1 Execution site(s)
Volodymyr R., born in 1927: “Some Jews were rounded up in a Jewish farmhouse by the Germans, who were assisted by local policemen. Once they were all gathered, the Germans put them in column arranged in rows of four. There was a guard every ten meters on each side. Anyone who couldn’t advance was killed on the spot. At least four or five elderly Jews were killed that way. Their bodies were taken to the cemetery and buried by a mortician. The remaining Jews were loaded into the freight cars. There were a lot of them. Men, women, children, families of around three or five people, about 500 of them. There were all crammed into two freight cars.” (Witness n°2363U, interviewed in Ozeriany, on March 20, 2018)
"On September 26, 1942, Germans from the Gestapo arrived in the village of Ozeriany and carried out a round-up of Jews. Having heard that the Gestapo was coming, I went into hiding. During the round-up, 640 Jews were assembled, 130 of them in Ozeriany, and 813 were taken to the village of Belzec, where they were electrocuted.” [Deposition of a Jewish survivor Zisio Pelts, born in 1893, given to the Soviet State Extraordinary Commission (ChGK); GARF 7021-75-?/ USHMM: RG 22.002M, reel 17]
"The Germans carried out a massive Aktion in Jezierzany [Ozeriany]. It was Saturday, September 26, 1942. It lasted one day. I personally witnessed the Aktion, which took place as follows:
On the day in question, armed Germans surrounded the town from all sides, especially the Jewish quarter. They were Germans from the Czortkow [Chortkiv] Gestapo and men from the Tarnopol [Ternopil] Schupo, who had been called in especially for the day of the Aktion. The Jews were rounded up in the market square. Among the Germans taking part in the Aktion, I recognized K***er and B**r. K***er was - or so I knew at the time - in charge of Jewish affairs at the Czortkow Gestapo (...) B******er was a driver for the Czortkow Gestapo. There were around 800 people - men, women and children - on site. Many Jews went into hiding. In the evening, the Jews rounded up during the Aktion were taken to a nearby building, which was guarded by armed Germans until the following day. At around 8 a.m., the Jews were taken on foot to the Jezierzany railway station. This was 1.5 km behind the town. There, they were loaded into freight cars and deported to Belzec for extermination. Jews who had been arrested during the Aktions in the Jezierzany area were in these wagons.
During this Aktion, some [ill., probably a number] Jews were shot on the spot. "[Depsition of a Jewish survivor Zwi Fenster, born in 1901 in Ozeriany, given in Tel Aviv, on May 19, 1965; BAL B162-5167 p.40]
Ozeriany is located 90 km (55mi) southeast of Ternopil. The first record regarding the Jews dates to the late 18th century. The Jews lived in the center and mainly owned shops, but some of them were artisans. The community had a small synagogue and a cemetery. All children, Jews and non-Jews, went to the same school. On the eve of the war, 835 Jews remained in Ozeriany.
Ozeriany was occupied by German and Hungarian troops on July 7, 1941. According to historical sources and Yahad field research, the Jews continued to live in their houses until September 1942. As all the Jews were mainly concentrated in the center of Ozeriany, there was no need to create a ghetto for them. On September 26, 1942, a deportation of the Ozeriany Jews took place. That day, all the Jews were rounded up from their houses and gathered in the central square. Circa. 1,000 Jews were subsequently deported to Belzec, while 130 Jews were shot at the cemetery. During the deportation, any Jews who attempted to escape or were found in hiding were shot on the spot. The Aktion was conducted by Security Police from Ternopil and Gestapo unit from Chortkiv. Any Jews who managed to survive the Aktion continued to live in the village and were used as force labor for farm works. On June 1, 1943, another shooting took place, during which 600 Jews, according to the archives, were murdered in a nearby forest.
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