majority of Jews from Poninka were murdered in 1941. There are no
official records but below are the facts that we do know.
POLONNOYE COUNTY, KAMENETS PODOLSK DISTRICT,
the beginning of September 1941 about 500 Poninka Jews were shot to
death by Germans in a forest near the village.
POLONNOYE COUNTY, KAMENETS PODOLSK DISTRICT, UKRAINE (USSR)
On September 2, 1941 2,000 Polonnoye Jews were shot to death in the
forest near Poninka village
2. The Jewish community of Poninka
grew significantly with the opening of a paper factory in the town in
1870. In 1897 the Jewish population was 206 out of a total of 1,025
residents. Under Soviet rule a Yiddish elementary school operated in the
town until the mid-1930s. Many Jews continued to work at the local paper
factory. In 1939 Poninka had a population of 675 Jews, who comprised
17.7 percent of the total number of residents.
The Germans captured the town on July 5, 1941.
Shortly afterwards, probably in the same month, a group of Jewish men
was shot to death in the forest outside the town. Jewish houses were
marked with a Star of David and the Jews had to wear yellow patches on
their clothes. Apparently in late August or early September 1941 about
500 Jews from Poninka were shot to death in the same forest. According
to several testimonies several Jewish artisans and specialists were left
in the town. Probably in late autumn of 1941 they were taken to the
ghetto of Polonnoye and murdered on
June 25, 1942, along with the other ghetto inmates.
Poninka was liberated by the Red Army on
January 8, 1944.
(from Yad Vashem's
The Murder Sites of the Jews in the Occupied Territories of the former
Mass Grave Memorial
This monument to the 1,270 Jews who were killed on June 25, 1942 sits just outside of
Execution of Jews from Polonne and Poninka in Poninka
- from the website
Holocaust by Bullets (Father
2 Execution site(s)
Kind of place before :
Memorials : Yes
Period of occupation:1941-1944
Number of victims :
born in 1924, remembered: “We were gathering herbs with my friend in
the forest. Suddenly, we saw local policemen digging the pits. They
told us to go away because the Germans were going to bring the Jews
to the shooting site. We left and hid in the bushes. We heard
screams and shooting until late at night. But we didn’t see the
execution. Later we went to the shooting site. The pits were big and
square. I knew that there were a lot of children among the victims
because I saw their clothes near the pits.” (Testimony
n°1653, interviewed in Poninka on April 30th, 2013)
|Historical Note: Poninka is located
130 km North-east of Khmelnytskiy. The Jewish community was
not very significant in this village. In 1897, only 206 Jews
(20% of total population) lived here. By early 19th century
the Jewish community represented only 18% of the total population,
numbering 675 Jews. The part of them worked at the paper
factory while the others lived off of small-scle trade or handcraft.
There was a Yiddish school until the 1930's. The village of
Poninka was occupied by the Wehrmacht army on July 5th, 1941.
Holocaust by Bullets in figures
Soon after the occupation of the village, the Jews were forced to
wear armbands; their houses were also marked. The young men
had to perform strenuous manual labor. The first execution was
conducted in late August-early September 1941, against about 500
Jews. According to the witnesses interviewed by Yahad, one day
all the Jews were ordered to come to the paper factory with their
belongings. Their valuables were confiscated by the local
police and the Jews were locked inside the factory. After
having been detained for one week without any food, they were
brought by truck to the nearby forest where they had to dig the pits
and undress. Those who were not killed, the majority of whom
were artisns and their families, were taken to the ghetto in Polonne
mid-February, 1942. It is believed that they were murdered in
Ponink, along with the Polonne Jews on the 25th of June, 1942,
during the liquidation of the Polonne ghetto.
Go to the
on Jewishgen to see a list of Holocaust victims from Polonnoye and
Poninka. This list was compiled by Semyon Bentsianov from the
memories of survivors in the years 1987-1991. It is incomplete and
its not clear how accurate it is. But these are our only sources
Observer, Jewish Ukraine, August 15, 2002
JEWISH UKRAINE 15/34 August 2002
A small settlement Poninka
is located 7 km away from the district center Polonny in the north of
Khmelnitsky region. Prior to the war Jews lived here together with
Ukrainians and Poles. Most of them worked at a local paper-mill.
During the occupation in
autumn 1941 Nazis exterminated the entire Jewish population of the
settlement - they failed to depart eastwards escaping the brown plaque.
Fascists brutally killed nearly one thousand persons, chiefly women,
children and the aged in the depth of the woods.
Only three persons
survived: a Jew Yakov Bogula was saved by the neighboring Ukrainian family
of Rybachuk and a Pole Anton Baginsky saved his wife Yevgeniya and
daughter Galina. Six huge communal graves guard the ashes of the killed.
One of the graves became the last resort for, as witnesses assert, the
Jewish children killed by fascist fiends.
After the liberation the
workers of Poninkov paper-mill created a monument in the death place of
Jews-martyrs. In 1953 the local council established cast iron figure
sections around the monument instead of a former wooden hence and tidied
up the burial territory.
In early July local
inhabitants got alarmed at the news brought by the forester V.Shvorob. He
was the first to discover the traces of vandalism.
People without honesty
(unfortunately, they can be found everywhere) had decided to earn from
metallic fence around the communal graves located it the heart of the
forest. They broke the peace of the sacred place, dismantled and took away
part of the cast iron fence - 30 sections. Chairman of the local council
V. Malinkovsky was informed about the incident, a corresponding act was
drawn up and directed to the law enforcement agencies of the Polonsky