Berezhany (Brzezany) | Ternopil

The ID card of a Lithuanian Jewish woman Maria Kunysz - Jenkowska, issued in Berezhany on October 4, 1943 ©The Ghetto Fighters’ House Museum, Israel/ The photo Archive The great synagogue in Berezhany (1945?) © From Private Collection / Olga L., born in 1931, an eyewitness of the mass shooting in the Jewish cemetery  © Guillaume Ribot - Yahad-In Unum Stefan, born in 1943, “the SS officer Gubert was drinking while shooting the Jews” © Guillaume Ribot - Yahad-In Unum The road to the Jewish cemetery by which the Jews passed before being killed © Guillaume Ribot - Yahad-In Unum An old Jewish cemetery in Berezhany town © Guillaume Ribot - Yahad-In Unum The monument to the Jewish Holocaust victims in the Jewish cemetery © Guillaume Ribot - Yahad-In Unum

Execution of Jews in Berezhany

3 Execution site(s)

Kind of place before:
Jewish cemetery
Period of occupation:

Witness interview

Srefan tells us: "The Jews were brought in column from the center. They were escorted by two Germans, one with a dog in front of the column, and another at the end. “ (Witness N° 190, interviewed in Berezhany, on August 13, 2005)

Soviet archives

"A witness grazing the cows and working in the forest at that moment passed by about 150m from the killing site. He witnessed having seen Germans getting down naked civilians into a pit, throwing children in the same pit and shooting them with rifles and submachine guns. A German patrol was present during all day in order to block the streets and especially the road leading to the forest." [Act of the Soviet extraordinary commission, drawn up according to the testimony of local resident; RG-22.002M.7021-75/370]

Historical note

Berezhany is a town, situated about 100 km from Lviv and 50 km from Ternopil. Before the war, this area was a part of Poland. In 1939, there was about 35% of Jewish population in the city. First, in September 1939, the town was occupied by Soviets, after on July 04, 1941 by German army.

Holocaust by bullets in figures

There were several Aktions against the Jews in Berezhany during the German occupation.  The first one was conducted on July 6, 1941, by local Ukrainians as a revenge for the murdered Ukrainian nationalist. In the reality the Ukrainian nationalists were murdered by the Russian secrete services (NKVD) but the Germans presented that as if they were murdered by Jews.  It is known a pogrom. According to the sources, the bodies were buried at the Jewish cemetery by the members of the family in separated graves.

Another Aktion was carried out in early October 1941 when about 600 men, mostly professionals and merchants were murdered outside of Berezhany, in the quarry located in the direction of the village Ray. Another big execution was conducted in the middle December 1941, in the Lityatyn forest, on the halfway between Berezhany and Pidhaitsi. This time about 1,000 Jews, mostly the elderly, women, and children, were murdered. All the Aktions were conducted by German Security Police from Ternopil.

In the fall 1942, all the remaining Jews from Berzhany as well as from the nearby villages were confined into the ghetto. From the ghetto, several mass deportations of Jews were carried out from the middle September, 1942, to December 04, 1942. In all, about 3.500 Jews were deported to the Belzec camp by the Security Police with the help of local Ukrainian police. In late March and early April, 1943, some Jews from the ghetto were deported to the nearest labor camps or shot at the Jewish cemetery. The last remaining 1400 Jewish, including 300 men, who believed to worked for the Germans, were shot at the Jewish cemetery, situated on the way to the village Ray, on June 12, 1942.

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