TESTIMONY: Irina – “My mother was a communist. We were arrested and imprisoned. In the cell next to ours there were Jews. They were violently beaten then shot.”

BASIC INFO: Yahad – In Unum carried out its 50th research trip to Ukraine during the month of September. Particular attention was given to the areas around the Cheremosh and Dniester rivers, which were natural borders between the German and Romanian occupied zones. Several shootings took place along the river fronts, the victims were local Jews, as well as Jews from Transcarpathia and Romania. The majority of these sites have no memorial. 

The interviews carried out also allowed our team to document prewar Jewish life in Galicia and northern Bukovina, the ghettos (notably the Kolomyia ghetto), interactions between the Jews and the local population, the requisition of neighbors to help with the transportation of victims or for digging and covering mass graves. A section of the Bukovina Jews were shot in the summer of 1941, while others were deported to Transnistria by Antonescu’s Romanian government. Several Jewish survivors witnessed horrific conditions in the Transnistrian camps and ghettos, where hunger, illness, exhaustion and executions were widespread.

In total, our team recorded 43 witness accounts and discovered 16 mass graves.

PLACES: BOLEKHIV, MYKHALCHE, KOTYKIVKA, GORODENKA, OBERTYN, GARASYMIV, MALY GVIZDETS, GRABOVETS, ILTSI, KOSIV, SHEPARIVTSI, CHEREMKHIV, SNIATYN, DOLISHNIE ZALUTCHCHIA, GORISHNIE ZALUTCHCHIA, NEPOLOKIVTSI, SADGORA, CHERNIVTSI, VASHKIVTSI, BANYLIV, ZOZULYNTSI.

HISTORICAL BACKGROUND: The team’s investigations were concentrated in the Chernivsti region, especially in Bukovina, which was under Romanian control during the Second World War.
KEY FINDINGS:
– Pogroms
– Shooting of Jews in the Dniester
– Looting
– Jewish life before the war
– Living conditions in the ghettos
– The deportation to Transnistria
– The fate of the Hungarian Jews
– The local perpetrators

This trip was made possible with the support of the German Federal Foreign Office.