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Visiting Info
Opening Hours:

Sunday to Wednesday: 09:00-17:00
Thursday: 9:00-20:00 *
Fridays and Holiday eves: 09:00-14:00.

Yad Vashem is closed on Saturdays and all Jewish Holidays.

* The Holocaust History Museum, Museum of Holocaust Art, Exhibitions Pavilion and Synagogue are open until 20:00. All other sites close at 17:00.

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Boris Tartakovskii's Diary Entry

On February 17, 1944 Tartakovskii wrote as follows in his diary about Zhmerinka, which had become part of Transnistria, the zone of Romanian occupation:

“It was the morning of a wonderfully sunny day. I was rushing to look at the most interesting and terrible phenomenon in the town – the famous Jewish ghetto. The lower part of the town, surrounded by a triple row of barbed wire, was turned into a ghetto by the Romanian authorities. Jews were transported there not only from Zhmerinka itself but also from many of the other regions of Transnistria. That was in November 1941. From that time, in unbelievably crowded conditions, deprived of all elementary human rights and in constant anticipation of almost certain death, many thousands of people of all ages lived here with their hearts practically stopped, listening every night [to hear], whether ‘they’ were coming to get them or not. For trying to leave the bounds of the ghetto without the required pass, one was shot, one was shot for anything at all…. The young people and, in general, those who were healthy were sent to work every morning – to repair roads, to carry stones, to do anything as long as it was physically demanding. And everyone wore a badge – a yellow six-pointed star on the left side of his chest. The most terrible days were the last ones (the Romanians left early and the Germans surrounded the city – everyone [in the ghetto] had already taken leave of life. And only our unexpected arrival saved them.

On that morning the town was full of people who had returned to life. For the first time in two and a half years they could walk along the street with heads raised, freely and independently, without the humiliating yellow star on their chests. The fence posts with barbed wire had been totally removed: that terrible barrier no longer existed. It was a touching sight. For the first time in my life I regretted that I did not know the Jewish language [i.e., Yiddish]….”

Boris Tartakovskii continued this entry with the following about Kamenets-Podolsk that had been located in German zone of occupation:

“Further, beyond the gate there begin the narrow alleys of the old city. Now this is a city of death. Formerly these areas were filled with a large portion of the local Jews. The Germans first turned the old city into a real ghetto and then they destroyed all its residents and the city itself. Steps resound on the squares overgrown with grass, the broken windows of houses look on in silence, and remnants of wallpaper are still visible on the ruins of destroyed walls. Very occasionally a person will pass by or a stray dog will run past. Silence….”

Boris Tartakovskii, Iz dnevnikov voennykh let (From [My] Journals of the War Years), Moscow, 2005, pp. 170-171, 176.