23,600 Jews are Murdered in the Kamenets-Podolski Massacre, 1941
On This Day in Jewish History: August 27-29, 1941.
Kamenets-Podolski is a city in Western Ukraine (previously the Soviet Union) that had a large Jewish community until the 1940s. The first reference to Jews in Kamenets-Podolski was in the 15th century. Two centuries later, in the 17th century, thousands of Jews found refuge in the city during the Chmielnitsky uprising. During the 19th and 20th centuries, Jews not only were politically active, but they also comprised 40% of the city’s total population with around 16,000 Jews. This quickly changed during World War I as Jews were facing pogroms and victimization from all sides of the war.
Between 1939-1941, around 10,000-20,000 Jews escaped to Hungary from German-occupied Poland, Austria and Germany. Shortly after Hungary declared war on the Soviet Union, officials of the agency responsible for foreign nationals living in Hungary decided to deport foreign Jews as well as those who could not readily establish Hungarian citizenship. Jews were loaded into freight cars and transferred across the former border of the Soviet Union where they were handed to the Germans. At first, the local Jewish community tried to help transports of Jews as they arrived in Hungary, but as more and more transports came in, it became impossible to help everyone.
Once in German hands, Jews were marched from Kolomyja to Kamenets-Podolsk with their families. On August 27, detachments of Einsatzgruppen in Kamenets-Podolski and troops under the command of the Higher SS and Police Leader, SS General Friedrich Jeckeln, began to carry out mass killings of the Jewish population.