1 Execution site(s)
Vasyl R., born in 1929: “Before the war there was only one Jewish family in Travotoloky. The father was called Itsko, his wife Leika and they had three children: Guenia, Frida and Benia, the youngest. Itsko had a store and I went there often.
When the Germans arrived in the village, they hid in the cornfields and vegetable gardens for few months. One day they came to my barn and I let them in. A little later, in the fall, Itsko dug a pit to hide in. Leika and her three children, as well as her brother-in-law, Hershko, hid in the shelter. The villagers brought them food. Itsko didn’t hide in the hole with them, he was killed before. One day, a German found them. He threw a grenade into the pit. The Jews started running and he was shooting them. The youngest girl, Benka, managed to run 500 meters, but the German caught up with her. He told her to close her eyes and shot her in the head.
I couldn’t see the execution, I was working in my field quite far away, but I saw the German on horseback heading in the direction of their hiding place. A few minutes later, the villagers ran to tell us that Itsko’s family had been killed by the German. I later saw the grave in which this family was buried.” (Witness n° 2606, interviewed in Travotoloky on July 06, 2019)
Travotoloky, also known as Trawotloky, is a small village in the Zboriv district of the Ternopil region. The village is located 7km (4.4 miles) west of Zboriv, 44km (27.6 miles) from Ternopil and 96km (60 miles) from Lviv. The village was established in 1570. It was part of Poland until 1939. According to the census of 1880, conducted jointly in the villages Lavrykivtsi and Travotoloky, the inhabitants were mainly of Greek-Catholic faith (580), only 12 inhabitants were Jews. In 1908 - 312 Greek Catholics and 4 Jews. In 1939, 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 administration, but from August 1941, the district was taken over by a civil administration and became part of the Kreishauptmannschaft Tarnopol of the Distrikt Galizien. With the help of the local witness Yahad-In Unum managed to identify the undocumented site and found out what happened to the only Jewish family of the village. The head of the family, Itsko, was shot in the fall 1941 at the moment when the family was digging a pit when they intended to hide. The remaining members of the family, two adults and three children, were short later after having been denounced. They were killed by a German. The corpses were buried in the field. There is no any marker today. Unfortunately, it was impossible to establish when the shooting took place: according to the witness it happened in late fall-early winter 1941.
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