Uhryn (Ugryn, Ugrin) | Ternopil

/ Local villagers taking the Yahad team to the the mass grave in the Uhryn forest. ©Guillaume Ribot/Yahad - In Unum Objects found near  the Uhryn forest mass grave. ©Guillaume Ribot/Yahad - In Unum

Execution of Chortkiv Jews and non-Jews in Uhryn

1 Execution site(s)

Kind of place before:
Period of occupation:
Number of victims:
Several hundred

Witness interview

Mykhailo G., born in 1936: "The day after the shooting of the prison detainees in Chortkiv, my mother and I went to the execution site. The victims were killed and buried in the pit located in the forest. The pit had already been filled in, but there was civilian male clothing and caps left next to it. I recognized the clothing of two inhabitants of my village, who had been previously taken to prison. That’s how I knew that they were among victims killed there." (Testimony N°YIU151U, interviewed in Uhryn, on August 8, 2005)

Soviet archives

"In May 1942, I moved to the town of Chortkov [today Chortkiv]. I was put in the Jewish labor camp organized in the village of Ugrine [today Uhryn]. There were fifty women. We worked on the wheat harvest. In the morning, we were given 150g of bread and a glass of milk, and for lunch and dinner a plate of soup. My mother and my brother were in the camp with me. In October or November 1942, we were transferred to the Jewish ghetto." [Deposition of Roza Shternlib, a Jewish survivor, given to State Extraordinary Soviet Commission(ChGK), on June 23, 1944; GARF 7021-75-107/Copy USHMM RG.22-002M]

German archives

"This execution operation was conducted by a "mobile SS group", a kind of Rollkommando. It had already started in the streets of the town on the previous evening. About 120 men were rounded up, and, as far as I know, they were taken to a prison. They were confined there until the next morning, and then, if I recall correctly, they were shot in the Uhryn Forest. " [Deposition of Abreham Wartenfeld, born in 1923 in Chortkiv, given during the trial against Gerhard L., the former Chortkiv County chief, Taken from Hessisches Staatsarchiv Darmstadt H13 1074 7, copy YVA JM/34141]

Historical note

Uhryn is located about 77 km (46mi) southeast of Ternopil. The village was first mentioned in 1427 as a part of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. In 1772, it was transferred to the Austrian Empire where it remained until 1918.  According to 1900 census, Uhryn numbered 1,470 inhabitants, including 28 Jews. The majority of Jews lived off trade and handicraft. As the local community was small, there was no synagogue or cemetery in Uhryn. A bigger Jewish community lived in the town of Chortkiv, located about 5 km (3mi) northwest. In 1918-1919, Uhryn became part of the Western Ukrainian Republic before being taken over by Poland. In 1939, following the outbreak of the war, Uhryn was incorporated into the Ukrainian Social Soviet Republic as a result of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact.

Holocaust by bullets in figures

Uhryn was occupied by German troops on July 6, 1941. Over the course of the Aktion, presumably conducted by the Security Police unit and SD of Ternopil on August 25, 1941, about 100 Jewish men of Chortkiv were taken to the Uhryn forest to be shot dead in the mass grave. According to some sources, in October 1941, a second Aktion was carried out in the same forest, during which several hundred members of the Jewish intelligentsia were executed.

A labor camp was established in Uhryn in the summer of 1942. About 50 Jewish women were subjected to forced labor during harvesting period. In October or November 1942, the camp inmates were transferred to the Chortkiv ghetto. 

In the summer of 1943, some time before the withdrawal of the Germans troops, a number of local men, Ukrainians and Poles, were taken to the Chortkiv prison, from where, two weeks later, they were brought to the Uhryn forest to be shot dead in a mass grave. According to research results, later on, a number of Chortkiv Jews were executed in the same pit. The corpses of the Ukrainian and Jewish victims were separated by a wooden plank. Since the Chortkiv ghetto was liquidated on June 16, 1943, the Jewish victims mentioned above could have been fugitives, captured after the ghetto liquidation. There is no memorial which indicates the mass graves located in the Uhryn forest.

For more information about Chortkiv please refer to the following profile

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