Extermination of Two Ukrainian Jewish Communities
Yad Vashem Studies, Volume III
Testimony of a German Army Officer
The Extermination of Two Ukrainian Jewish Communities
In September 1941 Bingel was on guard at the Uman airport which had been closed for the day. Soon a large column of Jews, including women and children, were seen singing and marching to the square in front of the airport. The previous day a long ditch had been dug in the square. In the meantime, SS units were flown into the airport and took up position in the square. Row upon row of Jews were told to undress completely and were moved up to the edge of the ditch and mowed down by gunfire. Babies had their heads smashed in by blows from pistol butts. Later the Jews were forced to cover the dead with earth before undressing and facing the guns. When Bingel complained he was told that this was a specific order from Himmler, who claimed it was in retaliation for the murder of six German soldiers by Jewish partisans and 10,000 Jews were to be shot in retaliation. Proof is available that 24,000 Jews were shot dead that day. Two weeks later a similar action took place at Vinnitsa airport and 28,000 were butchered. A little later, a third action took place in Uman led by the SS under whom the Ukrainian Militia carried out the slaughter of 6,000 Jews. A long list of witnesses to these massacres is appended at the end of the report.