1 Execution site(s)
Ivan R., born in 1931: “YIU: In 1939, when the war began, and Poland was divided, do you remember if any refugees from Poland, Jews or non-Jews, came here?
Witness: On November 17, the Russians decided to cross the border. Polish troops were on the border, and they thought that they [the Russians] were coming to help them against the Germans. And when the Germans ordered them to lay down their weapons, they all started to flee en masse. I think that they probably didn’t send any Jews to us from Poland, but the Poles were fleeing to Romania. We used to live in the field, and next to our house was a track, which led far to the east. So, they came past our house. Soldiers and civilians were on carts, on wagons. They fled en masse. One Polish woman said that she was the wife of a Polish captain. Her last name was Pobigushcha and in Polish – Pobiegająca. But nobody called her by her Polish name. She was the only Pole who stayed here and didn’t flee to Romania.” (Witness YIU/2600U, interviewed in Zolotyi pOtik, on July 3, 2019)
"The commission located three mass graves 700 meters east of Zoloty Potik. The testimonies of Nikolai K., Mikhail S. and Pelagueya P. enabled the commission to establish that on July 3, 1941, after the withdrawal of the Red Army, the village was occupied by the German invaders. Once the power was established, the occupiers authorized the creation of "Ukrainskaia setch". Vasiliy K. and S. became the leaders of the Ugrainskaya setch in Zolotyi Potik. They ordered the shooting of 50 people, Poles and Jews. Among the members of the "Ukrainskaia setch" were the following people: […]. These people participated in the shooting. [...] " [Act drawn up on December 15, 1944; GARF 7021-75-100, p.15]
Zolotyi Potik is a village located 88 km (55mi) southwest of Ternopil and 20 km (12mi) of Buchach. The settlement was founded in 1388 under the name Zahaipole, and in 1570, it was re-established under the ownership of the Potocki family as "Potok". The first records of the Jewish community date to 1635. The community suffered greatly form the Khmelnytskyi uprising, but was rebuilt, and by the end of the 18th century numbered 111 members. Most Jews were either tradesmen, or artisans. Some lived off agriculture. There was a Jewish cemetery and a prayer house. The Zionist movement was very active here in the 1920s-1930s. Many Jews left Zolotyi Potik in in the 1920s, moving on to bigger cities or to America. On the eve of the war, one third of the population was Jewish.
Zolotyi Potik was occupied by the Germans on July 10, 1941. According to the Soviet archives, the massacres of Jews started immediately after the occupation. On July 15, 1941, several members of the newly created ‘Ukrainian Sich’ composed of local Ukrainians, gathered about 50 people, Jews and Poles, and shot them at the local Jewish cemetery. According to other sources, the remaining Jews were displaced to the Buchhah ghetto in the autumn of 1942. They were later deported to the death camps, including Belzec. Circa. 30 Jews from Zolotyi Potik apparently survived the war in hiding.
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