2 Execution site(s)
Kateryna K., born in 1932, says: “I was going to Bukachivtsi and saw the Germans and two boys standing near the pit. It was during the day, around noon. The boys were very calm and they did not try to escape. I had just walked by when I heard the shots. I understood that they were fatal. It happened on the territory of the distillery factory. They were the sons of its owner and they lived there.” (Testimony n°2089, interviewed in Bukachivtsi on June 9th, 2016)
“[…] In October 1942, the Gestapo and the German soldiers arrived in Bukachivtsi and began to round-up the population. They arrested 250 people and took them to Rohatyn. There, those people were loaded into wagons and deported to Belzec, where they were executed. During the first round-up, 10 people were shot, including Cherch, Ungar, Boksa and others. A month later, the Gestapo and the German soldiers returned to Bukachivtsi, and started to round-up and raid the Jewish population, just like the first time. 550 people were rounded up, brought to Bukachivtsi station and loaded onto wagons. I was amongst those people. The train left in the direction of Belzec. After passing Lviv, I managed to jump off the train, but the others were deported and executed. I returned to Bukachivtsi where the Jewish population continued to be exterminated. They were displaced to Rohatyn. During those raids, 350-400 people were brought to Rohatyn where they were shot, and 250 people were shot on the spot.
All my family, my sons, my wife, my sister, my brother-in-law and their children, my brother and his family, were shot dead in Rohatyn.” [Deposition of a Jewish survival, Ioiel Salimovych Mandil, born in 1898, taken on February 1st, 1945; RG 22.002.M 7021-73-17]
Bukachivtsi is located 35 km north-west of Ivano-Frankivsk. The first records of the local Jewish community date back to the 18th century. According to the census in 1880, the Jewish population numbered 1,115 persons comprising more than a half of total population, but after the wave of emigration to the USA in the late of 19th- early 20th centuries the population dropped. Thus, in 1921, only 649 Jews remained in Bukachivtsi. As a result of the pogrom of 1920, the Jewish houses and businesses were plundered, several Jews were killed. In the 1920s and 1930s, branches of various Jewish parties and organizations operated in Bukachivtsi. In 1923, a “Tarbut” school was opened in the village. At that period the majority of Jews lived off small-scale trade or handcraft. In 1931, the Jewish population increased to about 1,000 persons. On the eve of the war 780 Jews lived in the village. The village of Bukachivtsi was occupied by the German forces on July 3rd, 1941.
Soon after the occupation the anti-Jewish measures were implemented. The whole Jewish population was registered and marked with armbands with the Star of David on it. The curfew and living restrictions were imposed onto the town. Later, a Jewish council and a Jewish police were created. They were responsible for arresting and sending the Jews to labor or extermination camps.
In late autumn-winter 1941, an open ghetto was established in the village. By April 1942, it numbered about 1,303 Jews, including those who were brought from the nearing villages. All Jews fit to work were subject to perform forced labor. Due to horrible working conditions, lack of food, and humiliation many forced laborers died from hunger or typhus.
The first deportations started in late September 1942. On September 21st, 1942, 230 Jews were deported to the Belzec camp. Dozens of Jews that tried to. hide were killed on the spot in Bukachivtsi. According to witnesses interviewed by Yahad, several isolated executions during which a couple of Jews were shot dead. For example, a local woman interviewed by Yahad, happened to see the shooting of three Jews who had been hiding in the attic of the Polish woman. On October 25th through October26th, 1942, a second deportation of the Jews was organized. This time, about 550 Jews, including several hundred who had previously been displaced from Burshtyn to Bukachivtsi, were deported to Belzec. Some 255 Jews were shot on the spot. The Aktion was conducted by the German Security Police who arrived from Ternopil. In January 1943, the Germans resettled 320 remaining Jews to enclosed ghetto in Rohatyn, but they were exterminated shortly after.
For more information about the shootings in Rohatyn please refer to the corresponding profile.
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