3 Execution site(s)
Maria L. recalls: "The Jews were brought on foot from the ghetto and shot here. It happened at 1 or 2pm. There were 50 Jews, -- children and the elderly among them and three Germans. There was also police who brought Jews in groups of 2-3 to the pit. Once there, the Jews had to undress and get down at the edge of a pit.” (Witness N°157, interviewed in Kopychyntsi, on August 07, 2005)
“A ghetto was established by the Germans in Kopychyntsi. Due to the terrible living conditions, life there was miserable. The ghetto residents were subjected to hard forced labor. They had to repair the roads, stock wood, clean public bathrooms and so on. The daily food rations they received were not enough. They were starving. They received 100 grams of bread daily. Under the pretext of being taken for labor, the Jews were gathered and brought in groups of 200-300 people to the forested outskirts of Kopychyntsi, where they were shot. There were four similar actions in Kopychyntsi.” [Report drawn up by Soviet extraordinary commission on July 22, 1944; RG-22.002M.7021-75/14]
Kopychyntsi is situated 56 kilometers (35 miles) southeast of Ternopil. According to the census of 1931 2,590 Jews lived in the town. The German army occupied it on July 07, 1941.
The anti Jewish actions were carried out mostly by Security police from Chortkiv with the help of Gendarmerie and Ukrainian auxiliary police. The first Holocaust victims, about 30 Jews were killed in the early July, 1941. After the Jews were subjected to forced labor, humiliation and assaults on behalf of Ukrainian police. From November 1941 till June 1942 around 500 Jews, women and men among, fit to work were deported to different labor camps: Kamyonki, Velyki Birky, Velykyi Glybochok, Stupki. An informal ghetto was established shortly by. On September 30, 1942, 1.000 Jews were deported to Belzec death-camp and around 50 Jews killed on the spot. On their place Jews from Chortkiv, Husyatyn and others villages of the district were resettled. On April 15, 1943 during the action about 500 Jews were executed near the railway station by gunfire. On June 3, 1943, during the ghetto liquidation action around 2,000 Jews were slaughtered including the refugees brought meanwhile from Buchach. According to some sources, following days and up to June 11 2,000 more were killed. On June 12, 1943, almost a half of 1,000 remaining Jews moved to Chortkiv ghetto and others Jews stayed in reformed ghetto in Kopychyntsi. The ghetto was liquidated on July 20, 1943. According to Soviet extraordinary commission around 8,000 Jews were murdered in Kopychyntsi.
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