1 Execution site(s)
Hanna M. born in 1931: “One year after the war broke out the Germans started to kill the Jews. First, they killed Jews from Kosiv. When the Jews from my village heard the news, they began to worry. When the Gestapo arrived to round them up, many tried to flee. Some were shot on the spot. Their bodies were transported to the cemetery by the local men requisitioned with their carts. Olga, a Jewish woman my family knew, was among the victims. Before being shot she was taken to the local administration building with other Jews. I even took her some food there once. (Witness n°2446U, interviewed in Pistyn, on July 13, 2018)
“The Aktionen in Jablonow [Iabluniv] and Pistyn took place on April 8, 1942. There were 1,700-1,800 Jews in Jablonow, and around 500 in Pistyn. The Gestapo invaded both towns at once, rounded up all the Jews together and shot some of them on the spot, while the others were taken to Kolomea [Kolomyia] and murdered there.” [German post-war justice report; BArch162-2176 p.14.]
Pistyn is located on the Pistynka river, 19 km (11mi) from Kolomyia and 70 km (42mi) south of Ivano-Frankivsk. Until 1772 it was part of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, and from 1772 until 1914 part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. From 1914 to 1919, the town was under the control of different states, from the Russian Empire to the Western Ukrainian People’s Republic (from 1918 until May 1919). During the interwar period it was taken over by Poland, before being occupied by the Soviet Union in September 1939. The first record of the Jewish community dates back to the mid-18th century. In 1880, the Jewish community represented 30% of the total population. By 1900 it had grown. Out of 3,630 people, 898 were Jewish, making up 25% of the population. After the First World War, the Jewish population dropped up to 15% of the population due to a wave of immigration to bigger towns with people seeking more financial stability. Many Jews made their living from peddling or trade, while others were craftsmen, mainly in the manufacturer of clothes and shoes. One the eve of the war, about 500 Jews remained in Pistyn.
Pistyn was occupied by German troops during first days of July 1941. The Jews continued to live in their houses for less than a year. On April 8, 1942, 1,000 Jews were rounded and taken to the ghetto in Kolomyia. Before being transferred, they were assembled and locked up in a local administration building. A couple dozen Jews, who attempted to escape, or were found hidden, were shot on the spot. Their bodies were buried at the Jewish cemetery where a memorial stands today.
To learn more about the fate of the Jews in Kolomyia please refer to the corresponding profile.
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