Bolekhiv (Bolekhov, Bolechow) | Ivano-Frankivsk

Two young women wearing armbands walk down a street near the  town square in the Bolechow ghetto.  Pictured, on the left, Pepcia  Diamand, murdered during an Aktion in March 1943. © United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, courtesy of  Schlomo Adler Group portrait of Jewish youth in the Bolechow ghetto. From the left standing: Simon Weiss, Lila Berger, Bumek  Josefsberg, Musia  Adler; sitting: Bela ltman, unknown  and Dyzia Lew. © United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, courtesy of  Schlomo Adler / Jewish synagogue in Bolekhiv © Markel Redondo - Yahad-In Unum Jewish cemetery in Bolekhiv © Markel Redondo - Yahad - In unum Former Jewish house which used to belong to Mr Jager © Markel Redondo - Yahad-In Unum The location of the ghetto © Markel Redondo - Yahad-In Unum Witness showing the location of the pit at the Jewish cemetery (Killing site N°2) © Markel Redondo - Yahad-In Unum The building, today the town hall, where the Jews were gathered before being brought to the execution site © Markel Redondo - Yahad-In Unum Yosyp Y., born in 1925, described the ghetto situated near the leather factory © Markel Redondo - Yahad-In Unum Rudolf M., born in 1928, described the column of Jews being brought to the killing site, led by the Rabbi © Markel Redondo - Yahad-In Unum Witness interview at the execution site © Markel Redondo - Yahad-In Unum Rudolf leading the Yahad’s team to the killing site in the forest © Markel Redondo - Yahad-In Unum Location of the execution site (Killing site N°3) © Markel Redondo - Yahad-In Unum

Execution of Jews in Bolekhiv

5 Execution site(s)

Kind of place before:
Jewish cemetery/Forest/Ravine/City center
Period of occupation:

Witness interview

Mykhaylo P., born in 1935, recalls: “I went to the forest with my father, and I heard screams. I saw two or three open trucks arrive with Jews. My father put his hand over my mouth so I couldn’t scream. There was a very large grave in a clearing in the forest, with two boards across it. There were about ten German soldiers, some of them with dogs. The Jews had to get undressed and walk onto the boards in groups. There were shooters on the two sides of the grave. After the shooting, the boards were thrown into the grave. The grave was filled in by Jews who were then killed on the grave, their bodies abandoned.” (Eyewitness N°1811, interviewed in Bolekhiv on August 29, 2013)

German archives

“On Saturday, September 5, 1942, in the afternoon, 1,600 Jews, under guard, were brought to the train station. Several laborers were liberated. The train went in the direction of Lviv. During this Aktion, the Hitler Youth, the Bahnpolizei, and other units were present. They wore steel helmets. The Nazi Piatke was there and released his dog on the victims to track them. At the end of the Aktion, 2,500 Jews came out of the forest or from their hiding places.” [Yiskorbuch extract, 1957, B162-5002].

Historical note

Bolekhiv is located 64km west-northwest of Ivano-Frankivsk. According to the 1931 census, 2,986 Jews resided in the town. By the middle of 1941, an estimated 3,300 Jews were in Bolekhiv. The pre-war Jewish community in Bolekhiv was very large. Most of the Jews were merchants. Some of them owned leather factories, and others owned small industries. 

Holocaust by bullets in figures

The anti-Jewish actions started in late October 1941 and lasted until the end of the summer of 1943. They were carried out by the German gendarmerie and German security police and assisted by the Ukrainian police. On October 28, 1941, during the first Aktion, 750 Jews who were unable to work were executed in the Tanyava forest. Meanwhile, the total number of Jews remaining in Bolekhiv changed constantly as some Jews were deported to the Belzec camp (approximately 1,600 Jews) in September 1942 or shot on site (approximately 1,400-1,600 Jews, including children). Additional Jews were deported to Bolekhiv from nearby villages; Weldzirz (today Shevchenkove), Vygoda, Vyshkiv, Staryy Mizhyn. An open ghetto was established in the fall of 1942 and existed until December 1942. Those Jews who were subjected to forced labor at the leather factory and other industries were allowed to stay and live in nearby barracks. Those Jewish laborers were murdered, along with the remaining Judenrat members, during the last Aktion in Bolekhiv, between March and August 1943. 


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