1 Execution site(s)
Andriy P., born in 1925: “Many Jews from Yablunytsia tried to escape just before the Romanian arrival. Some escaped to Chernivtsi; some were caught by the local bandits and killed. Once the Romanians arrived, those Jews who stayed continued to live in their houses. For a week or so, I saw them being taken to the river for work. They were about fifty. But, then one day they all disappeared. They must have been deported somewhere.” (Witness n°2505U, interviewed in Yablunytsia, on October 22, 2018)
Yablunytsia is a village located on the banks of the Cheremosh river on the border of the Chernivtsi and Ivano-Frankivsk regions (not to be mistaken with Yablunytsia in the Ivano-Frankivsk region). Before WWI, the village was part of the Austrian Empire, and in between the two world wars, it was taken over by Romania. The border with the territories under Polish rule passed by the river Cheremosh. In 1940, the area was occupied by the Soviet Union as a result of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact. There is no exact information on when the first Jews started to settle down in the village. The local Jews were mainly involved in commerce and industry connected with products made from the surrounding forest, including timber processing. Although none of the witnesses mentioned if there was a synagogue, the local Jews were religious and respected all the holidays. It is difficult to estimate how many families lived in the village on the eve of the war.
Yablunytsia was occupied by German and Romanian forces in July 1941. During the time after the Soviets retreated and before the Romanians arrived, a pogrom must have been organized against the Jews. Local witnesses saw the Jews being thrown into the river and their bodies floating down the stream. A dozen Jews were massacred in that manner by local bandits. The Jews were brought by the bandits from the territory which used to be under Polish rule (modern-day Ivano-Frankivsk region) with their hands tied behind their backs. Then, they were pushed into the river from a high edge. Their bodies were fished out and buried in different places along the river.
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