Lanivtsi (Lanovtsy, Łanowce) | Ternopil

/ Olena D., born in 1923: “Jewish men, women and children from Lanivtsi and nearby villages were confined in the ghetto, which existed for about a year.”  ©Nikolas Tkatchouk/Yahad - In Unum Stepan L., born in 1927: “The ghetto was surrounded with a three-meter-high barbed wire fence, the last line of which was powered by electricity. It was the Jewish detainees themselves who had to build this fence.”  ©Nikolas Tkatchouk/Yahad - In Unum Maria P., born in 1926: “In summer, before the ghetto liquidation, for about a week, the Jews and local men were forced to dig two pits of 20m long. They were parallel to each other and had a slope on one side.”  ©Nikolas Tkatchouk/Yahad - In Unum The Yahad team during an interview. ©Nikolas Tkatchouk/Yahad - In Unum Onysia, born in 1920: “During the liquidation Aktion, the Jews were taken from the ghetto and marched in a column, guarded from all the sites by young guards, to the execution site.”  ©Nikolas Tkatchouk/Yahad - In Unum Kateryna L., born in 1931: “During the ghetto liquidation my father was requisitioned with his cart to transport the Jews unable to walk to the execution site.”  ©Nikolas Tkatchouk/Yahad - In Unum Agafon G., born in 1923: “After the ghetto liquidation, for three days, the Germans allowed the Jewish women in hiding to go out to get some water from the well. As soon as they all came out of hiding, they were shot.”  ©Nikolas Tkatchouk/Yahad - In Unum The former Jewish quarter where the ghetto was established during the occupation period. The synagogue, located on its territory, was destroyed after the war. ©Nikolas Tkatchouk/Yahad - In Unum At this site, in the Jewish cemetery, the Jews of Lanivtsi and nearby villages were killed during the ghetto liquidation Aktion, carried out on August 14, 1942. ©Nikolas Tkatchouk/Yahad - In Unum The memorial at the execution site. It is dedicated to the victims of fascism on behalf of the inhabitants of Lanivtsi. ©Nikolas Tkatchouk/Yahad - In Unum

Execution of Jews in Lanivtsi

1 Execution site(s)

Kind of place before:
Jewish cemetery
Period of occupation:
Number of victims:
About 2,000

Witness interview

Maria P., born in 1926: "The Jews were confined in the ghetto established in the Jewish quarter of Lanivtsi, which was surrounded by a high fence. Ghetto detainees were subjected to forced labor. At the beginning, they could go and pray in the synagogue, located on the ghetto’s territory. The corpses of people who died or were shot in the ghetto were wrapped in a sheet and transported to the Jewish cemetery by 4-6 Jewish men. Since they were not guarded on their way to the cemetery, they took advantage of this situation to ask the local inhabitants for food. Some Jews pretended to be dead in order to escape the ghetto while being transported to the cemetery." (Testimony N°YIU821U, interviewed in Lanivtsi, on May 14, 2009)

Soviet archives

"In late autumn 1941, in the center of the Lanovtsy [today Lanivtsi] village, where the majority of Jews used to live, the Germans established a camp surrounded by a wooden fence and barbed wire. The entire Jewish population of the village was confined in this camp under the supervision of armed guards. Every morning camp detainees were taken from the camp to perform forced labor and were brought back in the evening. Some time later, the Jewish population of Vyshgorodok and Belozerka [today Bilozirka] was brought to the Lanovtsy camp by the guards. The same people were also subjected to forced labor. One day, in August […] a detachment of armed policemen from all over the district arrived at the camp. The next day, between 5 and 6 trucks arrived from Kremenets with Gestapo men on board. At around 2 p.m., noise, then shouting and crying started to be heard from the camp and local residents rushed there to watch what was going on. Some time later, people were taken out of the camp and arranged in a column in groups of 5. This column, surrounded by armed guards, was taken in the direction of the Jewish cemetery, where they were shot. I wasn’t present during the shooting, but I’ve heard that before being killed, they had to strip naked and go down into the pit in groups of 5, where they were shot by Gestapo men. About 2,500 people were executed that day." [Deposition of Vasyl S., born in 1894, given to State Extraordinary Soviet Commission(ChGK), on July 1, 1944; GARF 7021-75-211/Copy USHMM RG.22-002M]

Historical note

Lanivtsi is located 44 km (27mi) southeast of Kremenets and about 60 km (37mi) northeast of Ternopil. The town was first mentioned in the second half of 16th century as a part of eastern Poland and approximately at the same period the Jews started to live there. Between 1795 and 1918, Lanivtsi was under rule of Russian Empire. According to the 1897 census, the town comprised 1,174 Jews, making up about 46% of the total population. During the Russian civil war, a number of Jews were killed in the pogroms conducted in the town, while others emigrated abroad. In 1918, after World War I, Lanivtsi was taken over by Poland. In 1921, the town was home to circa. 640 Jews, comprising about 30% of total population. Local Jews were mainly artisans and merchants engaged in agricultural produce. There was a synagogue, a Jewish cemetery and a Hebrew-language Tarbut school. Zionist organizations were active in that period. At the end of 1937, 760 Jews were recorded as being settled in the town. In September 1939, following the outbreak of the war, Lanivtsi was incorporated into the Ukrainian Social Soviet Republic as a result of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact. At the time, hundreds of Jewish refugees from western and central Poland found shelter in the town. Under Soviet rule, Jewish community organizations and institutions were dissolved, private businesses prohibited and cooperatives for artisans set up. For refusing to get Soviet passports, a number of local Jews, as well as some from Poland, were deported to Siberia on the eve of the war.

Holocaust by bullets in figures

Several Jewish families managed to evacuate to the east before July 3, 1941, when Lanivtsi was occupied by German troops. Shortly afterwards, 60 Jews were killed, Jewish women raped and houses looted during the pogrom conducted by a group of local inhabitants. In August 1941, 10 members of the Jewish Intelligentsia were arrested by the Germans and taken to the nearby village of Bilozirka where they were executed. After a brief period of military administration, the town was taken over by German civil administration in September 1941. A German Gendarmerie post and Ukrainian police unit were established in Lanivtsi. Anti-Jewish measures were implemented from the beginning of the occupation and Judenrat was created. Wearing distinctive symbols became compulsory, Jewish residents of the town were forced to hand over valuables and to perform a forced labor.

On February 28, 1942, the Jews were ordered to build a fence around the designated area of the Jewish quarter of Lanivtsi. As soon as the work was finished, local Jews alongside those from nearby localities, including Bilozirka and Kremenets, about 2,000 people in all, were enclosed within this area which became a ghetto. Its inmates were forbidden to leave its territory, except for people subjected to forced labor outside the ghetto. Overcrowding, hunger and isolated shootings resulted in a death of a number of its detainees. Their corpses were either buried in mass graves on the ghetto’s territory, or at the Jewish cemetery. Some detainees managed to escape the ghetto while transporting the corpses to the cemetery.

The ghetto was liquidated on July 14, 1942, over the course of an Aktion organized by the Security Police and SD from Rivne, and conducted by German Gendarmerie and local police, including the Schutzmannschafts-Bataillon 102 from Kremenets. The ghetto inmates, 1,833 Jewish men, women and children, were taken in column to the execution site. Anyone unable to walk was transported on one of several carts driven by requisitioned locals. The victims were shot naked, in groups, in two larges pits dug in advance at the Jewish cemetery. The Aktion continued over the course of the following days, as the Jews in hiding, mainly women, were captured and killed at the same location. Just a few Jews from Lanivtsi managed to survive the Holocaust.


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