All the Jews who remained in the cities of Berditchev, Vinnitza, Pervomaisk as well as in the districts of Dnepropetrovsk and Zapaorozhie in the Ukraine have been exterminated by the Nazis, according to testimony of German war prisoners made public here today.
Not a single Jew remains alive in all these cities, the German soldiers testified. In Odessa, Kharkov and other of the larger Ukrainian cities, ghettos have been established for Jews, the war prisoners stated. In the city of Taganrog, the extermination of the entire Jewish population was followed by a wholesale slaughter of gypsies.
In Odessa, one of the German prisoners reported, Jews have been humiliated and tortured by the occupation authorities to a point where many of them committed suicide. An average of twenty-five Jews took their lives each day in Odessa during the early months of the Axis occupation in addition to thousands who were massacred during wholesale executions. Hunger and epidemic diseases are taking a heavy toll among the Jewish in the Odessa ghetto, the German soldiers said.
14,000 JEWS MASSACRED BY NAZIS IN VITEBSK, SHKLOV, KRUPKI
The Jewish Anti-Fascist Committee today also published reports revealing that the Nazis massacred 7,000 Jews in Vitebsk, more than 6,000 Jews in the city of Shklov, and 1,080 Jews in the township of Krupki, all in Byelorussia.
In Vitebsk all Jews – men, women and children – were driven from the ghetto to a square behind the local hospital where they were lined up in groups and machine gunned. Their bodies were later thrown into pits dug on the square. A number of Jews were also hanged by the Nazis on gallows erected in the yard of a local church.
In Shklov the 6,000 Jews who constituted the entire Jewish population were executed within two days. As in Vitebsk they were driven to a square outside of the city where they were machine-gunned. During two days in succession, groups of Jews were brought by Nazi units to the graves prepared on the square and mowed down. On the third day the Nazis ordered the local non-Jewish population to come to the square to cover the open graves, but none of the non-Jews appeared at the designated time. Thirty Byelorussians were then rounded up by the German soldiers and forced to comply with the order. Six of them were executed for “having shirked their duty” and as a warning to other non-Jews. Many of the Jewish victims were still alive when the graves were covered up, the horrified Byelorussians related later.
In the township of Krupki, where the Nazis massacred 1,080 Jews in one day in a similar manner, only two Jews were left alive. They were a shoemaker and a smith whom the Germans needed for local work.
The Archive of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency includes articles published from 1923 to 2008. Archive stories reflect the journalistic standards and practices of the time they were published.