Vinnitsa


When the Second World War broke out, about 25,000 Jews lived in Vinnitsa. Shortly after Germany attacked the Soviet Union in June 1941, about 17,500 fled eastward from the German troops. When the Germans occupied Vinnitsa on July 19, there were about 7,500 Jews left in the city. In the wake of the German army, murder units arrived from Einsatzgruppe D who, after a few days, murdered a hundred Jews at the Jewish cemetery. At the end of September, a ghetto was set up in a military camp for about 5,000 Jews who, according to the germans, were considered to be working-class. The remaining 2,000 Jews (old, sick, children) were murdered on the outskirts of Vinnitsa. A large number of Jews from the ghetto were forced to work in the spring and summer of 1942 on the construction of Hitler’s headquarters Wehrwolf about a mile north of Vinnitsa. After that, a large number of Jews were murdered. A total of about 28,000 Jews were murdered in Vinnitsa by Nazi murder units.

Current status: Monument (2019).

Location: 49°14'27.85"N 28°25'52.24"E

Get there: Car.

My comment:

There are three monuments. Two of them are located within an industrial area that despite its gate can be visited around the clock. The third monument is located in a nearby grove within an area of houses. Perhaps the most famous photograph from an execution of Jews from Eastern Europe is said to have been taken in Vinnitsa and was found on a member of Einsatzgruppe D. The photograph consists of a Jewish man who stands on his knees in front of a mass grave full of corpses. Behind him stands a soldier pointing a gun about three inches from his head. All around there are several spectators from different branches of the German armed forces. On the back of the photograph it says, Der letzte Jude von Vinnytsia (the last Jew in Vinnitsa). Whether the photograph was actually taken in Vinnitsa and whether it really is the last Jew in Vinnitsa has not been verified.

Follow up in books: Arad, Yitzhak: Holocaust in the Soviet union (2009).