1 Execution site(s)
Anna D., born in 1927 remembers: “The young girls, there was one who went to school with me who was very beautiful, Silvia, who wasn’t killed right away. Silvia had to live with the head of the Germans. The other young girls served other soldiers. These young girls, with the Ukrainians, cleaned all the objects. When the young girls became pregnant, they killed them because they could not have children with these people. They asked the police from Sokal to bring them to a place 10 kilometers from Busk to kill these young girls who were really beautiful, because they didn’t want to do it themselves.”
P.D: Were there many of them?
A.D: Half a truck-full.” (Witness n°33, interviewed in Busk, on April 29, 2004)
“I worked as the guard of a Jewish cemetery during the month of May 1943, on the order of the kommandant of the town of Busk, the Ukrainian police and 4-5 Germans who started to bring Jews from the ghetto in trucks, where there were pits that had been dug beforehand. Getting out of the truck, they brought them towards the pits, located next to the Jewish cemetery, undressed them completely, took their clothes, arranged them naked at the edge of the pit, facing it, shot them in the back of the neck with a sub-machine gun and they fell into the pit. It was the Germans and the Ukrainian police who were shooting. They didn’t let anyone approach the pits, but all this happened in broad daylight and in front of the eyes of citizens.
Many Jews were shot, but I can’t say how many. All the Jews who were shot were buried in 10 large graves at the edge of the Jewish cemetery in the town of Busk, which I know the location of.” [Deposition of a local resident, Polish nationality, born in 1872 given to the State extraordinary commission; RG-22.002M/7021-67/82]
"As far as I remember there might have been a big action taken against the Jews on March 20 or 21 in 1943. Busk should have been made "judenfrei" or "judenrein" like we used to call it in those times." B162-6359 to B162-6363. B162-6360.
Busk is a district center located on the banks of Western (Zakhidny) Buh 50 km away from Lviv. In XVIII–XIX century Busk was frequently called Galician Venice. The first records about the Jewish community dates back to the mid-15th century. There were about 481 Jews living in Busk in 1765, about 2,000 in 1909, and 1,460 in 1921. The Jewish community in Busk was very important. The first synagogue was built in 1502. There was also a Jewish cemetery, considered to be one of the oldest Ashkenazi cemeteries in Ukraine, which exists nowadays. There were two elementary schools, one for boys and another for girls. In 1908, a Hebrew language school for adults was created. Many cultural and youth Zionist organizations operated in the town. On the eve of the war approximately 1,900 Jews lived in Busk in 1941. In 1939 Busk was taken over by Soviets and in the late June 1941 was occupied by Germans.
At the beginning of the German occupation, 28 Jews from the intelligentsia were shot near the village of Yablunivka. From July 1941, all Jews were registered and marked with distinguishing badges. They were forced to perform different kinds of forced labor, such as road construction. The first Aktion was carried out on the day of Yom Kippur, on September 21, 1942, between 600 and 700 Jews unfit to work were shot along with other Jews from the region in trenches near Kamenka Sturmilova. The Aktion was carried out by Security police and German Gendarmerie accompanied by Ukrainian police. The ghetto in Busk was established on December 1, 1942. Many Jews died of hunger and disease during the winter of 1942-1943; they were buried in the Jewish cemetery. The ghetto was liquidated on May 21, 1943 by German security forces helped by Ukrainian police, and ethnic Germans. Around 1,200 Jews were shot in the Jewish cemetery or in the streets. Some 300 Jews were transferred to the Janowska (or Yaniv in Ukrainian) labor camp in Lvov. A labor camp was established in Busk in May 1943 and it operated until November 1943. About 30 Jewish girls were kept by the Germans as “sex slaves”. After making them pregnant they were killed in the forest. According to the local witnesses interviewed by Yahad-In Unum and excavations which were carried by Yahad, there are 14 mass graves located between the old Jewish cemetery and the Solotvyn river. During the excavations, remains of 450 bodies were found, including 26 children, as well as evidences of murder, for instance scales, bullets, hair, and clothing.
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