1 Execution site(s)
Yaroslava I., born in 1932, an eyewitness to the execution of 5 Jews from the camp: “Among the 15 Jews locked up in the ghetto, five managed to hide in the ghetto house. Two of them then fled to a field, but were killed by a German. Two others who were hiding in the attic of the house were denounced by locals and then shot dead by the Germans. Locals took the bodies out of the house with hooks. It was horrible. The fifth Jew fled into a cornfield, but was also killed. These five Jews were all buried in an anti-tank ditch. After that, there were no more Jews in the village.” (Witness n°2601, intrviewed in Chystyliv, on July 5, 2019)
Chystyliv, also known as Czystyłów, is a small village in the suburbs of Ternopil, Ternopil Region. The village is located 130 km (81 miles) southeast of Lviv. The village was founded in 1525 and was part of Poland until 1939. According to the 1879 census, 204 Jews lived in the village, comprising 33% of the total population. In 1939, the Ternopil Region was incorporated into the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic as a result of the Molotov Ribbentrop Pact. According to the three witnesses interviewed by Yahad-In Unum, born between 1927 and 1932, there were few or no Jews in the village before the war. Five Polish Jews came to the village in 1939, fleeing the advancing German army.
A unit of 25 German soldiers was stationed in the village during the war. They were assigned to oversee the bridges, the railway and the construction of the water tower, as they feared that supporters would blow up these facilities.
In 1942, about fifteen Jews were brought from Ternopil to build a water tower in the village. This tower still exists.
The Germans confined these Jews to an empty house that had been owned by Ukrainian nationalists deported by the Soviets. This house was surrounded by a wooden palisade and barbed wire. There was a gate at the entrance, but there were no guards.
These 15 Jews arrived by foot, accompanied by a German in a green uniform. The construction of the water tower lasted approximately 8 to 12 months. The Jews were dressed in civilian clothes and wore blue armbands with a Star of David. Their leader was Pogorilets, a Jewish man, he wore a pink armband and he had a wife. Every evening after work he returned to Ternopil. The Jews worked there until 1943. They could move around the village to get food.
One night in the fall of 1943, residents of the village heard gunfire from the camp. 5 Jews survived this shooting and were hiding in the house. The same day, they were found and shot, inside the house and in a nearby field. Their bodies were then dragged to the anti-tank ditch dating from the First World War.
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