Pavoloch massacre

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The Pavoloch massacre was a mass-killing during the Holocaust on September 5, 1941, in which the Ukrainian shtetl of Pavoloch was depopulated of Jews by the Einsatzgruppen.


When World War II began, the Jews of Pavoloch lived in fear of the Nazi death squads, that had killed so many of their brethren in German-occupied countries. They had heard of the terrible things that the Nazis did to Jews, when they encountered them. On September 5, 1941, during Operation Barbarossa, their fears were justified, when an Einsatzgruppen squad drove into the shtetl. The Nazis had orders from SS-Brigadeführer Otto Rasch, to exterminate any Jews they found, and the Nazis obeyed the order to the letter. They rounded up all of the 1,500 Jews, and took them to the Jewish cemetery, located outside of Pavoloch. The Nazis forced all of the Jews to dig a mass grave, and made them kneel next to the grave. The Nazis shot all 1,500 of them, and the bodies fell into the mass grave. The Einsatzgruppen, seeing that their work was done, quickly filled the pit to exterminate any evidence of the slaughter, and drove away.


After World War II ended, a memorial was erected in the cemetery, commemorating those that were brutally killed by the Einsatzgruppen. Also, the old synagogue, that survived the short-lived Nazi occupation, is now a museum. It has the records of those that were murdered.