1 Execution site(s)
Petro D., born in 1932:
“YIU: Did the Jews live on your street?
W: No, they lived all together in the center across the bridge. It was their shtetl.
YIU : What did they do for a living?
W : They owned a brick factory and two mills, but the majority of them were merchants, just like today.
YIU: Did you or your mother know some of the Jews personally? – Of course we did. Everyone knew everyone in the village. We lived all together. There were no problems between us. If we needed to buy things, like clothing or matches, we would go to the Jews. Their shops were in their houses. They would go to Zhytomyr to buy goods and then come back to sell them in the village. That was their business […]
YIU: Did the Jews have their own synagogue? - Yes, they did. Does it still exist?
W: No, it doesn’t. Neither does the orthodox church.
YIU: What happened to them? Were they destroyed during the war?
W: No, they were closed under the Soviets before the war. Our church was transformed into a warehouse. I don’t know what happened to the synagogue.” (Witness n°2790U, interviewed in Krasnostav, on September 18, 2021)
Krasnostav is located 130km (81mi) north of Khmelnytskyi. The first records about the Jewish community go back to the late 16th century. In 1897, 1,222 Jews lived in the village, making up 55% of the total population. The Jews lived in the center, separated from the non-Jewish population. The majority of them lived off small-scale trade. All the shops, the brick factory and two mills were owned by the Jews. Some Jews were artisans, such as tailors, carpenters, and shoemakers. By the 1900s, the community had a synagogue and a cemetery. The Jewish school operated during the 1930s. In 1919-1921, the Jewish community suffered from pogroms, withcirca. 150 victims. Many Jews left the village during the 1920s due to fears about security. As a result, the Jewish population dropped up to 934 Jews. On the eve of the war, about 49% of the total population was Jewish.
Krasnostav was occupied by the Germans in late July 1941. The first shooting was conducted on August 7, 1941, when 47 Jews were selected under the pretext of forced labor and murdered in the forest 2km away from the village. They were mainly middle-aged men.
After the first execution, the remaining Jews continued to live in their houses until the next action conducted the same month. On August 30, 1941, a special punitive squad arrived from Berezdiv and cordoned off the town with the help of the local police. All the Jews who had not managed to hide were first rounded up at the Klub building, and then taken to the forest 2km away where they were shot. The remaining Jews, over a hundred, were transferred to the Berezdiv or Slavuta ghettos in March 1942 where they were eventually murdered along with local Jews in June 1942.
For more information about the killings in Berezdiv or Slavuta please refer to the corresponding profile
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