Pishchanka (Peshchanka) | Vinnytsia

/ Anatoliy Kh., born in 1934: “We saw the column from our school as it passed nearby. Boria, our local Jew, was among them [the Jews brought in the column]. I have no idea how he happened to be there.” ©Les Kasyanov/Yahad-In Unum Anatoliy Kh., born in 1934: “A Romanian gendarme was in the cart. He had a rifle over his knees. Besides him there were Jewish belongings inside the cart .” ©Les Kasyanov/Yahad-In Unum The location of the Jewish cemetery with some tombstones. ©Les Kasyanov/Yahad-In Unum The location of the Jewish cemetery with some tombstones. ©Les Kasyanov/Yahad-In Unum The Yahad’s team with the witness before the interview.  ©Les Kasyanov/Yahad-In Unum The former location of one of the three synagogues. ©Les Kasyanov/Yahad-In Unum -In Unum The former building of the synagogue and Jewish school. The building has been changed since that time. ©Les Kasyanov/Yahad- In Unum A drone view at the location of the execution site. ©Les Kasyanov/Yahad- In Unum Today, there is a monument to 147 victims murdered here under the occupation. ©Les Kasyanov/Yahad- In Unum

Execution of Jews in Pishchanka

1 Execution site(s)

Kind of place before :
Near the forest
Memorials :
Yes
Period of occupation:
1941-1944
Number of victims :
147

Witness interview

Anatoliy Kh., born in 1934: “At the beginning of the war when the Romanian installed their power, a column of Jews was brought from Chechelnyk. I am not sure they were brought from Chechelnyk itself, but they arrived from that direction, and they went to Gorodivka. The column passed by the village, by the street next to the school. That is how I saw it. There were at least a hundred people. That is what I remember, but I can’t tell you for sure how many there were, because I didn’t count them. There were men, women and children among them. Boria, our local Jew, was among them. I have no idea how he happened to be there. At the end of the column, there was an armed Romanian gendarme transported in a cart together with two Soviet prisoners of war who had shovels in their hands. I believe they were taken to dig or fill in the pit. Besides the Romanian in the cart, there were four others, two at the head of the column and two others behind the cart. When we saw the column from our school, we decided to follow them to see what was going to happen.” (Witness n°2782U, interviewed in Pischanka, on September 12, 2021)

Historical note

Pischanka is located 130km (81mi) south of Vinnytsia and 260km (162mi) northwest of Odesa. The first records about the Jewish community go back to the late 18th century. In 1852, 400 Jews lived in the village. The majority of Jews lived off small-scale trade. All the inns, shops, lumberyards, and warehouses were owned by the Jews. Some Jews were artisans, such as tailors, carpenters, and shoemakers. By the 1900s, the community had several synagogues, prayer houses, and a Jewish school. In 1919, the Jewish community suffered from pogroms, which left dozens of victims killed. Due to insecurity, many Jews left the village and moved to bigger towns. In 1924, only 750 Jews lived here comprising 24% of the total population. Under Soviet rule, private businesses were banned, and Jewish artisans were forced to reunite in the workshops, as a result many Jewish cooperatives were established.

Holocaust by bullets in figures

Pischanka was occupied by German and Romanian forces on July 23, 1941. The village remained under the Romanians and became part of Transnistria in September 1941.  According to some historical sources, there was an execution conducted in August 1941 by the Sonderkommando 10A. As a result of this shooting ten Jews were murdered.Another execution was conducted the same month. According to the local witness, over a hundred Jews were brought from the Chechelnyk ghetto and shot in the forest near the village of Pishchanka. Among the ghetto inmates there were also some local Jews, for instance Boria, recognized by the witness interviewed by Yahad. Once on the site, the Jews had to wait until the pit was dug by two Soviet prisoners of war brought for this purpose together with the column. Once the pit was ready, the Jews were shot in small groups at the edge of the pit. They had to kneel holding the hands behind their head when they were shot dead by a Romanian gendarme who fired using a rifle. The victims were shot dressed. Today, there is a monument at the place dedicated to 147 victims murdered in Pishchanka. Several Jews managed to survive the war with the help of the local villagers who hid them. 

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