“In the town of Dolina, Lena (born 1936) and other neighbors from her street were forced by the local policemen to watch the shooting of the Jews in the Jewish cemetery. She saw long columns coming up. In the cemetery, there were three pits with one board across them. The Jews had to undress themselves before walking in groups on the board. “When a pit was filled up with dead bodies, some Jews had to line up the bodies with a stick before filling it up”.
During this investigation, our Yahad team led our 39th research trip to Ukraine where we interviewed 60 witnesses and found 32 shooting sites, 75% of which do not have a memorial.
Administrative districts of Lviv and Ivano-Frankivsk
Investigated towns/villages: Bolekhiv ; Dolina ; Myslivka ; Chevtchenkove ; Boryslav ; Drogobytch ; Medenytchi ; Klimets ; Skole ; Nijny Syniovydne ; Jouravno ; Pereguinske ; Kalouch ; Otynia ; Tsymenitsia ; Bogorodtchiany ; Lissets ; Solotvine ; Nadvirna ; Deliatine ; Iassinia ; Tatariv ; Iamna ; Iablonytsia ; Lanchyn ; Loïeva ; Tloumatch ; Galitch ; Iezoupil
Contrary to the rest of Ukraine which was either administered within the administrative framework of the Reichkommissariat in Ukraine, either under the German military authority, Galicia was under the occupation rule of the General Government of Poland. In this region, the Shoah was characterized by the fact that the Jewish population had either been murdered in the death camps – Belzec primarily – or shot on the spot. More often than not, in the big cities of Galicia, there were open or closed ghettos whose size decreased as selections were carried out. In the small towns, the Jews were generally sent to the ghetto of a nearby bigger city.
– The shooting sites that our team found out during the mission are quite diverse, and are both isolated and not isolated. In many villages, the shootings took place in the Jewish cemetery.
– Guards often resorted to the use of a board across the pit as the execution platform.
– The executioners were mostly commandos of the Sipo-SD or of the Schutzpolizei, often helped by the Ukrainian local police.
– The witnesses mentioned several times the requisition of undertakers in order to dig or fill in the pits. Sometimes, these undertakers were Jewish.
– In many villages, the inhabitants were forced to attend the shootings.