1 Execution site(s)
Volodymyr P., born in 1933: “Y. U. : When they were buried, were they covered with earth or left like this?
Witness: I didn’t look inside, but they didn’t bury them, maybe they just threw a little bit of earth every time. It was buried when they had already left. I saw the pit when it was buried, but now it’s hard to tell exactly where it is, so much time has passed. But I know the area well. One day the Jews came here to find that grave. They were led there by a woman, she is gone by now, but she did not see where they were buried and led them to the wrong place, she led them to the quarry. But the grave wasn’t in the quarry, it was behind it.” (Witness n2682U, interviewed in Byrlivka, on October 28, 2019)
« […] In September 1941 the German fascists invaders brought 700 Jews from Bukovina and Bessarabia in the village of Byrlovka. They were placed in the [illegible], a pigsty and a henhouse that belonged to the collective farm named after Lenin. 407 people died due to bad treatment, torture, cold, and diseases. Their last names were not established. Their bodies were buried in the forest located south of Byrlovka. The remaining 293 people returned back to their homes at the arrival of the Red Army.” [Act drawn up by Soviet State Extraordinary Commission on April 1, 1945; GARF 7021-54-1242]
Byrlivka is located 83 km(52mi) south west of Uman and 150km (93mi) southeast of Vinnytsia. According to the residents interviewed by Yahad, Byrlivka was home to Ukrainians. There were no Jews in the village before the war. There were six kolkhozes [collective farms] in the village. Agriculture was the main occupation. A big Jewish community lived in the nearby town of Bershad, located 7km away. In 1926, 7,016 Jews lived in Bershad making up 59% of the total population. On the eve of WWII, only 4,271 Jews remained in the town.
Byrlivka was occupied by German and Romanian forces at the end of July 1941. The village remained under the Romanian control and became part of Transnistria in September 1941. Shortly after a ghetto was created, where the Jews deported, in the fall of 1941, from Bessarabia and Bukovina, were confined. According to the Soviet Archives, about 700 Jews- men, women, and children among them - were placed in the pigsties and stables that belonged to the collective farm named after Lenin. The buildings were not fenced in, although it was forbidden for Jews to leave the territory. The ghetto was not fenced in or guarded. According to the Soviet archives, 407 Jews starved to death or died of diseases. They were buried in a mass grave located close to the pigsty.
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