. There was a synagogue close to the current catholic church. The Germans occupied the town on July 20, 1941. By this time about 15% of Jews managed to evacuate to the East. 

Holocaust by bullets in figures

Immediately after the Germans’ arrival, under the German military administration a new administration and police was created. All Jews were registered and marked with white armbands and the Star of David and were subjected to perform different kinds of forced labor. According to the records of Feldkommandantur, 700 Jews lived in Samhorodok in August 1941. An open ghetto was created shortly after. Under the civil administration, in May 1942, all the Jews from the open ghetto located in the center were relocated to the other side of the river. Due to overcrowding several families had to share one house. The liquidation of the ghetto was conducted on June 4, 1942 by German police force and the Hungarian army assisted by local police. Beforehand the local people from Samhorodok and nearby villages were requisitioned to dig the pit, 1,5-2km away from the town, in the middle of the field. In the morning all the Jews from the ghetto were rounded up and confined in the school building, from where they were taken to the shooting. According to the local eyewitnesses interviewed by Yahad, the Jews were shot at the bottom of the pit in groups of twenties.  They had to lay down facing the ground or the corpses of the previous group in two rows head to head and the Germans fired at them with submachine guns. This method known as « Sardinenpackung » was implemented almost in all Southern regions of Vinnytsia during the execution. Before the execution about 10-15 people, mostly artisans and young girls were selected and sent to Kozyatyn. From summer till fall 1943, there were several isolated shootings of hidden Jews in Samhorodok. In all, according to different sources from 492 to 540 Jews were murdered in Samhorodok. Along with Jews 15 Soviet prisoners of war were also shot. 

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