1 Execution site(s)
Valentyna B., born in 1931: “I knew a family whose father was a Jewish photographer. He was married to a Russian woman and had three children. The local Jews were shot on the outskirts of the city. It was in a kind of vacant lot. I also saw local partisans hanged near the church. Others were hanged on Gagarina Street.” (Witness n°2973U, interviewed in Zmiïv on October 14, 2021)
Zmiïv is a city located 35 km (21 miles) south of Kharkiv, in eastern Ukraine. Before the war, Zmiïv was populated by Ukrainians, Russians and Jews. According to the 1897 census, 4,652 people lived in Zmiïv. There were also occasional Roma people passing through.
On June 22, 1941, the German army and its allies began their invasion of the USSR. The city of Zmiïv was captured on October 22 of the same year. As soon as the Germans arrived, Jews and Communists were registered by the authorities. In the autumn of 1941, 10 local Jews were taken to a vacant lot on the outskirts of the city. There they were shot in a mass grave. Later in the winter of 1941-42, Communists were executed on a hill south of the city near a bridge crossing the Donets River. Throughout the occupation, partisans were hanged, and their bodies exposed in public at the current location of the Zmiïv church, at the former location of the house of culture, and on today’s Gagarin Street, or near the military base.
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