1 Execution site(s)
Lyudmila S., born in 1927: “When the Germans arrived, it became difficult for us, but it was even worse for the Jews. They took them somewhere and shot them. They forced them to work on the road at first because it was in very poor condition, but they were given nothing to eat. There were a lot of Jews, all over town. There weren’t as many Ukrainians. They were dispossessed of all their valuables. Then they were rounded up and shot. A special group of Germans made them dig a big pit where they were shot.” (Witness n°2921, interviewed in Hannopil, on July 17, 2021)
Hannopil is a town in the Khmelnytskyi Oblast, western Ukraine, located 132 km (82mi) north of Khmelnytskyi. It was founded sometime in the 16th century and its original name was Hlynnyky. Jews settled there in the 18th century and Judaism soon became an important aspect of the town’s culture. From the 1770s Hannopil was home to major figures of the Hasidic movement. Bund and Zionist groups operated illegally between 1910-1916 in Annopol. According to the 1897 census, 82% of the population was Jewish, 1,812 Jews lived in Hannopil. Hannopil was transformed into a shtetl and Hlynnyky remained a village home mainly to Ukrainians. The Jews lived off agriculture, handicraft, and small-scale commerce. In 1926, 1,278 Jews lived in the town making up 45% of the total population. There were five synagogues, a Yiddish school and a cemetery. According to testimonies there was a Jewish kolkhoz [collective farm] in Hannopil created in 1930. During the 1930s there was a Jewish Council, a seven-year Hebrew School, closed in 1939, and a Kindergarten where the majority of the children were Jewish. There are no exact records on how many Jews lived in the town on the eve of the war, but in the 1930s its population decreased significantly as a result of the Holodomor famine and relocation to the bigger towns. According to Martin Dean’s estimation, about 800 Jews remained in the town before Soviet Union was occupied by Germans.
The Germans occupied Hannopil on July 7, 1941, and were driven out in January 1944. Shortly after their arrival, the Jews were marked with yellow badges and subjected to forced labour. The first shooting was carried out against 20-25 Jewish men who were arrested and shot in the field behind the farm. On July 28, 1941, the Germans and local policemen assembled 100-200 Jews in a farm on the outskirts of town, next to the brick factory quarry, and made them dig two holes. There were men, women and children, all crying. According to another source, this shooting was conducted in late August 1941. The Germans made them kneel before shooting them one by one and throwing them into the pit, which was then recovered. The ground was moving afterwards, says a direct witness interviewed by Yahad. According to the same witness, the shooting was conducted by the local policemen, while Germans, most probably German 45th Reserve police Battalion, guarded the scene. According to Jewish survivors, in the autumn of 1941, an open ghetto was created in the former Jewish quarter. Tthe Hannopil Jews were joined there by Jews from the nearby villages of Velykyi Sknit, Malyi Sknit, Dovzhky and Klepachi. On March 2, 1942, the ghetto was liquidated. After having assembled everyone at the marketplace, the Jews were transported to the Slavuta ghetto by local police and Germans. On their arrival, elderly people, children and the disabled were shot immediately, while others were placed in the ghetto until June 25, or 26, 1942, when the majority of the Slavuta ghetto inmates were murdered. In August 1942, over a dozen Jews, mainly skilled workers who had remained in the town after the transfer, were murdered. The victims’ bodies murdered in Hannopil were reburied in Hannopil’s Jewish cemetery where a memorial stands today. Thanks to witness testimonies, the Yahad research team was able to find the location of the unmarked execution site.
For more information about Slavuta please refer to the corresponding profile
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