Stupky (Stupki) | Ternopil

Stupky forced labor camp. ©Photo archive, taken from / Myroslav C., born in 1924: “The Jewish labor camp in Stupky was surrounded by a two-meter-high barbed wire fence and had four watchtowers with searchlights.”  ©Nikolas Tkatchouk/Yahad - In Unum Yanina I., born in 1935: “After the creation of the labor camp, for months, Jewish men, women and children were taken there from the surrounding area.”  ©Nikolas Tkatchouk/Yahad - In Unum Ivan B., born in 1923: “Between 30 and 40 Jewish women detained in the labor camp were forced to do domestic work, including cleaning and cooking, for the Germans.”  ©Nikolas Tkatchouk/Yahad - In Unum Omelian B., born in 1933: “The day after the camp’s liquidation, carried out on July 10, 1943, the Jews in hiding were searched out and killed in the village of Stupky.”  ©Nikolas Tkatchouk/Yahad - In Unum The Yahad team during an interview. ©Nikolas Tkatchouk/Yahad - In Unum Yakov B., born in 1922: “After the labor camp liquidation, the village inhabitants were requisitioned with their carts. They had to collect the victims’ bodies remains and to transport them to a pit.”  ©Nikolas Tkatchouk/Yahad - In Unum At this site, the remains of the labor camp Jewish detainees, killed and burned during the camp liquidation, and a number of the isolated shootings victims were buried in several mass graves. ©Nikolas Tkatchouk/Yahad - In Unum The memorial in memory of the Jews of the Ternopil region murdered by the Nazi Germans in the village of Stupky on July 10, 1943. ©Nikolas Tkatchouk/Yahad - In Unum

Execution of Jews in Stupky

1 Execution site(s)

Kind of place before:
Folwark property
Period of occupation:
Number of victims:
About 2,000

Witness interview

Omelian B., born in 1933: "During the labor camp liquidation, a special division of Caucasians arrived in the village in two trucks. They surrounded the Judenrat building, before taking its members to the camp. Meanwhile, local inhabitants were ordered to bring barrels of gasoline to the site. Afterwards, Caucasians armed with submachine guns surrounded the camp which was set on fire, and started to shoot anyone who tried to escape." (Testimony N°YIU801U, interviewed in Stupky, on May 10, 2009)

Soviet archives

"Once there were no more military prisoners in the camp, the Jews were taken there by the Germans. They were forced to work on railroad construction. About 2,000 Jews, including me, were confined in the camp. The camp existed for two years. The Jews were mistreated by German guards, who gave them nothing to eat, beat and killed anyone who no longer had the strength to work. According to my accounts, 120 men, women and children died of starvation, abuse and shootings over the course of two years. On July 10, 1943, the German command, suspecting a connection between partisans, who started to appear in the Veliko-Borki [today Velyki Birky] district, and Jewish partisans, rounded up 800 Jews who were still alive in the camp. They took them into the camp buildings by groups of 6, shot them and doused the buildings with gasoline before setting them on fire." [Deposition of Jakub Feiberbaum, a Jewish survivor, given to State Extraordinary Soviet Commission(ChGK), in October 1944; GARF 7021-75-108/Copy USHMM RG.22-002M]

Historical note

Stupky is located about 12 km (7mi) east of Ternopil. The village was first mentioned in the 15th century as a part of eastern Poland. In the second half of the 16th and mid-17th centuries, it belonged to the Pototskyi family. According to the 1890 census, Stupky was home to 725 inhabitants, including 28 Jews. At the end of 1918, for a short time, Stupky was under rule of the Western Ukrainian Republic before being taken over by Poland. In 1939, following the outbreak of the war, Stupky was incorporated into the Ukrainian Social Soviet Republic as a result of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact. The exact number of the Jewish residents of Stupky remains unknown, but according to Yahad eyewitnesses, there were between three and six Jewish families living in the village on the eve of the war.

Holocaust by bullets in figures

Stupky was occupied by German troops on June 30, 1941. After a brief period of military administration, the town was taken over by German civil administration in August 1941. At the beginning of the occupation, a Soviet POW camp was established in the village. After its liquidation about six weeks later, the German authorities created a labor camp for Jewish workers along the Transit Highway DGIV, located on the former Folwark, the property of a Polish landowner. Up to 2,000 Jews from Western Ukraine, mainly men, but also some women and small children, were progressively transferred to the camp, including some local Jews deemed fit for work, while the rest of their families were sent to Skalat. The camp detainees were confined in several barracks, surrounded by a two-meter-high barbed wire fence with four watchtowers and guarded by Germans and local policemen. At the same time, a Judenrat made up of the Jewish intelligentsia, including doctors, was located in a separate building outside the camp. Labor camp inmates were subjected to forced labor on the railroad and highway construction. Endless working hours, lack of food and health care resulted in death of a number of Jewish detainees. Moreover, isolated shootings of anyone no longer able to work were conducted throughout two years of the camp’s existence. The victims’ corpses were buried either beside the road where they were working and killed, or near the labor camp. 

According to Yahad - In Unum research results, a number of the camp’s detainees, including women and children, were shot dead in several pits dug on a vacant lot near the camp just before the camp’s liquidation, conducted on July 10, 1943. Over the course of the Aktion, carried out by a special detachment of Security Police from Ternopil, the remaining labor camp detainees, between 800 and 970 people, including Judenrat members with their families, were rounded up in the camp’s yard before being led inside the barracks in groups of 6, where they were shot dead. Afterwards, the camp was burned down. Any Jews who tried to escape from the flames were shot by the Security Police members. A group of Jews was kept alive long enough to transport the remains of the burned corpses to the mass graves near the camp. Isolated shootings of Jews in hiding were carried out until the end of the German occupation. According to the Soviet archives, in all 2,000 Jews from the Stupky forced labor camp died during the Second World War.   

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