TESTIMONY: Yevgen lived next to the Jewish cemetery. During the war, he regularly saw Jewish men escorted by the Jewish police to the cemetery. They were forced to break the tombstones that then were used to pave the roads. Today, there are no longer any tombstones at the Jewish cemetery of Zolochiv.
BASIC INFO: From 8 to 24 June 2016, a Yahad-In Unum team conducted its 45th research trip to Ukraine in the Ivano-Frankivsk region, and in the Lviv region for the last days.
There were more than 500,000 Jewish victims, some shot on site with the majority sent to the Belzec death camp in Poland.
During the course of this trip, the team investigated in 23 localities, interviewed 40 witnesses, and located 11 new execution sites, most with no monuments. Several other execution sites which the team investigated had already been listed in the first Yahad trips in the region.
PLACES: Bilshivtsi, Bovshiv, Bukachivtsi, Bukachivska Sloboda, Rogatyne, Perenivka, Zaluzhia, Burshtyn, Verbylivtsi, Ustia-Zelene, Senkiv, Pechenizhyne, Chernelytsia, Ivano-Frankivsk, Tenetnyky, Zolochiv, Radekhiv, Truskavets.
HISTORICAL BACKGROUND: The covered area was part of the ancient historic province of Galicia. It was occupied a few days after the German attack in June 1941. It was quickly linked to the administration of the General Government of Poland under German occupation. Jewish life and presence was predominant before the war.
The main characteristics that emerge from this investigation include:
– Numerous movements and transfers of Jews, in columns or trains, from small ghettos to larger ghettos;
– Forced labor, scenes of humiliation;
– Mass shootings, mostly Jewish women and vulnerable persons, including in the cities of Rogatyne and Zolochiv;
– Convoys to the Belzec extermination camp;
– Numerous testimonies about the local population hiding Jews;
– Numerous testimonies about the shootings of hidden Jews or Jews killed in the columns;
– Active participation in the genocide of Polish and Ukrainian local police.
– Recovery of materials from Jewish homes (wood, bricks …);
– Use of Jewish gravestones to pave roads;
– Aktions by the Ukrainian nationalist partisans;
– Public shootings done by the Ukrainian nationalists under the German government;
– Tensions between Polish and Ukrainian civilians maintained by the German government.
This trip was made possible with the support of the German Federal Foreign Office.