Tomashpil (Tomashpol) | Vinnytsia

/ Ivan B., born in 1934: “Ordinary Jews had a six-pointed star on their sleeves, I don’t remember exactly the color, but they were probably yellow. The Police had different signs.” ©Les Kasyanov/Yahad - In Unum Ivan B., born in 1934: “When they finished the gathering, one Ukrainian woman started to run around saying ‘People, save yourselves! They will kill and shoot you!’. But it was too late.” ©Les Kasyanov/Yahad - In Unum Vasyl Zh., born in 1934 ©Les Kasyanov/Yahad - In Unum Vasyl, born in 1934: ”I saw local men going to dig two mass graves at the Jewish cemetery. I later saw a large column of Jews from Tomashpil being transferred to the site. I heard the shots coming from the cemetery." ©Les Kasyanov/Yahad - In Unum The Yahad team during an interview. ©Les Kasyanov/Yahad - In Unum Some Jews were allowed to rebury their loved ones from the ravine. They were buried at the Jewish cemetery. ©Les Kasyanov/Yahad - In Unum The remaining tombstones at the Jewish cemetery in Tomashpil. ©Les Kasyanov/Yahad - In Unum The remaining tombstones at the Jewish cemetery in Tomashpil. ©Les Kasyanov/Yahad - In Unum A drone view at the Tomashpil Jewish cemetery. ©Les Kasyanov/Yahad - In Unum The Yahad team with a witness on their way to the execution site. ©Les Kasyanov/Yahad - In Unum The former area of the ghetto. ©Les Kasyanov/Yahad - In Unum A drone view at the ghetto area where the Jews were confined from September 1941 until the liberation. ©Les Kasyanov/Yahad - In Unum The memorial at the execution site of 150 (or 300) Jews murdered in Tomashpil. ©Les Kasyanov/Yahad - In Unum The ravine located not far away from the cemetery where from 150-300 Jews were murdered in August 1941. ©Les Kasyanov/Yahad - In Unum

Execution of Jews in Iaryshivka

2 Execution site(s)

Kind of place before:
Jewish cemetery
Period of occupation:
Number of victims:
About 200

Witness interview

Ivan B., born in 1934: “On August 4, 1941, there was an execution of Jews in Tomashpil. That day, an SS squat came from Chernivtsi to Tomashpil. In Chernivtsi they shot Jews or threw them into the water off a bridge. When they came, police from the Romanian commandant’s office secured the perimeter (at that time the ghetto didn’t exist yet). So they came and gathered Ukrainians for a council, I don’t know where though. When they finished the gathering, a Ukrainian woman started to run around saying ‘People, save yourselves! They will kill and shoot you!’. But it was too late. Police and Romanians dragged the Jews from their houses to the central street, which still exists today. They caught some of them. There were a lot of Ukrainians nearby. They led them down the road to Yashivka and to the cemetery. Vasya will probably tell you this better than me. But what I can say is that Ukrainians saw the Jews being taken away. Maybe some of them did not understand what was happening, but the Jews were shot. 100 Jews were shot that day, 20 of them were Jews from Bessarabia, from Moldova. If I’m not mistaken, there were 48 women, 12 teenagers, and 40 old men were shot there. On the August 4.” (Witness n°2801U, interviewed in Tomashpil, on October 8, 2020)

Soviet archives

"We the undersigned [members of] the commission (…) compiled this report about the atrocities committed against the innocent residents of the town of Tomashpol. Specifically, on August 11, 1941, under the leadership of the commandant of the town of Tomashpol, named Kalizh [?] 150 people were shot to death or buried alive. [follows a list of last names, most of them Jewish].
On July 25, 1941, under the command of Tomachpol’s kommandant Kalizh [...], the following were murdered and subsequently died: [follows a list of 6 surnames, most of them Jewish]
[...] On December 22, 1943, as the convoy of German-Romanian forces (the name of the convoy leader was not established) passed through Tomashpol, 137 Soviet prisoners of war died as a result of beatings and humiliation. They were buried in the Jewish, Polish and Russian [Orthodox] cemeteries, as well as on the roadsides around Tomashpol. Their surnames were not established. During the German-Romanian occupation, the inhabitants of Tomashpol were systematically subjected to arrests, beatings and violence. According to preliminary data, 1,358 people were subjected to violence." [Act n°1 drawn up on June 12, 1944, by the State Soviet Extraordinary Commission (ChGK); 7021-54-1235, pp.7-9/USHMM Copy]

Historical note

Tomashpil is a town (part of the historical region of Podolia) located on the left bank of the Dniester, 85 km (64mi) south of Vinnytsia. The first record of the Jewish community dates back to the 17th century. The community suffered from pogroms and attacks at different periods of history. In 1648, for example, the town was mostly wiped out during the Khmelnytskyi Pogroms. Then during the 1760s and 1770s during the Haidamaks. They suffered greatly from the violence during the years of revolution and civil war in Russia in 1919-1920. Despite the damage and killings inflicted on the community, it was reestablished and continued to prosper. By 1897, 4,515 Jews lived in the town, comprising 91% of the town’s total population. The majority of the town’s Jews lived off small scale trade and handicraft. Some worked at a small brandy distillery or in the sugar factory owned by the Jewish industrialist, Brodsky. Under Soviet Rule, a seven-year Yiddish school operated in Tomashpil. During the 1920s, a local branch of the Zionist organization existed and provided young local Jews with agricultural training in preparation for life in the Land of Israel. In the early 1930s, two Jewish collective farms, Petrovskiy and Gigant (Giant), were established near Tomashpil. On the eve of the war, only 63% of the total population was Jewish, as many younger Jews had moved to the big cities.

Holocaust by bullets in figures

Tomashpil was first occupied by German and Romanian troops on July 20, 1941. Shortly after the occupation, all Jews were marked with yellow Stars of David. In late July 1941, six Jews from Tomashpil were shot to death. In August 1941, another shooting of the Jews was carried out by Einsatzgruppe D. On that day, 150-300 Jews (depending on the source) were shot at the Jewish cemetery near the town. From September 1941, the village was put under Romanian rule and became part of Transnistria. A ghetto was then created. All the local Jews were forced to resettle in this ghetto. The inmates, not only local Jews, but also Jews from surrounding towns and refugees from Bessarabia, lived in overcrowded conditions. They were subjected to various kinds of hard labor and were forbidden from leaving the ghetto territory.

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