1 Execution site(s)
Nadia H., born 1933: “Many Jews lived here in Chemerivtsi before the war. They mainly lived in the town center, while Ukrainians lived in the outskirts. My grandmother worked for the Jews all her life. She would clean their houses, do laundry, take care of their children. On Saturdays she was paid to light the fire. Because, you know, they couldn’t do anything on Saturdays, that is why they asked local people to light a match to make fire, and they would pay us 2-3 copeiks. They were nice people.
YIU: Do you remember what they did for a living?
W: Many of them worked in the farm, they were quite poor. Others had shops where they sold all kind of goods. I remember one Jewish man who had a shop. His name was Pinia. We liked to go there and stand by the door, hoping that someone would drop a coin, or a candy, so we could pick it up. In his shop, he would sell candies, but also fabrics, lights, bread, bottles, garments. In a word – everything!” (Witness n°2915U, interviewed in Chemerivtsi, on July 14, 2021)
Chemerivtsi is a town located 84 km (52mi) southwest of Khmelnitskyi. It was founded in the 15th century. Before the war, there was a large Jewish population, 1,139 Jews according to a census. There was a Jewish kolkhoz [collective farm] alongside a Ukrainian one, and a Jewish school. According to a witness interviewed by Yahad, the Jews lived in the center of the village and worked in the shops and in the fields. The witness remembers a certain Pinia, who had a shop where he sold sweets, boots, bread, and fabrics. Some of them were also artisans
The Germans occupied Chemerivtsi on July 9, 1941, and were driven out on March 27, 1944. When they arrived, the Germans organised a pogrom, during which several dozens Jews were killed and all Jewish shops and houses were looted and destroyed. At the end of 1941, the Germans assembled 161 villagers, the vast majority of them Jews, at the machine and tractor station (MTS) in the center of the village and shot them. The remaining Jews were deported to Kamianets-Podilskyi in 1942 and later shot on August 11, 1942.
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