1 Execution site(s)
Mykhailo H., born in 1926: “In the fall 1941, a big column of Jews was brought here. I do not know where they were brought from, but people said that they were from Bukovina. There were entire families, men, women, children and elder. I saw the column passing from the street. It was escorted by Romanian gendarmes. They were taken on foot. Some of them carried their belongings on the backs, but they did not have much, only small bundles, and bags. They were all placed in the collective farm stables.” (Witness n°2679U, interviewed in Nova Obodivka, on October 26, 2019)
« On November 15, 1941, the German and Romanian executioners brought by force Jewish population from North and South Bukovina and Bessarabia on the territory of Ukraine, up until the River Buh. Part of these Jews ended up in the district of Obodovka.
All the Jews were isolated from the society in the concentration camps, deprived of water and food. They were confined in the stables, pigsties, and other premises without heating. They were closely guarded by the Romanian gendarmes and were not allowed to leave the territory. The overpopulation and deplorable living conditions and hygiene contributed to the spread of the contagious diseases such as typhus, typhoid fever, and scabies. The absence of the isolation measures contributed to the spread of the epidemic on the larger scale on the territory occupied by the Romanians. The bodies were taken outside the villages by cart and piled up in the fields. The dogs and pigs scattered the bodies on the streets which only contributed to a faster spread of the diseases among the entire population. The number of deaths was so important that it was impossible to bury them properly. They were covered with a thin layer of soil. In spring, when the corpses started to decompose, the local Romanian administrations ordered to rebury the remains deeper in the ground.” [Act n°6 drawn up by Soviet State Extraordinary Commission (ChGK) on July 20, 1944, in Staraya Obodovka; GARF 7021-54-1259]
Obodivka is located 135km(mi) southwest of Vinnytsia. The first record about the Jewish community goes back to the 17th century, but it was destroyed during the Khmelnytsky uprising. By the mid-18th century, the Jews resettled in the village. In 1889, 808 Jews lived here. There were three synagogues and a Jewish cemetery. The majority of Jews lived off small scale trade as the village was an important commercial center due to its location on the crossroads. Others were artisans or skilled workers. The small businesses, like sawmills and lumber yards, were owned by Jews as well. In 1919, the Jewish community suffered greatly from a pogrom which left dozens of victims.As a result of the insecurity, many Jews left the village and only 411 lived there in 1923. On the eve of the war, only 6% of the total population was Jewish.
Obodivka was occupied by German and Romanian forces on July 28, 1941. The village remained under the Romanians and became part of Transnistria in September 1941. In November 1941, about 11,000 Jews (men, women, and children among them) were brought from Bessarabia and Bukovina and placed on the premises that belonged to the collective farm. The buildings were not fenced in, although it was forbidden for the Jewish people to leave the territory. The rich Jews who managed to bribe Romanian gendarmes stayed within the local Jews in their houses. During the existence of the ghetto, about 5,000 Jews starved to death or died of diseases. Over the winter 1941-1942, hundreds of people died from the typhus and scabies. Their bodies were taken and piled up outside the village and buried only in spring in a mass grave located close to the field.
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