Talalaivka (Talalayevka) | Cherkasy

/ Maria K., born in 1929: “The Jews were brought to Talalaivka and locked up in the barn building, guarded by policemen. When I approached the camp, I saw the guards circulating inside and the Jews crying.” ©David Merlin-Dufey/Yahad - In Unum Oleksiy Ch., born in 1924: “I saw the Jewish prisoners of the Talalaivka camp being escorted by a Lithuanian guard to the quarry where they had to perform a forced labor. The Jews had numbers on their sleeves.” ©David Merlin-Dufey/Yahad - In Unum Vasylyna L., born in 1921: “From time to time, Jews from the Talalaivka labor camp came to the village asking for food. I remember a Jewish woman who came to my house and we gave her what we could.” ©David Merlin-Dufey/Yahad - In Unum Anna Y., born in 1930: “I saw the column of Jews from the Talalaivka camp marching to the execution site. It was snowing that day. The column was surrounded by policemen on all sides.” ©David Merlin-Dufey/Yahad - In Unum Mykola H., born in 1931: “The Jews from Romania, including men, women and children, were brought to Oradivka and confined in the former sheep barn under guard. Thus a Jewish labor camp was created.” ©David Merlin-Dufey/Yahad - In Unum Anna H., born in 1930: “Jews from the Oradivka labor camp were subjected to forced labor in the stone quarry and road construction.” ©David Merlin-Dufey/Yahad - In Unum Petro M., born in 1930: “Two days a week, one member of each Jewish family from the Oradivka camp was allowed to go to the village to ask for food. They knew that if they didn’t return, their family would be killed.” ©David Merlin-Dufey/Yahad - In Unum Kateryna S., born in 1926: “I saw the column of Jews from the Oradivka labor camp, adults and children, being escorted to the execution site by the guards. Those who couldn’t walk were shot on the road.” ©David Merlin-Dufey/Yahad - In Unum

Execution of Jews from Talalaivka and Oradivka in Talalaivka

1 Execution site(s)

Kind of place before:
Period of occupation:
Number of victims:
At least 188

Witness interview

Anna H., born in 1930: "I witnessed the execution of Jews from Oradivka labor camp from a hill approximately 500 meters away. The victims, having dug the pit themselves two days prior, were lined up irregularly near it, facing it, fully dressed. Around twenty Germans were present, shooting them from behind. After briefly watching the massacre, I went home, hearing shots for some time afterward. The Germans left in their truck once it was over. The next day, I visited the site to find a long, freshly filled pit, still moving, over 2 meters deep." (Testimony N°YIU1092U, interviewed in Oradivka, on December 15, 2010)

Historical note

Talalaivka and Oradivka, neighboring villages about 200 km (124 mi) southwest of Cherkasy, had a sparse Jewish presence before the war. Mostly inhabited by Ukrainians, there were a few Jewish families, including Yosa, a store owner in Talalaivka, and several Jewish residents in Oradivka. While farming was the primary occupation for most locals, Jewish residents were often involved in trade. Notably, six Jews worked at the Oradivka mill, overseen by a Jewish woman manager. Before the occupation, the Jewish inhabitants managed to evacuate eastwards.

Holocaust by bullets in figures

Talalaivka and Oradivka came under German occupation in late July/early August 1941, transitioning to German civil administration shortly thereafter. Ukrainian police units were established in both villages, while the German administration operated from the nearby district center, Khrystynivka.

In early 1943, a Jewish labor camp was established in the Talalaivka barn, housing 222 Jews, and later in the Oradivka sheepfold, accommodating 92 Jews from North Bukovina and Bessarabia. They were transferred from other labor camps in Teplyk, Ositna, Ivangorod, and Krasnopilka. Witnesses report that both camps were enclosed by barbed wire fences and guarded by local, Lithuanian, and possibly Hungarian policemen. Jewish detainees were forced to wear identifying numbers and relied on locals for food, trading valuables and clothing. Under guard, they were coerced into labor for the construction of the DGIV highway, linking Vinnytsia to Uman.

On December 17, 1943, both camps were liquidated, with at least 188 inmates murdered in an Aktion carried out by Germans and policemen. Jewish inmates were escorted on foot to the execution site, located in the ravine between the villages of Talalaivka and Oradivka, where a pit had previously been dug by the Jews themselves. Those unable to walk were killed either in the camps or on their way to the execution site, while other Jews were brought to the ravine, lined up at the edge of the pit and shot dead. No memorial stands in remembrance of these victims. Remarkably, 126 Jews escaped from the Talalaivka camp the day prior the massacre.


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