Nyzhankovychi (Nizhankovichi, Niżankowice) | Lviv

Iadviga R., born in 1931: “The Jews in hiding were found and murdered all over the town. I saw their corpses being taken to the Jewish cemetery to be buried.” ©Sabrina Caputo/Yahad - In Unum Taras K., born in 1931, recalls Operation 1005: “The Germans surrounded the pit with a fence. For about a month, the corpses were burned using the chemicals.” ©Sabrina Caputo/Yahad - In Unum Iaroslav I., born in 1929: “The Jews were taken to the execution site along the road that passed near the school. Sometime later, I heard gunshots that lasted 10 to 15 minutes.” ©Sabrina Caputo/Yahad - In Unum The former synagogue of Nyzhankovychi. ©Sabrina Caputo/Yahad - In Unum Site were the Jews from Nyzhankovychi and nearby villages were rounded up before being taken to the ghetto or deported to Przemyśl. ©Sabrina Caputo/Yahad - In Unum Taras K., born in 1931: “The Jews had to leave their belongings at the Klub before being taken to the ghetto.” ©Sabrina Caputo/Yahad - In Unum The former ghetto entrance. ©Sabrina Caputo/Yahad - In Unum The former Jewish cemetery where the Jews were murdered. ©Sabrina Caputo/Yahad - In Unum The corpses of Jews killed in isolated shootings were also buried at the Jewish cemetery. ©Sabrina Caputo/Yahad - In Unum The Yahad team during the interview. ©Sabrina Caputo/Yahad - In Unum

Execution of Jews in Nyzhankovychi

1 Execution site(s)

Kind of place before:
Jewish cemetery
Memorials:
Non
Period of occupation:
1941-1944
Number of victims:
Between 18 and 500

Witness interview

Iadviga R., born in 1931: "In autumn they [the Jews] were taken in column, with their belongings, in the direction of Dobromyl. I was at school when I saw the column being marched under guard by 6 to 8 policemen. The column was followed by a black German vehicle. It was possible to see a machine gun placed on the hood, but I couldn’t see the shooter. The Jews believed they were being taken to Dobromyl, but then they were ordered to turn towards the Jewish cemetery and that’s when they realized what was going to happen. Some of them tried to flee and were shot dead on the spot, while the majority stayed with their families without attempting to escape.” (Testimony N°YIU2419U, interviewed in Nyzhankovychi, on April 25, 2018)

Historical note

Nyzhankovychi is located about 104 km (64mi) northwest of Lviv on the border with Poland. Until the 1772 Partitions of Poland, Nyzhankovychi was part of Przemyśl Land, Ruthenian Voivodeship. It was subsequently annexed by the Habsburg Empire, and became part of Habsburg Austrian Galicia, where it remained until late 1918. During the Second Polish Republic, Nyzhankovychi belonged to Lwów Voivodeship. In September 1939, the village was taken over by the Soviet Union.The first record of the Jewish community dates back the beginning of the 17th century. In 1880, 643 Jews lived in the village, comprising more than 36% of total population. In 1921, 408 Jews remained in Nyzhankovychi. There was a synagogue and a Jewish cemetery. Most Jews were merchants and carried out most of the trade. There were also craftsmen and several Jewish doctors. A few sawmills were established in the village by the Jews. Without any exact number available and according to Yahad eyewitnesses, on the eve of 1941, up to 50% of the local population was Jewish.

Holocaust by bullets in figures

Nyzhankovychi was occupied by German troops on June 27, 1941. The anti-Jewish Aktion began straight after the occupation. Under guard of Ukrainian policemen, all the local Jews and those from nearby villages, between 500 and 1,000 people, were rounded up in the Klub in the village center where a selection was carried out. A few dozen of the strongest Jews and specialists with their families were chosen for forced labor and taken to a ghetto created in the center of Nyzhankovychi, while others were sent to Przemyśl.

The ghetto was not fenced in, but its inmates were forbidden to leave its territory. However, this prohibition was not always respected, allowing interaction between the populations, particularly between the Jewish specialists and Ukrainians in exchange for food. The Jews suffered from the humiliating treatment imposed by the Germans. A number of them had their papillotes and beards cut off. Over the course of several months, ghetto inmates were forced to rebuild the bridge, destroyed by Soviets during their retreat. As soon as the construction work was completed, the Jews of the ghetto were shot in a mass grave in the Jewish cemetery. Some of them were killed on the way to the execution site while attempting to escape. It was possible to establish that the shooting took place in autumn 1942, as the area around the town being cleared of Jews.

Isolated shootings of Jews found in hiding were perpetrated by the Ukrainian policemen throughout the occupation period. The victims corpses were also buried in the Jewish cemetery.  At the end of the occupation, Operation 1005 was carried out in the village in order to hide all traces of the crime. Without any exact number available, it is possible to assume that the number of victims buried in the Jewish cemetery can be as high as a few hundred. 

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