1 Execution site(s)
Nina V., born in 1930 :
« Y. U. : Where were you when they [the Germans] entered the houses? Were you at home or outside playing?
W: I was at home. My house was just in font of the Jewish houses, across the road. My mother hid some Jews with us, they were hidden in the attic. After the war, when the Jews were about to leave the village, they thanked her by the radio for having saved their lives.
Y. U. : When did your mother hide the Jews in the attic? Were they hidden just before the aktion or a while before that?
W: Upon the Germans’ arrival the Jews started to flee in different direction and look for hiding places. They came to us and my mother hid them in the attic. When they started to kill the Jews inside the houses, my mother told those that had been hiding in the attic, to go hide in the ravine behind the house, and then go to the forest. That is what they did, they escaped. I do not know where they were hiding after that. […] We knew them all. My mother had a cow and they used to come to her to ask for milk: “Mania, give us a little bit of milk for the kids.”, -they used to say. And my mother gave [it to] them. She was that kind of person, she used to give a little to each one of them.” (Witness n°2642U, interviewed in Derebchyn, on September 6, 2019)
“Under the German Romanian occupation, 11 Jews were shot in the village of Derebchyn. They were buried in the Jewish cemetery on March 9, 1944. We didn’t identify them.” [Act drawn up by Soviet State Extraordinary Commission on April 10, 1945; GARF 7021-54-1256, p.125]
Derebchyn is located 65km (40mi) northeast of Mohyliv-Podilskiy and 100km (62) south west of Vinnytsia. The first record about the Jewish community goes back to the 17th century. The majority of Jews lived off small scale trade and handcraft. According to the census on the eve of the war 2,500 Jews lived here. They had their own cemetery which was destroyed during WWII.
Derebchyn was occupied by the German and Romanian troops in the second half of July 1941. The village remained under control of the Romanians during all of the occupation. Those Jews who remained in the village continued to live in their houses until March 1944 when they were killed by the retreating Germans and Romanians. The Jews, according to the Soviet archives where killed or stabbed with bayonets inside their homes. Some Jews helped by local population managed to flee. The bodies of the victims were gathered and buried near the cemetery by the locals. Today, there is no memorial at the site.
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