Dolyna (Dolina) | Ivano-Frankivsk

A young Zionist group, 1939, Dolina, Poland © Film and Photo Archive, Yad Vashem / Former Jewish synagogue which was transformed into a modern-day Evangelist church © Markel Redondo -Yahad-In Unum Jewish cemetery © Markel Redondo -Yahad-In Unum Omelya S., born in 1934, witnessed his Jewish neighbors being killed in the vegetable garden. © Markel Redondo - Yahad-In Unum Olena Sh., born in 1936, was forced out of the house with all the other villagers to go watch the execution. © Markel Redondo - Yahad-In Unum Witness showing the thickness of the plank placed along the pit. The Jews were forced to get on it in groups of six before being killed © Markel Redondo -Yahad-In Unum Yahad’s research team conducting the interview on the killing site, located at the Jewish cemetery © Markel Redondo - Yahad-In Unum

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Execution of Jews in Dolyna

1 Execution site(s)

Kind of place before :
Old Jewish cemetery
Memorials :
Yes
Period of occupation:
1941-1944

Witness interview

Olena C. recalled: “During the shooting, some Jews with wooden sticks had to arrange the corpses in the grave from the edge. The shootings lasted two days. I only watched the shooting at the first grave because afterwards, when it was full, the policemen allowed the families with children to leave.” (Witness N°1812, interviewed in Dolyna, August 29, 2013).

German archives

“When the shooting was finished, I went to the site. There was an Austrian F. from the German army with me. He came with me to the Jewish cemetery. I knew him well, he was posted in Dolyna. He wanted to see the graves. I estimated it was a grave six square meters in size. It was like a cistern. The other two graves were smaller than the first one. They were already filled and covered. Blood flowed everywhere like water on the ground. When the F. saw that, he told me: “Dear Lord, who can justify that?”
[Deposition of Franz R., made in Nuremberg, on August 17, 1964, B162-5003].

Historical note

Dolyna is located 51 km west of Ivano -Frankivsk. As part of the former Austro-Hungarian Empire province of Galicia, the town was under Polish administration until September 1939. The majority of Jews were occupied in industry and trade, which were nationalized under the Soviet Union. According to the 1931 census, there were 2,488 Jews living in the town. The town was occupied in the beginning of July 1941, by Hungarian forces. After the Germans occupied and settled in the region, their administration governed until 1944.

Holocaust by bullets in figures

The anti-Jewish Aktions in Dolyna were organized by a squad of Security forces, with its headquarters in Ivano- Frankivsk. The Security force squad was sometimes helped by the Ukrainian police.  During the first Aktion, which took place in the spring of 1942, 300 Jews were murdered at the Jewish cemetery. Before being taken to the cemetery, the Jews were gathered in a square, where some of them were subjected to humiliation, abuse and rape. During the second Aktion on August 3, 1942, 2,500 - 3,000 Jews (according to different sources), including children, considered unable to work were executed, while others were sent to labor camps.  Thanks to the testimony of Olena C. (Eyewitness n°1812), Yahad was able to identify three mass graves at the Jewish cemetery where the Jews were shot during the large Aktion in 1942.  According to the witness, all the inhabitants were forced out of the houses to watch the shooting. Before being killed, the Jews had to undress, place their clothing separately into different piles and walk on to a plank in groups. Some sources state that the Hungarian Jews were rounded up and taken to the town in August 1941 to be drowned in the Dnister river. Some of them hid in Dolyna but were found and executed along with local Jews during the first Aktion in the spring of 1942.

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