1 Execution site(s)
Stepan born in 1929, a Jewish survivor: “During the Aktion, many Jews tried to flee or to hide. I saw a group of about twenty Jews, including my neighbor Mendel, running towards the forest. They stood hiding there for quite a while. Mendel would come to our house from time to time to eat and warm up. We hid him in one of the rooms, in the house. The Germans kept looking for him, and came to our house to ask my father if he knew where he was. But he managed to send them away, and Mendel was never found. Although, after this episode he returned to the forest. As far as I know, they all escaped to Poland, but I don’t know whether they managed to survive or not.” (Witness n°2443U, interviewed in Kulachkivtsi, July 12, 2018)
Kulachkivtsi is a town located about 20 km (14mi) east of Kolomyia and 65 km (40mi) southeast of Ivano-Frankivsk, in the historical region of Galicia. Until 1772 it was part of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, and from 1772 until 1914, part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. From 1914 to 1919 the town was under the control of different countries, from the Russian Empire to the Western Ukrainian Republic from 1918 until May 1919. During the interwar period, it was taken over by Poland before being occupied by Soviet Union in September 1939. The first records of the town’s Jewish community date back to the mid-17th century. Little is known about Jewish community in Kulachkivtsi. In 1900, 279 out of a population of over 2,200 was Jewish. They were mainly merchants or artisans. The community had a cemetery and a synagogue. A bigger Jewish community lived in the nearby town of Hvizdets. By 1880, the Jewish community had expanded and reached 1,236 Jews, making up almost 70% of the total population. On the eve of the war, only about a hundred Jews remained in the village.
Kulachkivtsi was occupied by the Hungarian Army on July 2, 1941. Following the occupation, Jewish men were subjected to forced labour. Several weeks later, local administrative duties were taken over by the Germans, and the town was incorporated to the General Government.
There was no ghetto in Kulachkivtsi, but there was one in Hvizdets, created at the end of 1941 or early 1942. By March 1942, the ghetto numbered 1,540 Jews. In April 1942, all the Kulachkivtsi Jews were gathered and taken to Hvizdets, from where they were most probably resettled in the Kolomyia ghetto. During the deportation several isolated shootings took place, for instance those who were too weak to work, or attempted to escape. Their corpses were buried at the Jewish cemetery together with the Hvizdets Jews murdered during the Aktion conducted on April 9, 1942. Today, there is no memorial at the site.
For more information about the fate of Jews from Kolomyia, please refer to the following profile
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