1 Execution site(s)
Maria G. explains : "I saw a group of Jews who were shot in the Jewish cemetery. The Jews (men, women, children) were brought in trucks and placed at the edge of the grave and were shot together. A shooter said he had pity for them. But the shooter still fired." (Witness N°1836, interviewed in Otyniya, on September 4, 2013).
“Six Jews were taken by two Gestapo members farther in the forest where six big graves had been dug by the militia. I also had to go with another fellow to the execution site. The six Jews were then shot by the two Gestapo members. The militiamen buried the corpses and covered the graves.” [Deposition of Augustin L., taken in Grau, February 25, 1964, B162-5002].
Otyniya, the first record of which dates to 1610, is located along the Dniester River about 28km southeast of Ivano-Frankivsk. As part of the former Austro-Hungarian Empire province of Galicia, the town was under Polish administration until September 1939. The town had a large industrial and manufactural complex including an iron factory, distilleries, and mills. Prior to the war, a third of the population was Jewish.
According to some sources, there was no mass execution in Otyniya as all of the Jews, about 1,800 at that time, were most likely deported by truck to Kolomya, Ivano-Frankivsk and later deported to the concentration camp of Belzec. One of the witnesses interviewed by Yahad stated that before being taken, the Jews were locked up in the synagogue for a period of time. The majority of Jews from the Kolomyya ghetto were transported to the Belzec camp. According to sources, about 1,500-6,000 Jews from the Kolomyya ghetto were murdered in the forest near Shcheparivtsi (Szeparowce Forest) during the different Aktions conducted at the end of January 1942 and February 1943. During the fieldwork, Yahad-In Unum was able to identify the execution site of Jews in Otyniya. According to three eyewitnesses, a group of about hundred Jews was shot at the edge of the pit by the Germans, at the site of the Jewish cemetery. Maria K. (Eyewitness n°1836) recounted that there were three shooters.
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