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Shovel head with a partial wooden handle recovered postwar at a mass execution and grave site in Ukraine

Object | Accession Number: 2010.443.42

Shovel head excavated ca. 2005 by Yahad-In Unum in either Berdychiv or Khvativ, Ukraine, from a mass execution and grave site uncovered by their research into atrocities committed by Nazi Germany against the Jewish population during WWII. The German occupying forces often made civilians dig graves, transport Jews to killing sites, and fill in the graves after mass shootings. In September 1939, following Germany's invasion of Poland, areas of eastern Poland, now in Ukraine, were occupied by the Soviet Union pursuant to the terms of the German-Soviet Pact. In late June 1941, Germany launched Operation Barbarossa, a surprise attack on Russia. The military assault was coordinated with killing squads whose goal was the Final Solution, the elimination of all Jews from the conquered territories. With the assistance of trained collaborators and the local populace, the goal was achieved through deportations to killing centers and mass executions throughout the region. The lack of adequate rail transport meant that many villages had killing fields where the Jews were shot and buried in huge ditches, along with the bullets and other evidence. Through interviews with the remaining eyewitnesses, Yahad-In Unum locates and documents these remains of a Holocaust by bullets and offers respectful remembrance for the fallen.

found:  2005 August 17-2005 October 16
use:  1941-1942
found: mass execution and grave site; Ukraine
Tools and Equipment
Object Type
Shovel blades (ushmm)
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Yahad-in Unum
Record last modified: 2022-06-08 15:49:49
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