1 Execution site(s)
Lidia M., born in 1927, remembers: “ The Jews were subjected to different kinds of humiliation. The SS soldiers made them crawl on the paved road till their knees were bloody. Then, they forced them to climb up the hill where the Polish church was situated. They made them jump in the river from the bridge. In addition, some of them were forced to go into the deepest area of the river towards the dam. I remember when we were kids we used to swim in the river, but only the most courageous of us swam up to the dam because the river was very deep. The Jews were forced to march in the river to the dam. Those among the Jews who could not swim drowned. They were also forced to perform useless work just to exhaust them. For example, they had to move the manure on shovels from one place to another. To make my story short, they treated them badly. At this moment, the Jews understood that staying in the village would be the biggest mistake. Moreover, people warned them that the Jews were about to be shot. But, most of them didn’t believe that.” (Eyewitness N°1725, interviewed in Pavoloch, on June 6, 2013)
Pavoloch is located on the banks of the Rastavytsya River, 101 km southwest of Kiev and 84km southeast of Zhytomyr. There were 3,397 Jews in the village in 1897, around 1,000 in 1939. The Jewish population dramatically decreased after the pogroms in 1919. The Jews were engaged in small trade, for example, merchants of lemonade and ice cream. Aside from the merchants, there were many artisans. According to Yahad’s research, many Jews lived off of renting carts to local villagers. There was a synagogue and one Jewish cemetery. The town was occupied by German forces in the middle of July 1941.
From the historical sources and Yahad’s fieldwork, we know that the mass execution of Jews took place on September 05, 1941, during which between 1.000 to 1.500 Jews were murdered. According to an eyewitness interviewed by Yahad, some of the Jews dressed in nice clothes were forced to take them off. The Jews were shot inside of the pit in groups. Then, the Jews had to go into the grave, to lie face down and received a bullet in the neck by one single shooter who shot them in rows with a sub-machine gun.
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