1 Execution site(s)
Todor H., born in 1929: "The Jews were arrested in their homes and then taken away in a column to the banks of the Dniester River. They were not allowed to take any belongings with them. They were calm even though they knew why they had been rounded up. There were guards on both sides of the column. Some were civilians, others were Romanian gendarmes and border guards. I saw the column and followed it because I was curious to see what would happen next. Then I stopped on the bank 500 meters from the execution site and watched. The view was clear, and I could see everything.” (Witness n°2332U, interviewed in Vasyliv, on October 26, 2017)
Vasyliv is a village located in the historical Bukovina region, on the banks of the Dniester River, 39 km (24mi) north of Chernivtsi. Between 1772 and 1918, Vasyliv was ruled by the Austrian states of the Habsburg monarchy, Austrian Empire, and finally the Austro-Hungarian Empire. During the interwar period, it was taken over by Poland. There is not much information about the Jewish community that lived in the village before the war. According to local witnesses interviewed by Yahad, several Jewish families lived in Vasyliv. They all lived on a single street. Local Jews were mainly involved in small scale trade and handicraft. The local community did not have a synagogue or cemetery.
Vasyliv was occupied by Romanian forces in early July 1941. In July 1941, shortly after the occupation, a group of over 50 local Jews was rounded up and taken to the bank of the Dniester River to be shot. According to a local eyewitness, the column was escorted by Romanian gendarmes and some civilians. We were unable to find out for sure who conducted the shootings, but the shooters fired from rifles. The victims, including men, women, children and elderly people, were shot together in the Dniester River. Their bodies were carried away by the river currents.
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