Ustynivka (Ustynovka, Ustinovka) | Kirovohrad

/ Yahad team during the interview with Galina T. © Kate Kornberg/Yahad-In Unum Galina T., born 1924: "My sister was married to a Jew, her 6 year old son was taken from her and shot." © Kate Kornberg/Yahad-In Unum Lidia N., born 1930: "They came to take our neighbor, Roitman. He was very kind to us and used to give candies. Once he was taken to the police station he ran in the yard because the dogs were set on him." © Kate Kornberg/Yahad-In Unum Lidia bringing the team to the shooting site of the Jews and the communists in Ustynivka.  © Kate Kornberg/Yahad-In Unum The execution site of about 60 Jews murdered in Ustynivka.© Kate Kornberg/Yahad-In Unum

Execution of Jews from Bobrynets and nearing villages in Ustynivka

1 Execution site(s)

Kind of place before:
Sand quarry
Period of occupation:
Number of victims:
About 60

Witness interview

Lidia N., born in 1930, remembered: “One day a policeman came to our house and gave some clothes to my mother for free. My mother asked where he took them. He answered that the night before the Germans killed the Jews from the Jewish colony Izrailivka near the river, they threw the clothing into the river. The Jews were forced to undress and everyone who wanted could take their clothes. It was in winter and the river was frozen. My mother refused to take these clothes.” (Testimony n°2001, interviewed in Ustynivka, on April 1, 2016)

Soviet archives

“The members of the group headed by S., mentioned above, shot about 400 Jewish people. Half of the victims were thrown into the river, while others were shot in the valley in groups of 20-30. All of the villagers in Israelovka [today’s Berezuvatka] were aware of this atrocity committed by the German monsters. My own three children, aged from 3 to 7 years, were also shot because they were born to a Jewish father, Aron Ryvkine. They were shot along with the other children from mixed marriages. The valuables of the people who were shot was looted and shared between the members of the group headed by S.” [The deposition of a local woman, made on June 6, 1944 by the State Extraordinary Commission; RG 22.002M. Fond 7021, Opis 66, Delo 124]

Historical note

Ustynivka is located 85 km south-east from Kirovohrad on the banks of the Berezivka River. The first records on the Jewish community dates back to 19th century. Back then, about 170 Jews lived in the colony. The Jewish population suffered from pogroms in 1919. Unfortunately, we don’t have an exact number of Jews living in the village on the eve of the war, but according to the local witness, they were several dozens. The Germans occupied the village on August 8, 1941.

Holocaust by bullets in figures

According to the archives and Yahad’s research the Jews from Ustynivka, Berezuvatka (the former Jewish colony Israilivka), Sadky (the former Jewish colony Sagaydak) were shot all together in summer 1942, in two places, one is located close to Ustynivka and another one close to Berezuvatka. The executions were conducted by Security police and gendarmerie who were helped by local police.

During the aktion over 60 Jews from the nearing villages, including 35-40 Jews from Bobrynets, were rounded up and confined in the Ustynivka police station. The same day, all Jews from Berezuvatka were gathered by local police in the local school building, located in Berezuvatka. The following day, one group of Jews confined in the police station was taken in trucks or on foot to the sand quarry where they were shot, while another group was taken and executed in Berezuvatka. According to the local eyewitness interviewed by Yahad, the territory of the execution site was guarded by Germans. Once at the site, the Jews were lined up with their backs to the shooters at the edge of the large pit, dug in advance by requisitioned local men, and then with sub machine guns everybody was shot and the corpses fell down inside the pit.  

 For more information about the execution in Berezuvatka please refer to the corresponding profile. 

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