1 Execution site(s)
Gueorhyi S., born in 1922: “First, I saw an elderly couple of Jews. Then, later, on the same day, I saw a Jewish boy being killed. It happened not far away from the hospital. He was killed in the field while attempting to escape. He was 18 years old or so. The Romanians fired at him three times, but they missed him. So, the local man Kostatiy ran after him and brought him back. The Jewish boy begged to not kill him, but he was killed by a Romanian soldier.” (Witness n°2525U, interviewed in Mykhalcha, on October 30 and 31, 2018)
“The soldiers from Romanian forces shot 16 Jews, including four simple peasants.” [Act drawn up by Soviet State Extraordinary Commission; GARF 7021-79-83]
Mykhalcha is a town located in the historic region of Bukovina, 9 km (5.6mi) southwest of Chernivtsi. Before WWI, it was part of the Austrian Empire, and in between the two world wars, it was taken over by Romania. In 1940, it was occupied by the Soviet Union. The first records of the town’s Jewish community date back to the late 17th - early 18th centuries. According to a local resident, only 7 Jewish families lived in Mykhalcha. The town did not a have a synagogue or a cemetery. A bigger Jewish community lived nearby in Chernivtsi or Velykyi Kuchuriv. Besides the Jews, Mykhalcha was home to Ukrainians, Poles, Romanians, and some ethnic Germans. The Jews of Mykhalcha lived off trade and handcrafts. Before the occupation, the majority of local Jews managed to evacuate.
Following the occupation of Mykhalcha by Romanian forces in early July 1941, 16 remaining Jews were shot, according to the Soviet archives. The victims were murdered in a series of isolated shootings on the streets in different places carried out by Romanian soldiers who passed by the village. Later, the corpses were gathered and buried in a mass grave.
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