Pavlykivtsi | Khmelnytskyi

/ Aleksandra M., born in 1919: “The Jews had to dig their own graves before being killed. They were taken to the execution site by cart, seven or eight people in each. During the night, one survivor managed to escape from the grave.” ©Nicolas Tkatchouk/Yaha Anna L., born in 1922: “There were no Jews in the village. Some of them would come from time-to-time to sell things to the local population.” ©Nicolas Tkatchouk/Yahad – In Unum Mykhailo B., born in 1930: "The majority of Jews worked in a sand quarry. Some of them worked on the road construction as well.” ©Nicolas Tkatchouk/Yahad – In Unum Vira Z., born in 1927, lived in Heletyntsi, located 3 km away from Pavlykivtsi. Her brother was requisitioned to transport the Jews to the execution site in the forest on his cart. ©Nicolas Tkatchouk/Yahad – In Unum Anna M., born in 1926: “Everyone was forced to work, men, women, children. The Ukrainians worked as well. They were the ones who transported the sand from the quarry to the road.” ©Nicolas Tkatchouk/Yahad – In Unum The Yahad team with a witness at the location of the former labor camp in Pavlykivtsi. ©Nicolas Tkatchouk/Yahad – In Unum The remains of the kolkhoz buildings where a labor camp was created and existed from spring to autumn 1942. ©Nicolas Tkatchouk/Yahad – In Unum Jewish men, women and children from the nearby villages were detained here and used as forced labor to work on the DG IV Road construction. ©Nicolas Tkatchouk/Yahad – In Unum Jewish men, women and children from the nearby villages were detained here and used as forced labor to work on the DG IV Road construction. ©Nicolas Tkatchouk/Yahad – In Unum

Execution of Jews in Pavlykivtsi

1 Execution site(s)

Kind of place before:
Camp grounds
Period of occupation:
Number of victims:

Witness interview

Aleksandra M., born in 1919: “Y. U. Did these Lithuanians sleep in the camp or outside? Witness: No, the Lithuanians lived separately. Before the war, there was a veterinary clinic next to the stables where horses were treated. But during the war this building was used as a kitchen for the Jews [from the camp] and as housing for the Lithuanians. The office of the camp commander and the accounting office were also in the building. The Kommandant’s translator was a Jew from Fershtyn. Before the end of the war, she went with the Kommandant to Fershtyn and heard that all the Jews would be shot. To silence her, the Germans killed her in the forest next to Pavlykіvtsi. But I don’t know if it was the Kommandant or the soldiers that killed her.” (Witness n°844U, interviewed in Pavlykivtsi, on January 5, 2010)

German archives

“There was a single post in Pawlicowsci [sic Pavlykivtsi], which was manned by 5 Lithuanian soldiers, who were headed by a warrant officer of the Lithuanian army. A camp for Jewish laborers was dependent on this post. The camp was located within a kolkhoz. The labor force of this camp worked in a sand trench (near the camp). The operation was the exclusive responsibility of the OT [Organisation Todt]. They took the laborers out of the camp and brought them back when the work was finished. I don’t remember any designation of an OT unit. I do know, however, that the companies established, as well as the members of the OT, were from the Saxony region. I do not remember the names of the businesses, nor the names of the EO members. […] The base in Pawlikowoi was under the authority of NCO Ludwig H*** from Munich. At the end of the summer of 1942, I don’t remember the day well, H*** phoned our post in Wojtowci [sic Viitivtsi] and told me that an SS commando was emptying his camp and that he had to keep the manpower when it was in the camp. Together with my chief Alfons M***, I drove to H*** and found his camp already emptied of its manpower. As H*** explained to us, an SS commando had taken the Jewish prisoners out of the camp and was about to shoot them nearby. H***, M*** and I went to the place of the shooting, which H*** had indicated to us. It was about 2 km away from the kolkhoz, on the edge of a forest. There, a pit had been dug, which was about 20m long, about 6m wide and about 3m deep. A number of Jewish men, women and children were completely undressed and had to crawl into the pit one by one. An SS man stood there with a machine gun and shot the offenders from behind. We, the three members of the police, stood at a distance of about 10-15m from the pit, at the edge of the forest. The SS commando was about 100 men strong, they had come with about 4 LKWs. […] I saw from our point of view that members of the commando had cut the buttons off the victims’ clothes. I then learned from the second lieutenant who was with us at the Wojtowci base that there must have been pieces of gold sewn into these buttons. A Jewish doctor was in charge of the prisoners in the Pawlikowci camp. She was kidnapped and shot by two members of the Lithuanian surveillance unit. The two criminals were also shot for this by their Lithuanian sergeant." [Deposition of a Schutzpolizei member, Albert K***, given on March 23, 1962; BArch B162-3511 (p.74)]

Historical note

Pavlykivtsi is a village located in the district if Viitivtsi, 35 km west of Khmelnytskyi. Before the war there was no Jews living in the village, which was home to Ukrainians and some Polish families. The nearest big community lived in the town of Felshtyn, today Hvardiiske. 

Holocaust by bullets in figures

Pavlykivtsi was occupied in early July 1941. According to the archives, a labor camp was established in the village in the kolkhoz. Yahad field research confirmed that the camp was created in the spring of 1942 and existed until the autumn of that same year. The camp inmates origintated from the different nearby villages, such as Kupil, Chorny Ostriv, Khmelnytskyi, Hvardiiske (former Fershtyn). They were forced to work on the DG IV Road construction. The camp was divided into two parts, one stables for female workers, and another one for male workers. It was fenced in with barbed wire and had four watchtowers, one at each corner, and was guarded by Lithuanians. During the liquidation, the camp inmates were taken to a forest located 2 km away where they were shot in a pit. According to a witness interviewed by Yahad, the pit was dug by the Jews themselves and filled in by requisitioned local men, probably the same who were forced to transport the Jews from the camp to the execution site. Before being shot by a shooter who fired from a sub-machine gun, the Jews had to undress and get inside the pit. Some witnesses mentioned that they were shot on the plank put across the pit in groups of five. The execution was conducted by an SS commando that numbered about a hundred men. At least two Jews were shot on the campgrounds, one of whom was a Jewish woman who worked as interpreter for Germans. Today, there is no marker on the site of the isolated shooting.

For more details about the execution in the Pavlykivtsi forest please refer to the Khmlenytskyi profile

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