Yurkivtsi | Chernivtsi

/ Ambience inside of a local house.  ©Kate Kornberg/Yahad-In Unum Before the war a synagogue was located at this place. ©Kate Kornberg/Yahad-In Unum Mykhailo F., born in 1927: “One Jew asked to be shot first. He couldn’t bear watching the others being killed.” ©Kate Kornberg/Yahad-In Unum At the location of this house there was a cellar where the Jews were locked up before the shooting.  ©Kate Kornberg/Yahad-In Unum Witness shows to Yahad team the mass grave where the villagers buried the victims. According to the engraved plaque 32 Jews are buried there. ©Kate Kornberg/Yahad-In Unum Jews were shot on this road on the edge of a ravine ©Kate Kornberg/Yahad-In Unum

Execution of Jews in Yurkivtsi

1 Execution site(s)

Kind of place before :
Ravine “Panskyi Yar”
Memorials :
Yes
Period of occupation:
1941-1944
Number of victims :
32-46

Witness interview

Mykhailo F., born in 1927, says: “The Jewish tailor’s wife was shot at the same time as her 3 children aged of 2, 6 and 10 years old. The smallest whom the mother held in her arms didn’t die immediately; he crawled on the body of his dying mother and shouted “mama, mama”. But a bandit approached and shot him dead.” (Testimony n°1909, interviewed in Yurkivtsi on July 2nd, 2015)

Soviet archives

“After the retreat of the Red Army in 1941, the Romanian invaders arrived on the territory of Yurkivtsi. In July 1941, they gathered 36 Jews from the whole commune and took them to the former club. They held the Jews there for several weeks starving them. Then, they killed them with rifles. [...] The Jews were shot one by one, they were naked.” [Act drawn up by the State Extraordinary Commission on July 27, 1945; RG22.002M: 7021-79-74]

Historical note

Yurkivtsi is located 30 km north of Chernivtsi. In the 19th and early 20th century Yurkivtsi was a part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. In 1918 the village was taken over by Romania. At that period local Jews lived off small-scale trade and handcraft. There was a synagogue in the village. In 1940 the village was taken over by the Soviet Union. It was occupied by the Romanian forces in early July of 1941.

Holocaust by bullets in figures

Prior to the shooting the Jews were gathered in one place, which was a cellar of a former Polish manor, according to the witness, and not a former klub building like mentioned in the archives. It happened in July 1941, shortly after the occupation. After being detained in the cellar for several weeks, the Jews were taken to a small ravine called “Panskyi Yar”, located beside the road, where they were shot one by one.  According to the local residents, the shooting was carried out by the locals and not by the Romanians. Among the victims there were men, women and small children. The approximated number of victims varies between 32 and 46 according to the archives, witness testimony, and the memorial plaque. With the help of a local villager who happened to see the execution, the Yahad team found the exact location of the grave, located about fifteen meters away from the monument. 

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