1 Execution site(s)
Pelagia K, born in 1914, recalls: “A fifteen year old girl from my school came to our house and asked to be hidden. My mother hid her under the oven, we put wooden logs to hide the hole, and she stayed with us for two weeks, during the second Aktion.
Another girl, she was older than previous one, has been hiding for 2 days at our home. My mother said that she could no longer hide her, and told her to go to hide within an old woman who could not walk and sat all the time on a stove. The girl went there and remained in hiding behind the stove until the departure of the Germans. Later, she moved to America. After the war, I never heard about these girls again.” (Testimony n°2106, interviewed in Pechenizhyn on June 16th, 2016)
“As soon as the fascist occupiers arrived in Pechenizhyn, through the local administration they began to demand that all Jews sort thier valuables and food products. When the Jews had nothing left to give, the Gestapo carried out an Aktion which took place in April 1942 during which about 700 people were arrested and shot and an additional 700 people were taken to a ghetto with particularly harsh living conditions.
In October 1942, the Germans arrested 700 Jews and loaded them into trains going to Belz in Germany. They said that there they would kill us and make soap from our remains. They put about 250 people in each wagon. The Jews had no personal belongings or food. The doors were padlocked. Some Jews were beaten, sometimes to death.
At Kolomyia Railway Station, the train stopped for five days. We didn’t have any food or water. On the sixth day, the train departed to Stanislav. When it arrived to the Burshtyn station, almost everyone was already dead of suffocation or hunger. There were only a few dozen people left. In this way, the fascists exterminated 1,460 people of all ages.” [Deposition of a Jewish survivor, Fania Sokh, taken on March 18th, 1945; RG 22.002M. 7021-73-15]
Pechenizhyn is located 70 km south of Ivano-Frankivsk. The first records of the Jewish community in Pechenizhyn date back to the beginning of the 18th century. According to the census, in 1880 1,174 Jews lived in the village comprising 25% of the total population. At the end of the 19th century, the town population significantly increased due to the discovery of an oil well and the building of oil refinery. In 1900, 2,224 Jews lived in the village. A lot of Jewish organizations functioned in Pechenizhyn from 1920 to 1930. In the 1930s, there was a Hebrew school and several synagogues. The majority of Jews lived off of small scale trade and oil industry. In 1931, with the Jewish population decreased to 1,330 persons due to the decline of oil industry. Pechenizhyn was occupied by the Hungarian troops in early July 1941.
After the occupation of the village, all Jews continued to live in their houses but they were forced to give up all their valuables and food product to the German forces. According to the historical sources and witnesses interviewed by Yahad, two Aktions were conducted in Pechenizhyn by the Germans. During the first Aktion, carried out by the Gestapo, assisted by the local police in June 1942, 120 Jews were killed and buried in the village. Another 500 Jews were brought in columns to Kolomyia and executed there. Later, in October 1942, 700 Jews were sent to Germany to the death camps. There was a work camp, located at the furniture factory, where about 700 Jews were confined. Some Jews were imprisoned in the local prison. During the second Aktion, the remained Jews were gathered and brought to the forest near the village of Sheparivtsi, located about 8 km away. From the accounts of the local witnesses interviewed by Yahad, we found out that several isolated shootings took place at different time. Also dozens of Jews were shot on the spot in attempts to escape. Their corpses were buried by the villagers in the Jewish cemetery.
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