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1 Execution site(s)
Mykhaylo Y., born in 1929, stated: “The ghetto was guarded by Jewish police. They wore uniforms and caps. I used to go there with my mother. We brought food to our Jewish acquaintances. They were very rich. The lady had a girl and my mom wanted to take her with us but the lady refused. Sometimes, in return for food, they gave us clothes. The craftsmen set up their workshop on the ghetto territory. They could work there during the day, but at night, they had to come back to the ghetto. (Witness N°1846, interviewed in Nadvirna, on September 7, 2013.)
“One day, I went into a little house and I heard that the Germans were shooting the Jews in this forest of Bukovina. We couldn’t do anything, we didn’t understand the reason. The next day, when I returned to my office, I heard that the Germans had killed several thousand Jews from Nadvirna in this forest. My wife, Elionore, explained to me that the children had to hide during the aktion and she was taken to the church square with the other Jews. She was forced to lie on the ground like the others. The people were lying on the ground like “Sardinenpackung.” Anyone who moved received a kick with a boot to the face. Around midday, the chief of the Gestapo of Ivano-Frankivsk came.” [Deposition of Josef B., taken in Landsberg, on March 6, 1962, B 162-4993].
Nadvirna is located along the Bystrytsya River and at the foot of the Carpathian Mountains, about 40 km (22 miles) south of Ivano-Frankivsk in western Ukraine. As part of the former Austro-Hungarian Empire province of Galicia, the town was under Polish administration till September 1939. Since 1765, the Jewish population in Nadvirna was important as it had a large number of Hasidic and rabbinical families. The majority of Jews lived off of raw material trade, such as salt, oil and petroleum products, and timber. At the beginning of the 20th century, the town became a popular summertime resort, with its restaurants and hotels. In 1936, some 4,500 Jews were living in Nadvirna, which represented 40% of the total population.
The anti-Jewish measures were carried out by German Gestapo, accompanied by local Ukrainian police. During the first Aktion, which took place on October 06, 1941, some 2,000 Jews were executed in the Bucovina Forest. The remaining Jews in Nadvirna and from the vicinity were confined in a ghetto, created in April 1942. According to the sources and Yahad’s investigations, the ghetto was divided in two sections (ghetto A and ghetto B). The synagogue was located inside the ghetto. Till its complete liquidation on November 08, 1942, the Jews in the ghetto were subjected to isolated, occasional shootings. According to Adam B. (Witness n°1845), the Jews from ghetto B were also murdered in the Bucovina forest. About 800 Jews died from hunger and bad living conditions. The remaining Jews were deported to Ivano-Frankivsk, where they were executed or sent to the Belzec camp.
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