2 Execution site(s)
Polina B., born in 1927, says: “There was a Jewish girl of my age, who lived not far from our house. Her name was Pepla. One day a man brought her into the forest by the neck and raped her on the bank of the river. That man was a Romanian soldier or a local. After he killed her. When I arrived she was already dead. There was a lot of blood. The girl’s father was brought to the same place to be killed. I heard shots.” (Testimony n°1904, interviewed in Velykyi Kuchuriv on June 30th, 2015)
“On June 29, 1941, 10 Jews were shot dead. They were buried in the Jewish cemetery.” [Act of State Extraordinary Commission (ChGK) drawn up in July, 1945; RG22.002M: 7021-79-81]
The village of Velykyi Kuchuriv is situated 12 km south of Chernivtsi. The first records about the local Jewish community date back to the end of the 17th century. It’s known that in 1815 Jews left Velykyi Kuchuriv because of crop failure. However, they started to return to the village after the construction of the Chernivtsi-Suceava railroad in 1869. At that period the majority of Jews were engaged in trade. Most of the Jews from Velykyi Kuchuriv were Hassidic; there was a synagogue and a cemetery. In the late 19th and early 20th century Velykyi Kuchuriv was under the Austro-Hungarian Empire. In 1918 Velykyi Kuchuriv was taken over by Romania. In the 1920s the old synagogue and two new ones operated in Velykyi Kuchuriv. In the 1930s the Jews of Velykyi Kuchuriv lived off trade and handcraft; among the Jews there were teachers, doctors, and specialists of other professions. There was a Jewish charitable society. At that period the Jewish population numbered 386 people.
On July 4th, 1941 Velykyi Kuchuriv was occupied by the Romanian forces. Through the accounts of the local witnesses and Yahad field research, we were able to discover that after the arrival of the Romanians several isolated shootings took place in the village. The testimonies allowed identifying several sites of the shooting: one of which is located on a bridge where 7 Jews found death; another one - near the river, where a non-local Jew with his two children were murdered. The third one where eight Jews were shot is located in a ravine. The fourth one where an indeterminate number of people were killed in located near the mill. One Jewish girl of 14 years old was raped and killed near the river. Later her father was shot at the same place. All bodies were buried by locals at the Jewish cemetery. It is very likely that the remaining local Jews were deported either to Transnistria or to the Khmelnytskyi region.
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