The Holocaust in Ukraine: Wikis


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The Holocaust in Ukraine
Location Ukraine
Date 22 June 1941 to late 1944
Incident type Imprisonment, mass shootings, concentration camps, ghettos, forced labor, starvation, mass kidnapping,
Perpetrators Erich Koch, Friedrich Jeckeln, Otto Ohlendorf, Paul Blobel and many others
Organizations Einsatzgruppen, Ordnungspolizei, and others.
Victims Roughly 1.6 million[1]
Survivors Roughly 1 million[1]
Memorials At various points in country
Nazi soldier murdering Jewish civilians, including a mother and child, in 1942, at Ivangorod, Ukraine.

Holocaust in Ukraine refers to the Nazi crimes during the Occupation of Ukraine by Nazi Germany.[2] Between 1941 and 1945 the Holocaust in Ukraine killed 1.6 million of the 2.7 million Jews who lived in the territory of modern Ukraine. Roughly 100.000 Jews survived the Nazi occupation in hiding or in concentration camps or ghetto's. The rest (about 900.000) survived by escaping to parts of the Soviet Union still controlled by the Communist party of the Soviet Union.[1]


Generalplan Ost

Holocaust in Ukraine. Jews digging their own graves. Storow, July 4, 1941.

One of Hitler's ambitions at the start of the war was to exterminate, expel, or enslave most or all Slavs from their native lands so as to make living space for German settlers. This plan of genocide[3] was to be carried into effect gradually over a period of 25–30 years.[4] Between 1.8 and 2.1 million non-Jewish Polish citizens perished in German hands during the course of the war, about four-fifths of whom were ethnic Poles with the remaining fifth being ethnic minorities of Ukrainians and Belarusians, the vast majority of them civilians.[5] Judenrat leaders such as Dr. Joseph Parnas in Lviv, who refused to compile a list, were shot.


Death squads (1941–1943)

In the Baltic states, and Ukraine, native antisemitism was reinforced by hatred of Communist rule, which some associated with the Jews. Thousands of people in these countries actively collaborated with the German Nazis. Some Ukrainians, Latvians, Lithuanians and Estonians voluntarily joined SS auxiliary forces in large numbers; many were assigned to guard the German Nazi concentration and extermination camps. Total civilian losses during the war and German occupation in Ukraine are estimated at seven million, including over a million Jews who were murdered by the Einsatzgruppen and local Nazi collaborators - the majority of the nation in the western part of Ukraine. Einsatzgruppe C (SS-Gruppenführer Dr. Otto Rasch) was assigned to north and central Ukraine, and Einsatzgruppe D (SS-Gruppenführer Dr. Otto Ohlendorf) to Moldavia, south Ukraine, the Crimea, and, during 1942, the north Caucasus. According to Ohlendorf at his trial, "the Einsatzgruppen had the mission to protect the rear of the troops by killing the Jews, Romani, Communist functionaries, active Communists, and all persons who would endanger the security." In practice, their victims were nearly all Jewish civilians (not a single Einsatzgruppe member was killed in action during these operations[citation needed]). The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum tells the story of one survivor of the Einsatzgruppen in Piryatin, Ukraine, when they killed 1,600 Jews on April 6, 1942, the second day of Passover:

I saw them do the killing. At 5:00 p.m. they gave the command, "Fill in the pits." Screams and groans were coming from the pits. Suddenly I saw my neighbor Ruderman rise from under the soil … His eyes were bloody and he was screaming: "Finish me off!" … A murdered woman lay at my feet. A boy of five years crawled out from under her body and began to scream desperately. "Mommy!" That was all I saw, since I fell unconscious.[6]

The most notorious massacre of Jews in Ukraine was at a ravine called Babi Yar outside Kiev, where 33,771 Jews were killed in a single operation on September 29–30, 1941. The killing of all the Jews in Kiev was decided on by the military governor (Major-General Friedrich Eberhardt), the Police Commander for Army Group South (SS-Obergruppenführer Friedrich Jeckeln) and the Einsatzgruppe C Commander Otto Rasch. It was carried out by a mixture of SS, SD and Security Police, assisted by Ukrainian Auxiliary Police. On Monday the Jews of Kiev gathered by the cemetery, expecting to be loaded onto trains. The crowd was large enough that most of the men, women, and children could not have known what was happening until it was too late: by the time they heard the machine-gun fire, there was no chance to escape. All were driven down a corridor of soldiers, in groups of ten, and then shot. A truck driver described the scene:

Jews of the city of Kiev and vicinity! On Monday, September 29, you are to appear by 08:00 a.m. with your possessions, money, documents, valuables, and warm clothing at Dorogozhitskaya Street, next to the Jewish cemetery. Failure to appear is punishable by death.

—Order posted in Kiev in Russian and Ukrainian, on or around September 26, 1941.[7]

[O]ne after the other, they had to remove their luggage, then their coats, shoes, and overgarments and also underwear … Once undressed, they were led into the ravine which was about 150 meters long and 30 meters wide and a good 15 meters deep … When they reached the bottom of the ravine they were seized by members of the Schutzmannschaft and made to lie down on top of Jews who had already been shot … The corpses were literally in layers. A police marksman came along and shot each Jew in the neck with a submachine gun … I saw these marksmen stand on layers of corpses and shoot one after the other … The marksman would walk across the bodies of the executed Jews to the next Jew, who had meanwhile lain down, and shoot him.[7]

Holocaust in Ukraine: the map


Ukrainian collaborators (heads of local administration and public figures)

  • Oleksander Ohloblyn (Kiev mayor, 1941)
  • Volodymyr Bahaziy (Kiev mayor, 1941 - 1942, executed by Germans in 1942)
  • Leontii Forostivsky (Kiev mayor, 1942 - 1943)
  • Mykola Velychkivsky (head of the Ukrainian National Committee in Kiev, dismissed in 1942, later emigrated)
  • Fedir Bohatyrchuk (head of the Ukrainian Red Cross, 1941 - 1942)
  • Ivan Rohach (journalist, public figure, executed in 1942)
  • Oleksii Kramarenko (Kharkiv mayor, 1941 - 1942, executed by Germans in 1943)
  • Oleksander Semenenko (Kharkiv mayor, 1942 - 1943)
  • Paul Kozakevich (Kharkiv mayor, 1943)
  • Aleksandr Sevastianov (Vinnytsia mayor, 1941 – ?)

Executor units


  • Mina Rosner
  • Stefan Petelycky - see "Into Auschwitz, for Ukraine" (Kashtan Press, 2008), available at

See also


  1. ^ a b c The Shoah in Ukraine: History, Testimony, Memorialization by Ray Brandon (Author, Editor), Wendy Lower, Indiana University Press, 2008, ISBN-10: 0253350840/ISBN-13: 978-0253350848, page 273
  2. ^ Andrew Gregorovich, World War II in Ukraine: Jewish Holocaust in Ukraine
  3. ^ DIETRICH EICHHOLTZ "»Generalplan Ost« zur Versklavung osteuropäischer Völker"[1]
  4. ^ Madajczyk, Czesław. "Die Besatzungssysteme der Achsenmächte. Versuch einer komparatistischen Analyse." Studia Historiae Oeconomicae vol. 14 (1980): pp. 105-122 [2] in Hitler's War in the East, 1941-1945: A Critical Assessment by Gerd R. Uebersch̀ear and Rolf-Dieter Müller [3]
  5. ^ Piotrowski, Tadeusz. "Project InPosterum: Poland WWII Casualties", accessed March 15, 2007; and Łuczak, Czesław. "Szanse i trudności bilansu demograficznego Polski w latach 1939–1945", Dzieje Najnowsze, issue 1994/2.
  6. ^ Berenbaum, Michael. The World Must Know. United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, Johns Hopkins University Press, 2nd edition, 2006, p. 93.
  7. ^ a b Berenbaum, Michael. The World Must Know, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, this edition 2006, pp. 97–98.


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