1 Execution site(s)
Petro A., born in 1929: “There were about 200 Jews in this camp, only men. They were taken there from other villages. They had to work in a stone quarry. They were staying in a barn on the hill that once belonged to a wealthy Polish woman deported by the Soviets in 1939. I heard that if a Jew fled, the Germans would shoot 10 Jews in retaliation.” (Witness n°2605, interviewed in Travotoloky, on June 6, 2019)
“A work camp was created in Lavrykovtsi in the fall of 1941. The Jews had to work in the stone quarry. The camp was liquidated in November 1942.” [Source: *The Holocaust on the Territory of the Soviet Union: an Encyclopedia, by I. A. Altman, ed. Moscow: ROSSPEN, 2009 (*TN: title is translated from Russian)]
“My name is Paul Fox, I was born on 18.10.1912 in Friedrichshütte / Tarnowitz region; I live in Recklinghausen, Nordstrasse 20. I am a bricklayer by profession, but I have worked as a miner in recent years.
It was winter when I came to Lawrikowcze. I do not remember if it was late 1941 or already early 1942. At Lawrikowcze I was the camp director, and I still had an SS man named Holtkamp under my command. There were about 100 Jewish workers there, and in addition, as usual, a Ukrainian surveillance team. The camp, which was in a barn, was surrounded by a custom fence. I did my service in this camp until the spring of 1942. During the time I was camp director, no Jews were killed there. I treated the Jewish workers properly - as I had already done in Zborow. Later, I was transferred from Lawrikowcze to Jaktorow, where there was larger camp.” [Deposition of Paul FOX; ZAL around Tarnopol BArh 162-2106].
Lavrykivtsi, also known as Ławrykowce, is a small village in the Zboriv district of the Ternopil region. The village is located 7km (4 miles) west of Zboriv, 44km (28 miles) from Ternopil and 96km (60 miles) from Lviv. The village was established in 1494. It was part of Poland until 1939. According to the census of 1908, the inhabitants were mainly of Greek-Catholic faith (312), only 4 inhabitants were Jews. In 1939, the Ternopil Region was incorporated into the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic as a result of the Molotov Ribbentrop Pact. Between 1957 and 1994, the Lavrykivtsi and Travotoloky villages were merged to the Zaruddia/ Zarudtsi village.
The district of Zboriv was occupied by the German troops on July 3rd 1941. It was first directed by the military Kommandantur, but from August 1941, it was run by a civil administration. It was part of the Kreishauptmannschaft Tarnopol of the Distrikt Galizien.
Between November 1941 and November 1942, a forced labor camp for Jews existed in Lavrykivtsi. The camp was under the authority of the German SS-und Polizeiführer based in Lviv, Friedrich Katzmann. It was a sub-camp of the forced labor camp for Jews at Zboriv, which was based along the main transit highway Durchgangsstrasse IV, known as well as DG IV. The inmates were forced to work in a nearby stone quarry. There were up to 300 Jewish prisoners in the Lavrykivtsi camp, who were displaced from one camp to another from time to time. For instance, a Jewish survivor, David Pulwer, reported after the war that he was transferred to the Lavrykivtsi camp in June 1942 from the labor camp of Ozerna. He remained there for only three months, being transferred to Pomorzany in September 1942.
Postwar German investigations have identified two men who served as the camp commandant during its existence: SS-Scharführer Karl Kempka (born February 5th 1909) and SS-Rottenführer Heinrich Kopizera (b. May 3rd 1912). As Kempka was reported missing in 1944 and Kopizera died of typhus in Distrikt Galizien, no criminal proceedings were conducted by the German authorities concerning the camp. The German Security Police liquidated the camp in November 1942. All the remaining inmates were transferred to the forced labor camp in Zboriv.
With the help of the local witnesses Yahad-In Unum managed to identify the execution site where isolated shootings were carried out systematically during all the existence of the camp. According to witness n°YIU/2605U, chose every tenth inmate was shot on the spot near the barn they were detained in. The bodies were buried by the Jewish inmates. Such killings were conducted as reprisal Aktions in case the Jewish inmates refused to work, didn’t work well or attempted to escape. The exact number of victims remains unknown.
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