1 Execution site(s)
Bronyslav B., born in 1932, answers the questions: “YIU: What happened to the Jews of Tlumach?
B.B.: At the beginning everything was more or less calm. After, they were confined to a ghetto fenced in with barbed wire. Nobody could enter there. All the Jews from the nearby villages and town were brought to the ghetto. Later, they were shot.
YIU: Where was the ghetto situated?
W: The ghetto was situated in the Jewish district called “Mexico”. It was in the center. There is a school there today.
YIU: Did you see the Jews moving into the ghetto?
W: No, I didn’t see them. But I saw the Jews being taken from the ghetto to the shooting.
YIU: When did the shooting take place?
W: I don’t remember when exactly but it was not right after the German occupation. It was the next year.
YIU: Was it cold or was it snowing?
W: It was in summer because I was working in the field when I saw the Germans transporting about 300 Jews. When they started to shoot them I went back home because I was scared.“ (Witness N°1859, interviewed in Tlumach, on September 10, 2013).
“I remember that there were other executions in towns and villages and especially in Halych, Kalush, Nadvirna, Delyatyn and Tlumach. We went in trucks to bring the Jews under the supervision of the Ukrainian militia. Aside from these locations, there were pits. These actions were organized at the same time and half of my unit had to participate in transporting the Jews and the other half in the shooting. The Jews were shot just after their arrival. I can’t give you the details of the shootings or the number of Jewish victims killed. During each action, I think that around 1,000 Jews of all ages, male and female, were liquidated.” [Deposition of Josef B, taken in Landsberg, on March 6, 1962, B162-4993].
Tlumach, first written about in the 14th century, is located about 24 km southeast of Ivano-Frankivsk. As part of the former Austro-Hungarian Empire province of Galicia, the town was under Polish administration until September 1939. In the course of Tlumach’s history, the Jewish population was always significant. As there were not large industries, except the oil press, the Tlumach Jews mostly lived off agriculture, cattle and horse breeding. There were many craftsmen and artisans among them. Some sources mentioned a hotel and several restaurants in Tlumach. In 1931, approximately 5,946 Jews lived in Tlumach, which represented 34% of local population. The town was occupied by Germans from 1941 until 1944.
During the German occupation, the Jews native to Tlumach and nearby villages were either deported to labor camps or executed on the spot. According to some sources, in the spring of 1942, the Jewish population swelled to 3,500 Jews, which included Jewish inmates brought from the surrounding villages, such as Tysmenytsya. The anti-Jewish Aktions were organized in early April 1942 by SS members. During one such Aktion, 1,000 Jews were sent to Ivano-Frankivsk (Stanislavov at that time), where they were later murdered. On May 18, 1942, about 160 Tlumach Jews were killed by Security Police. There were several waves of deportation. Hundreds of Jews were deported to the Ianovka camp in May, 1942. From August to September 1942, another 2,000 Jews were deported. The ghetto, which was established at the end of May 1942, existed until December 1942. According to Stepan G. (Witness n°1858) the ghetto was situated at the area named “Mexico” and was fenced in with barbed wire. The Jews living in the ghetto were subjected to different kinds of forced labor. He also witnessed a 2-hour long Aktion organized by Germans during which they slaughtered the Jews inside of the ghetto by shooting them or simply beating them with batons. All the eyewitnesses of the shootings found by Yahad - In Unum state that they took place at the Jewish cemetery, which was situated between the villages of Tlumach and Lokitna. The Jews were shot in groups of 20-30 people. The pit was dug by a Jewish undertaker who lived at the cemetery and according to Bronyslav B. (Witness n°1859) and Roman B. (Witness n°1862), he was present during the shootings. For the shooting, the Germans used the same procedure common to the region: once undressed, the Jews had to get onto the plank one by one and they were shot with pistols or rifles in the nape of the neck.
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