1 Execution site(s)
Jozef M., born in 1936, recalls: “The pit was about 20-30m long. Once the children were brought they were all lined up at the edge and shot immediately. They didn’t try to escape. But they cried a lot. It was very hard to hear. After the children the women were brought. Before being lined up in their queue they had their golden teeth pulled out.
YIU: Were they lined up facing or with their back to the pit?
W: The children lined up facing the shooters.
YIU: At what distance did they fire?
W: About 20m away, not more. They fired with a submachine gun on a tripod. So, all the shooters lay down on the ground while shooting. The shooters fired in turns. (Eyewitness n°379, interviewed in Grochowce, on June 30, 2014)
Grochowce is a village located in Podkarpackie province, in the administrative district of Przemysl. It lies 8 kilometers south of Przemysl and 80 kilometers south east of the capital of the region, Rzeszow. Before the outbreak of the war, in 1939, there was only one Jewish family with 10 members living in the village. They were artisans, such as tailors and shoemakers. The majority of the population was Ukrainians. The biggest Jewish community lived in the nearby town of Przemysl. On the eve of the war about 20,000 Jews lived in Przemysl. The town was occupied in the mid-September 1939 and it was divided in two parts, one under German authority and another one under Soviets one, until in June 1941 it was taken over by the Germans.
In the summer 1942, Germans performed several shootings of Jews from the Przemysl ghetto which was established in July 1941, shortly after the second occupation. All together about 4,000 older and unable to work Jews were killed. The only Jewish family living in Grochowce was also taken to the forest and killed. They were exterminated in the course of three major aktions, conducted in late July-early August 1942. The aktions were committed by German Security police. According to an eyewitness interviewed by Yahad, there were about a dozen shooters who lay down on the ground firing with submachine guns, while another German was given the order to fire with a small flag. The Jewish men, women and children were killed separately. There were several mass graves which were dug and filled in after by the requisitioned Junaki. Before filling in the pit, the Germans put lime over the victims who were sometimes only wounded. After the war, a portion of the bodies was exhumed and moved to the Przemysl cemetery.
For more information about the fate of Jews in Przemysl please refer to the corresponding profile
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