2 Execution site(s)
Iaroslava K., born in 1932: “Y.U.: Would Jews sometimes go to your house asking for food, or maybe to the houses of your neighbors?
Witness: It did happen from time to time. And I would like to tell you one story that happened to me. One time I went to the forest, I was looking for berries, and I saw a woman with a child who was sitting on the ground. This woman was holding a baby in her arms. I don’t know if it was a boy or a girl, but this baby was maybe two years old. When I mentioned them the baby was crying but the woman was laughing. It surprised me a lot. I went closer to her, I don’t know what language she was speaking, maybe Yiddish, I don’t know, but she told me with hand signs that she wanted to eat. I went home and told my mother, and she gave my two pieces of bread and a bottle of milk. I went back to the forest and them to her. She appreciated it so much and almost kissed my hands. She kissed the bread and fed her baby. Then I left. Also, she made a sign, thanking me. The second day I went back there but she was gone, and had just left an empty bottle. And I can tell you, there were Jews hiding in the villages around here. They used to come to people asking for food and shelter, and people used to help them, but after giving a food or one-night of shelter they asked the Jews to leave. I suppose that this woman with aher baby was from Buchach and had escaped during the Aktion there. (Witness n°2378U, interviewed in Pomirtsi, on July 04, 2019)
Pomirtsi is located 70 km (44mi) southwest of Ternopil and 10 km (6mi) southeast of Buchach. The first record of the Jewish community dates back to the 17th century. Until 1772, the village was part of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, but was then taken over by the Austro-Hungarian Empire. During the interwar period it was mostly controlled by Poland. The Jewish community that lived in Pomirtsi was not as numerous and well-established as the community in Buchach. Dozens of Jews lived in Pomirtsi, although the Jews represented half of the total population of Buchach. The Pomirtsi Jews were mainly craftsmen, such as tailors, shoemakers, carpenters, etc. Some of them had shops. The synagogue, cemetery and Jewish schools were all located in Buchach.
Pomirtsi was occupied by German troops on July 7, 1941. The Pomirtsi Jews evacuated or moved to Buchach long before the Germans arrived, most probably under the Soviet administration. Shortly before the Germans arrived, several columns of Jews passed by the village in the direction of Chernivtsi. Many Jews from Buchach would come to Pomirtsi to find shelter or to hide amongst the locals or in the forest. Many local people helped them, either by providing a place to stay, giving them food or helping them with information. According to local eyewitnesses, unfortunately, some of these Jews were caught and executed on the spot. Field research allowed Yahad to identify at least two such killings, one where a Jewish woman with her two sons were killed, and another one where eight Jewish women were discovered while hiding in the woods and shot. The shootings were conducted by a German SS unit. Today, there are no memorials at these sites.
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