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Kamianets-Podilskyi: the Jewish ghetto

The capture of Kamianets-Podilskyi by the Germans and their allies, the Hungarians, took place in July 1941. Soon, in the Old City, the invaders shot 60 Jewish men. The local administration, appointed by the occupying Hungarian authorities, began to carry out active anti-Jewish propaganda, was responsible for registering the Jews of the city in the established Judenrat, and also monitored the wearing of stripes in the form of a star of David by Jews. In August 1941, the entire Jewish population was moved to a ghetto organized in the quarters of the Old City. Since July, the Hungarian occupation authorities began to carry out the deportation of Jews from Subcarpathian Rus, and by mid-August, 10,000 of them ended up in Kamianets-Podilskyi. First they were placed in the old castle, and then sent to the ghetto. All of them were executed on August 26, and over the next two days, about the same number of local Jews of Kamianets-Podilskyi were also shot. Those who were part of the work teams at the enterprises that carried out the military orders of the occupation authorities were able to survive.

The killings resumed in the summer of 1942, when 800 people were shot, mostly old people and children, and continued throughout the year. In the summer and autumn of 1942, part of the Jewish specialists from the liquidated ghettos in the Kamianets-Podilskyi region were deported to the city ghetto.

At the end of autumn, the number of prisoners in the ghetto was approximately 5,000 people. They were sent to a new ghetto, which the invaders had created on the territory of the former chemical institute. Already in the first days of November 1942, when the 4,000 Jewish prisoners who remained in the ghetto were shot, it ceased to exist.

A little over 500 Jews managed to escape before the executions, however, most were caught by the local police and occupiers and also shot. The murders of the few survivors of the executions of 1941-42 continued in 1943, but by March, virtually the entire Jewish population of Kameniats-Podilskyi had been liquidated by the occupiers.

According to archival data, eyewitness accounts, as well as the results of special commissions to investigate Nazi crimes, the total number of victims of the Jewish genocide was about 30,000, of which approximately 12,000 were local Jews of Kameniats-Podilskyi and its environs, and the rest were deported from other countries of Eastern Europe.