«Jewish Observer»
BOOK REVIEW
2/21
January 2002
5762 Shvat

LABOUR CAMPS OR THE HOLOCAUST?
B.PRITSKER
Main page To print

The new book "Skorbota Ukraina" of 42 co-authors was published not long ago. The lists of innocent people shot by the fascists during the World War II in Vinnitsa and the region are given in this book. The member of the editorial board, the director of Vinnitsa state archive S. Galchak vividly describs the situation on the occupied territory at that time. The names of people shot in Vinnitsa and the region in 1941-1944 are all given in the book. The first mass execution took place on September 19, 1941. That was the action to exterminate the Jewish intellectuals. 1060 shot Jews are named in the book. In preface, S.Galchak points out that 150 000 people were shot on September 19, 1941. The occupation authorities that were participating in the building of the Hitler's headquarters "Verwolf" held the preparatory arrangements before the second mass execution on April 16, 1942. The authorities and the secret police knew that Jewish masters worked at important enterprises in the city. The fascists needed specialists. So, a great number of Jew specialists (managers of over dozen enterprises) were imprisoned and later on drawn into building the headquarters. After the work was finished they were shot.

3346 names of shot people on April 16, 1942 are mentioned in the sorrow book, whereas S. Gatchak mentions 10 000 people.

There are some inaccuracies in the book. There was a census of the Vinnitsa Jews on August 3, 1941, probably to determine the size of common graves for Jews to be killed. In the letter of January 14, 1942 to the Imperial Chancellery it was said that there were 5 000 Jews in the city. So, on April 16, 1942 the fascists shot 1654 children that weren't mentioned in the book "Skorbota Ukraina". For the memory of the Holocaust victims and for the historical truth new discovered facts about those tragic days should be included into the book.

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