3 Execution site(s)
Maria K., born in 1928: “The camp was located in the hamlet of Ostriv (today Chyzhykiv). There used to be an inn where people stopped to rest and have a drink. The owner of the inn was deported by the Russians. The camp was surrounded by a fence and guarded by policemen. Next to the camp, there were other houses where people lived. The Jews had to work on repairing the road and were guarded by one or two Germans with whips. The stones for the repairs were brought in by truck.
Not far from the camp was a pasture where I used to graze my cows. Next to this pasture there was a beet vegetable garden. So, from time to time I would hide a bottle of milk for our Jewish acquaintances there. While working on the road, and when German guards weren’t looking, or having lunch, they would sneak into the garden and take the bottle. In general, the Germans were very cruel to the Jews. They beat them with whips and batons. I remember once a Jewish man took off his shirt because it was too hot, and he got beaten by a German.” (Testimony n°3017U, interviewed in Vynnyky, on December 4, 2021)
Chyzhykiv, formerly known as Ostriv, is located about 20 km (13mi) southwest of Lviv. Part of historical region Galicia, the village was under Polish rule until 1772, when it was taken over by the Austro-Hungarian Empire, part of which it remained until late 1918. During the interwar period, it came back under Polish rule until September 1939, when Chyzhykiv was taken over by the Soviet Union following the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact. There is not much information regarding the Jewish community, except for what the local witnesses told the Yahad field research team. It is believed that the first Jews began to settle down in the village in the mid-19th century. According to local witnesses, only a few Jewish families lived in Chyzhykiv before the war. One Jewish man, called Shrul, had a shop with alcoholic beverages, another one was Mekhyl. A Jewish agricultural school was opened in Chyzhykiv in the 1930s. Many Jews lived in the nearby towns of Vynnyky or Novy and Stary Iaryshiv.
Chyzhykiv was occupied by German troops in late June, 1941. According to the available historical sources and oral accounts of the witnesses interviewed by Yahad, a labor camp was created in Chyzhykiv (Ostriv) in the fall 1941. The camp was set up in the former inn whose owner had been deported by the Soviets in 1939. The territory of the camp was fenced-in with barbed wire and guarded by policemen. Camp inmates were subjected to forced labor, working on road construction connecting Lviv to Ternopil. According to local witnesses, women and children were among the inmates, although the majority were men. During the liquidation of the camp, carried out in July 1943, the remaining inmates were transferred to the Janowska camp, in the outskirts of Lviv. As a result of the field research, Yahad managed to identify several execution sites in and outside Chyzhykiv. Local witnesses recalled having seen several columns of Jews being led away in the direction of the forest. A number of isolated shootings took place during the existence of the camp. Today, the execution sites remained unmarked and unprotected.
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