1 Execution site(s)
Mykola S., born in 1924: "It was in the autumn of 1941 when I saw a big column of Jews. There were about 200 people in it, including women, men, children, and elderly people. The Jews carried some belongings with them, like small bundles and bags. The column came from Luchynets, in the direction of Kopaihorod. It stopped near the village of Pryvitne next to the church under an open sly for a night. One Jewish man started to shout something, and he was shot on the spot by a guard on the side of the road." (Witness n°2590U, interviewed in Stepanky, April 16, 2019)
"There was a camp in the village of Stepankyin, in which the Jewish population was held, 300 people, deported by the Romanian authorities in the autumn of 1941. 180 of them died from mistreatment and beatings. The responsible individuals for these [acts] are the head of the gendarmerie of Kopaihorod plutonier Vartsan, the village gendarme Nicolae Abrikum." [Act n°11 drawn up by Soviet State Extraordinary Commission, on April 14, 1945; GARF 7021-54-1239, p.30].
Stepanky is located 84 km (52mi) southwest of Vinnytsia. There is not much information about the Jewish community living in Stepanky. It was not very big, as the majority of the population were Poles and Ukrainians. According to the testimonies recorded by Yahad, only two Jewish families lived there before the war. One family made bread, another one owned a shop and were merchants. However, the families moved out in 1933, most probably to Kopaihorod, 19 km (12mi) north of Stepanky and home to a large Jewish community.
Stepanky was occupied by German and Romanian troops in middle of July 1941. The village remained under Romanian control and became part of Transnistria from September 1941. In the summer or autumn of 1941, some Jews were brought through the village from Bukovina and Bessarabia. According to local accounts, several hundred were placed in the pigsties, where a camp was created. Some Jews continued to work as artisans in exchange of food or a place to stay, others worked in the kolkhoz. Even though they suffered from bad treatment, occasional robberies and a general lack of food, the Jews were not executed in Stepanky, in contrast to Jews in areas that remained under the German occupation. During the occupation; about 180 Jews died of hunger, bad living conditions and mistreatment. They were buried in small mass graves by the Jews themselves next to the pigsty. Today, the site remains without any memorial.
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