1 Execution site(s)
Maria Ch., born in 1925: "When the Soviets left a few days later, the Jews were massacred. The local executioners, ordinary people without uniforms or armbands, went into houses, arrested Jews and killed them all along the main road in front of the ditch. Then on the same day, they requisitioned Ukrainians to collect the bodies in carts and bury them in the Jewish cemetery in a mass grave. I saw them being buried. The pit was square and rather deep. As far as I remember, there were over a hundred victims buried in that pit. This went on for several days, then there was a pause and then the massacres resumed. The executioners called the villagers to come and see the killing. I saw all these events. The executioners planned the massacres in advance by spreading the word about the time and place. When I arrived at the scene, there were already bodies in the street." (Witness n°2299U, interviewed in Banyliv, on September 22, 2017)
"In the summer of 1941, members of the OUN arrived and shot about 200 civilians from Ruski Banilov, including my husband Hirsh Aaron Mendelevich, my 10-year-old son Zender, my 58-year-old mother Genia, my 34-year-old brother Berl and my 18-year-old brother Leo. The shootings and torture were led by K. Ivan. Other people who participated in this massacre: P. Ivan, Vasily, Piotr; L. Mikhail, Z. Taras and Andrei; G. Stepan, T. Filip from Berezhnytsia and others. [...] Some of the civilians were shot in the houses and barns, but most of them were taken 1 km away from the village. The executioners were very numerous. The victims were first stripped naked. The infants were not shot, they were killed or wounded with rifle butts. Before being shot, the victims were tortured, beaten and forced to sing. A villager, V. Maria, was connected with the bandits. She was the one who denounced the victims who were hiding. In addition, the clothes of the victims were stored in her house. M. Nikolai took a quilt and pillows from me and transported them to Ms V. […] " [Interrogation of a Jewish survivor Irina Hirsh, done on August 8, 1944 by the Soviet State Extrarodinary Commission; GARF 7021-79-71]
Banyliv is located, 50 km (31mi) west of Chernivtsi. The first record of the Jewish community dates back to the second part of the 19th century. Before 1918, the village was part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. From 1918 to 1940 it was integrated into Romania, and in 1940 was taken over by the Soviet Union until 1941. In 1897, some 818 Jews lived in the village, comprising 20% of the total population. The majority of Jews lived off small scale trade, agriculture and handicraft. In the 1920s and 1930s, various Jewish organizations were active in the village. By 1920, the Jewish community had slightly grown and numbered 1,200 people. In the 1930s, only 517 remained living here, as many had relocated to bigger towns or immigrated for economic reasons.
Banyliv was occupied by Romanians in mid July 1941. There were 24 hours lawlessness between the Soviet retreat and the arrival of the Romanians. During this time, according to the Soviet commission and Romanian archives, on July 14 and 15, 1941, between 100 and 200 Jews and some Ukrainians who had embraced communism were killed. The massacre was carried out by local members of the OUN. The victims were tortured, beaten, and killed either in front of and in their houses or 1 km away from the village. There they were forced to sing, stripped naked and shot in three mass graves. There were men, women, and children. Some adults were buried alive while infants were wounded or shot with rifle butts and thrown into the pits. When the Romanians occupied the village, the remaining Jews were gathered and displaced to Transnistria, a region that remained under Romanian occupation.
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