1 Execution site(s)
Iurii P. born in 1933: “W: I don’t know which population was bigger, the Poles or the Jews, but in fact, here there was not much difference between the Poles and Ukrainians, they intermarried a lot. If a Pole married a Ukrainian woman, the daughters would be raised like mothers, the sons would be raised like fathers. There were many families like that, including mine. In our family everybody spoke Ukrainian, but my father and my grandfather, the one that died during the First World War, they were baptized in a catholic church. Our native language was Ukrainian. And there were more Jews here than Poles, there were two prayer houses and only one small catholic church. […]
Y. U.: Were any of your neighbours Jewish?
Witness: They were not landlords, they were renters. In the house across the street there was a nice apartment and the Jews lived there and in the second house to the side there was also a Jewish family living there.
Y. U.: Do you remember their names?
Witness: I remember some names, for example the Jews that were hiding here in Mykolaiv during wartime. Itzko Ruder and I think, Chaim Ruder. I also remember that there was this Jewish family across the street. And when the Germans started exterminating the Jews, and the older woman of the family said that it has been written in their scriptures that the Jews must bear the punishment for the fact that they killed Jesus Christ. And it was unavoidable.” (Witness n°3003U, interviewed in Mykolaiv, on November 24, 2021)
"On September 2, 1942, February 5, 1943, and June 12, 1943, the German invaders conducted a mass execution of the Jewish population, the number of which exceeded 200 people. The execution was carried out by a German unit stationed in the city and by the Ukrainian police. Witnesses are not able to identify the culprits, because they were forced to hide all the time to avoid being shot. The massacre and extermination of the Jews, among whom there were many women, children, and elderly people, took place outside Mykolaiv, near the Jewish cemetery. Upon examination, the commission discovered that the site had been cleared and that only a few insignificant traces of mass graves remained. It is not possible to compile a complete list of the Jews shot and tortured to death, with their autobiographical data. In addition to this, more than 500 people were taken to the Belzec camp located near Rava Ruska." [Act n°25 drawn up by Soviet State Extraordinary Commission (ChGK) on May 20, 1945; GARF 7021-58-22, p.54-55]
Mykolaiv is located 37 km (23mi) south of Lviv. Little is known about the Jewish community that lived in prewar Mykolaiv. The first Jews might have settled down there in the mid of 19th century. According to local testimonies, the community was of considerable size. They had two synagogues and a cemetery. The community had its own rabbi and ritual slaughter, who might have been the same person. The Jewish children went to the same school as the non-Jews. Even though the community was large, the predominant population of the city were the Ukrainians. The majority of the population, including some Jews, lived off agriculture. The Jews were also involved in small scale commerce and handicraft. The Jews lived in the center of the city, while Ukrainians and some Poles on the suburbs. Between the two wars, Mykolaiv was under Polish rule, but in September 1939 the city was taken over by Soviet Union as a result of Molotov Ribbentrop Pact. On the eve of the war, about 700 Jews remained in the city.
Mykolaiv was occupied by the Hungarian army, followed by the Germans at the end of June 1941. According to the Soviet archives and field work carried out by Yahad in November 2021, the Mykolaiv Jewish community was exterminated in two different ways. About 500 Jews were deported to the extermination camp, the closest one was Belzec in Poland, passing by the transit camp at Belz. About 200 Jews were murdered by bullets in several mass and isolated executions carried out in on September 2, 1942, February 5, 1943, and June 12, 1943. The local witnesses interviewed saw columns of Jews, ranging in size from a dozen to several dozen people, escorted by the Germans in the direction of the Jewish cemetery. Among the victims there were men, women, children, and elderly people. According to an eyewitness of one of the executions, the shooters were not Germans all the time. Today, there is no any memorial at the site.
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