Obertyn (Obertin) | Ivano-Frankivsk

/ Ievhen K., born in 1932: “All the Jews had to walk on all fours from the prison to the square. They were forced to eat the straw and drink the water, anyone who refused was beaten.” ©Les Kasyanov/Yahad. - In Unum. Ivan H., born in 1926: “One day, the Germans arrived in the center of the village and asked where the rabbi lived. They then locked the rabbi and his wife in a barn and looted their house.”©Les Kasyanov/Yahad - In Unum. Ivan H., born in 1926: “There was an announcement. Everyone was told to move into the ghetto. They were taken by the Jewish police armed with batons.” ©Les Kasyanov/Yahad - In Unum. Dmytro K., born in 1930: “Members of the Gestapo from Horodenka arrived and took them all to Kolomyia. The Jews were calm.” ©Les Kasyanov/Yahad - In Unum. The Yahad team during an interview with a local witness. ©Les Kasyanov/Yahad - In Unum. The site of a former synagogue, destroyed during the war. ©Les Kasyanov/Yahad - In Unum. The center of Obertyn where the Jews were gathered before being taken to the Kolomyia ghetto. ©Les Kasyanov/Yahad - In Unum. Escorted from both sides by the Jewish police, the column marched down this road in the direction of Kolomyia. ©Les Kasyanov/Yahad - In Unum. The site of the isolated killing of at least three Jews, including Sheiman et Roitsko. They were shot next to the Jewish cemetery. ©Les Kasyanov/Yahad - In Unum.

Execution of Jews in Obertyn

1 Execution site(s)

Kind of place before:
Jewish cemetery
Period of occupation:
Number of victims:
At least 3

Witness interview

Ievhen K., born in 1932: “Two Jewish children were taken to the prison where many other Jews had been gathered. At the marketplace, there were two wooden troughs filled with straw. All the Jews had to walk on all fours from the prison to the square. They were forced to eat the straw and drink the water, anyone who refused was beaten. Then, trucks came and took some of the Jews to Kolomiya. The others were marched in a column to the Dniester and drowned." (Witness n°2273U, interviewed in Obertyn, on September 15, 2017)

Soviet archives

"The Jews from the vicinity of Obertin (Luka, Iakubovka, etc.) were rounded up in Obertyn in 1942 and then sent to Kolomyia where they were murdered. [Summary from the Soviet State Extraordinary Commission; GARF 7021-73-13]

German archives

"I was born in Obertyn. Obertyn was a town of about 6,000 inhabitants, of which 1,000-1,500 were Jewish. After the German occupation of Obertyn began, the Jews had to wear armbands and perform forced labor. There was no German office in Obertyn itself. From time to time, two Germans from Horodenka would come and give instructions. In January 1942, I was sent to the ghetto in Stanislau. [Ivano-Frankivsk]" [Deposition of Arie Nachwalger, Jewish survivor born in 1902, given in Vienna, on August 10, 1965; BAL B162-2235.]

Historical note

Obertyn is a town located 50 km (31mi) southeast of Ivano-Frankivsk. Until 1772, it was part of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, and from 1772 until 1914 of the Austrian Empire. From 1914 to 1919 the town was under the control of different states, from the Russian Empire to the Western Ukrainian Republic (from 1918 until May 1919). In between the two world wars, it was taken over by Poland, before being occupied by Soviet Union in September 1939. The first records of the town’s Jewish community date back to the late 17th - early 18th centuries. In 1765, 280 Jews lived in Obertyn. According to the 1857 census, 1,613 Jews lived in the town, making up 31% of the total population. The town had several synagogues, and a cemetery. In 1921, the Jewish population of Obertyn consisted of 1,131 people (out of 4,761 inhabitants). During the interwar years, many of them migrated to America and Palestine. The majority of Jews who lived in Obertyn were merchants or artisans. It is estimated that on the eve of the war, circa. 1,120 Jews lived in Obertyn, comprising 20% of the total population.

Holocaust by bullets in figures

Obertyn was occupied by the Hungarian army in the first week of July 1941 and remained under its control until late August. From September 1941, control was passed to the German Civil Administration. The Jews continued to live in their homes until September 7, 1942, when they were rounded up and taken to the Horodenka ghetto. They were most probably deported to the Belzec extermination camp along with other Jews on September 8. Any Jews who managed to hide during the round-up and were found, were shot in the local Jewish cemetery. 

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