1 Execution site(s)
Hryhoriy Ch., born in 1928: “The action was carried out upon the Romanian arrival. All the Jews were rounded up and taken to the Klub, an old wooden building that was built [during] the Austrian Empire. The Jews were taken by surprise at their homes. They were forced out not completely dressed and barefooted. They couldn’t take many of their belongings. When all the local Jews as well as those from the nearby village were gathered at the Klub, they were taken to Chudei. In all they were about 300. They were so many that some of them had to stay outside the Klub.” (Witness n°2512U, interviewed in Banyliv-Pidhirnyi, on October 24, 2018)
“On July 6, 1941, the German-Romanian occupiers occupied the territory of the village of Banilo on Siret. Shortly later, they began to mistreat the civilian population. Thus, 240 civilians from Banilov were arrested, mistreated, and tortured. 20 people, including 8 men, 9 women, and 3 children, died as a result of torture used during the interrogation. Among the dead were: Naidek Yakov, born in 1845, Polish; Berder Oleksa, 58, Ukrainian; Brekher Yakov, 80, Jewish; Zisman Frida, 30, Jewish; Fleiter Yakov, 80, Jewish; Gotesman Penia, 47, Jewish; Drukman Chlaia, 60, Jewish; Drukman Zuzia, 18, Jewish; Drukman Penia, 23, Jewish. (*the nationalities are indicated on page 366). It was impossible to determine the names of the other 11 victims. The other 217 people were sent into slavery and never returned. [The invaders] also looted the civilian population by taking away the livestock, agricultural tools, clothing, destroyed the library, school, and other cultural establishments.” [Act drawn up by Soviet State Extraordinary Commission (ChGK) on July 25, 1945; GARF 7021-79-75, pp. 361-362]
Banyliv-Pidhirnyi, former Romanian name Banilo per Siret, is located in the historic region of Bukovina, 45km (29mi) southwest of Chernivtsi. Before WWI, it was part of the Austrian Empire, and in between the two world wars, it was taken over by Romania. Banyliv was first mentioned in 1445. The town’s first Jewish community dates back to the 18th century. By 1887, the Jewish population consisted of 818 people, comprising 19% of the total population. By 1910, the Jewish community numbered 1,200 people, comprising almost half of the population. However, by 1930, the Jewish population dropped as a result of immigration to bigger towns and other countries, and only 517 Jews remained in the town. The Jewish community’s main occupations were commerce and agriculture. Many Jews were craftsmen. In the 1920s and 1930s, various Jewish organizations operated in the town, including Zionist ones. The community had several synagogues and prayer houses, as well as a cemetery. Most of the Jews followed Hasidism. In 1940, Banyliv was occupied by the Soviet Union. The Soviet regime banned all religious and political institutions in the town, nationalized private businesses, and deported some Jews who were considered rich to Siberia.
Banyliv-Bidhirnyi was occupied by the Romanians in early July 1941. During the first days of the occupation, several isolated killings happened in Banyliv. According to the local witness local bandits killed several Jews on the street in order to take their belongings. Two days later, about 240 Jews were rounded up at the Klub [House of Culture] by the Romanian gendarmes. During the round-up, which lasted a couple of days, some Jews were shot dead while attempting to escape. At the same time, Jewish houses were looted. About five or seven days later, when all the Jews were gathered, they were deported to the Chudei prison and later to Transnistria, which was the case with most of Bukovina’s Jews. The Jews were marched guarded by 30 gendarmes and local men and women in civilian clothing. The weakest were shot dead on the spot. According to the Soviet archives, at least 20 people were shot and buried at the Jewish cemetery.
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