1 Execution site(s)
Nina V., born in 1930: YIU: "Where were you when they [the Germans] entered the Jewish homes? Were you at home or outside playing?"
Witness: "I was at home. My house was just in front of the Jewish houses, across the road. My mother hid some Jews with us; they were hidden in the attic. After the war, when the Jews were about to leave the village, they thanked her by radio for having saved their lives."
YIU: "When did your mother hide the Jews in the attic? Were they hidden just before the aktion or some time before that?"
Witness: "Upon the Germans’ arrival, the Jews started to flee in different directions to look for hiding places. They came to us, and my mother hid them in the attic. When they began to kill the Jews inside their homes, my mother told those hiding in our attic to hide in the ravine behind our house and then to go into the forest. That is what they did; they escaped. I do not know where they were hiding after that. […] We knew them all. My mother had a cow, and they used to come to her to ask for milk: "Mania, give us a little bit of milk for the kids.", they used to say. And my mother gave [it to] them. She was that kind of person; she used to give a little to each one of them."(Witness n°2642U, interviewed in Derebchyn, on September 6, 2019)
“Under the German-Romanian occupation, 11 Jews were shot in the village of Derebchyn. They were buried in the Jewish cemetery on March 9, 1944. We didn’t identify them.” [Act drawn up by Soviet State Extraordinary Commission on April 10, 1945; GARF 7021-54-1256, p.125]
Derebchyn is located 65km (40mi) northeast of Mohyliv-Podilskiy and 100km (62) southwest of Vinnytsia. The first record of the Jewish community goes back to the 17th century. The majority of Jews lived off small-scale trade and handcrafts. According to the census, on the eve of the war, 2,500 Jews lived in Derebchyn. There was a Jewish cemetery, which was destroyed during WWII.
German and Romanian troops occupied Derebchyn in the second half of July 1941. The village remained under the control of the Romanians during the occupation. Those Jews who remained in the village continued to live in their own homes until March 1944, when retreating Germans and Romanians murdered them. The Jews, according to the Soviet archives, were shot or stabbed with bayonets inside their homes. Some Jews, helped by their neighbors, managed to escape. The bodies of the victims were gathered and buried near the cemetery by the locals. Today, there is no memorial at the site.
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