Holocaust in Belaya Tserkov
According to the 1939 census, there were 9.2 thousand Jews in the city. After the war began, some of them were drafted into the Red Army, some managed to leave for evacuation. According to researchers, no more than 4,500 Jews remained in the city. In addition, Belaya Tserkov was a place where Jews from nearby areas were brought for extermination. There were two concentration camps in the city.
In mid-July 1941, the Nazis took control of Belaya Tserkov. The city belonged to a region in which the Nazis did not put off a policy of extermination, creating a ghetto. As in Kiev, the invaders immediately began repression.
Already on August 5, 1941, the order of the burgomaster was issued. It demanded that all Jews over 12 years of age appear at the place of registration.
In mid-August 1941, in the warehouse area of Belaya Tserkov district department store, the Nazis shot 30 Jews.
On the 20th of August, the Einsatzgruppe C arrived in the city and the executions became systematic and massive. The places of extermination of the Jewish population are:
• The Third Site Area beyond the city market. Here, at the end of August 1941, the Nazis killed about 700 Jews involved in forced street cleaning.
• The courtyard of the city prison on Podvalnaya Street, where in December 1941 the Nazis killed two dozen Jewish prisoners.
• The location of the military unit, known as the Seventh Site. There were executions of residents of Belaya Tserkov, and in the spring of 1942, the Nazis killed about 200 Jews brought to the city from the surrounding areas.
One of the most memorable episodes of the Holocaust in Belaya Tserkov was the shooting of infants and preschool children. On August 20, 1941, soldiers complained to the regimental chaplains of the crying, which was heard in a house along the Yaroslav Mudryi Street. Priests learned that about 90 children left without parents remained in the house. They turned to the commander of the 6th Army, Walther von Reichenau, with a request to resolve the issue.
The commander ordered to get rid of the children as soon as possible and allocated soldiers to help the punishers. On the night of August 21, the Nazis took the children by a tractor to a forest belt, where soldiers dug holes. Nazi accomplices from the local population took part in the execution.
In 1943, the Nazis tried to destroy the traces of crime. The Soviet state commission that investigated the crimes did not carry out exhumation. All acts were drawn up based on witness statements. Therefore, researchers can only talk about approximate data on victims. According to their estimates, more than 5 thousand Jews were exterminated in Belaya Tserkov.