1 Execution site(s)
Raveca A., born in 1926: “During the first days of the occupation, Romanian soldiers shot several Jews. On the third day, those Jews who were still alive were gathered near the school. They were about 20-30 people. There were men, women, and children among them. I saw one of my classmates, Sofia, being gathered along with her family. Once gathered, all the Jews were forced inside the trucks. They were so many that they had to stand inside the truck. Then, they were taken away. People said they were taken to Romania, but I can’t tell you exactly what happened to them.” (Witness n°2514U, interviewed in Krasnoyilsk, on October 25, 2018)
“(…) The Romanian soldiers looked for Jewish men of the village, approximately 50, loaded them on the trucks and took them to the forest of Crasna [Krasnoyilsk], where they were shot.” [Archives from Serviciul Român de Informații 25.00M, Reel 15, p. 540.]
Krasnoyilsk is a town located in the historic region of Bukovina, 45km (26mi) southwest of Chernivtsi. Before WWI, it was part of the Austrian Empire, and in between the two world wars, it was taken over by Romania. In 1940, it was occupied by the Soviet Union. The first records of the town’s Jewish community date back to the 18th century. The local Jews were mainly involved in commerce and industry connected with products made from the surrounding forest, including timber processing. Other common occupations were crafts and the liberal professions. The Jewish community had a synagogue, rabbi, and cemetery. In 1930, 257 Jews lived in the village.
Krasnoyilsk was occupied by Romanian forces in July 1941. During the first days of the occupation, the Romanian soldiers rounded up dozens of Jews, men and women among them, and shot them on the side of a river. According to the Romanian archives, the number of victims was higher, 50 Jews, and there were only men among the victims. Sources differ about what happened to the remaining Jews. According to a local witness, the remaining Jews were gathered on the third day of the occupation and taken somewhere to Romania. From the Soviet archives, we know that some Jews from Krasnoyilsk were taken to the Chudei prison, so it is most likely that the Jews weren’t taken to Romania but to Chudei, which was located 8km away. The Chudei prisoners were tortured and shot in the yard of the prison. In all, 634 Jews were murdered in Chudei, including the Jews from Krasnoyilsk, according to the Soviet archives.
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