Investigation of crimes committed by the German Fascists on the territory of the Western Ukraine, Ukr. SSR.
June 21-28, 1944

Courtesy of Miri Gershoni Shifris

Report of Soviet Special State Commission conducting Archive/File: places/ukraine/chortkiv/commission-report. 440621-28

The Commission consists of the following persons: W. H. Druginina; S. I. Turkevich, H. 1. Brytskoho, H. I. Cheverda, A. P. Prokopova, V. A. Krupko, T. S. Litvineriko, K. A. Kozacheriko, P. E. Chermlsonova, Mateush Shuster, Stanislava Ivanovna, Lutsyk Petro I_ I. B. Shorr, M.M. Goldberg, J. U. Bolansky, K. M. Alsenberg, S. T. Kuzmlna, P. J. Chervivsky, M. G. Chursanov.

The exhumation of the victims of German Fascism in the city of Chortkiv and Region, Ukr. SSR., started June 21, 1944, and lasted till July 28, 1944. The city Chortkiv was occupied by the Nazis in July 194 1, and liberated by the Red Army in March 28, 1944.

The Special Commission established the following: Mass "Actions" and shooting Last-Modified: 1998/07/17 of Jews, Poles, Ukrainians, teachers, doctors, lawyers, intelligentsia, party-activists, old people and children, took place during the Nazi occupation. Life started to get intolerable.

The extermination of the Jews were called "Actions," which ended in mass shooting of the victims. There were three mass "Actions" in Chortkiv. The first "Action" took place in 1941.

The Nazis ordered the creation of the Jewish Ghetto, in which around 8,000 Jews were forced to reside. The conditions inside the Ghetto were terrible. The Jews were forced to wear the Star of David. Many were taken out for hard physical labor outside. It was forbidden to leave the Ghetto or bring in food, under the threat of death. The victims received a little watery soup with a piece of surrogate bread. Many died of starvation and diseases.

The second anti-Jewish "Action" took place in the year 1943. As a result of this mass massacre, not many Jews were left in the city. Some tried to hide in underground bunkers or in the forest.

Around 115 Jews were working on a farm-estate. One day they were surrounded by a group of Germans and Ukrainian (Nationalist) policemen. A real bestial pogrom was underway. Some were shot in the field, others were massacred with shovels, iron bars, sticks, etc. Many others were caught in the street, in the houses of the village. The dead and injured were loaded on horse-wagons and thrown into an empty water well. Groups of 50 or 100 Jews were taken out of the Ghetto, (allegedly for work), outside the city where they were shot. Some individuals managed to escape from such "Actions." Among them were: Rosa Shnermlib, born in 1925, Bernknopf Josef, born in 1923, Berkovich Zoya, and a few others.

The German Fascist beasts threw the dead, injured and children, alive, in the pits and buried them together. According to eyewitness accounts in the city of Chortkiv, German Nazis, and Ukrainian Nationalists, threw Jewish children down from balconies (third and fourth floors) into the streets. The dead and injured victims were later thrown into the River Scret. Those few who remained alive were hiding in underground bunkers, in the forest, with Gentiles, or with false papers.

Mass executions of Jews, Poles, Soviet Activists, etc., took place in the prison courtyard, on the former airfield, on the old and new Jewish Cemeteries, in the Black Forest, in the Villages: Yagolnitsa, Swydova, Mylowe, Marelovka, Sosulivka, Rossoxan, in the Galileya Forest, and other places.

The special Investigative Commission ordered the opening of the pits and excavation of the bodies. The following was established:

1. 16 Pits (different sizes) were found on the former airfield, located Westward of the City Chortkiv, near a
highway leading to the City Chernovtsi, Ukr. SSR.

OLD JEWISH CEMETERY, Westward City Chortkiv: Total, 5pits. Around 45 bodies. Shot in back of the head.

NEW JEWISH CEMETERY, Location -- Eastward City Chortkiv. Pits: 3. Bodies-450. Victims: Men, women and children. All shot.

Location: Prison courtyard. Bodies -- Men. Many with documents, names, Passport numbers. Also some women. Names:

Location: Black Forest, Eastward, City Chortkiv. Two pits. Total bodies: 140 men and women. Shot with machine guns. Smashed skulls. Thrown in Water Well.

Location: Village Miliontse, Chortkiv Region. Well-hole depth: 8 M. Victims working on farm. All Jews. Men and women. Bodies - 123.

Village Yagolnitsa. Two large pits. Total bodies 950. Most shot in the head. Men, women and children.

Village Swyclova, Chortkiv Region. Two pits were found, sizes: 10 x 4 x 2 Meters, and 3.5 x 1.5 x 2 Meters. They contained 18 bodies, men and women, in decomposition stage. Some completely naked, some others in underwear. According to eyewitness accounts, around 350-400 people were buried in this area.

Village Marelovka. Chortkiv Region, Ukr. SSR: Two pits were found, sizes 2 x 2.5 meters. Most were shot. Some victim's heads were smashed. A total of 55 bodies were counted.

Village Ulashkovtse, on Farm Estate. One pit, size 15 x 15x 1, bodies of men and women, some were shot, some others were butchered with knives and other instruments. 17 bodes exhumed. According to eyewitness accounts, around 185 people lie buried in this area.

Forest Galileya: In the dense part of the forest, in a bunker-like hideout, size 5 x 2 x 2 meters, 15 bodies were found, all women. All naked, scattered in different positions. All in decomposition stage. All were shot in back of the head, most with damaged skulls. As it looked, the underground bunker served as a hideout for the

The Commission concluded that in the above mentioned places (and also other pits, not excavated yet), more than 13,000 bodies of innocent citizens of the City of Chortkiv, and Chortkiv Region, were found.

The Special Investigation Commission considers the following persons guilty of committing crimes:

  1. Hildeman Captain, Chief Gestapo
  2. Pekman Captain, Chief Gestapo
  3. Stefan Chief Prison
  4. Maierhofer Chief Prison
  5. Rozenhof Chief Prison (?)
  6. Paal Commander, Jewish Camp
  7. Tumanek Commander, Jewish Camp

Gestapo Men:

  1. Kelner,
  2. Richter, Lt.,
  3. Frank,
  4. Keltswich,
  5. Breitschneider,
  6. Hagerman,
  7. Rimpler,
  8. Ruks,
  9. Radke,
  10. Kuchman,
  11. Tsich,
  12. Meier,
  13. Basso,
  14. Eisel,
  15. Martin,
  16. Miller,
  17. Felde,
  18. Kimperg,
  19. Keller,
  20. Lutsel,
  21. Knispel,
  22. Kaminsky,
  23. Ferus,
  24. Grocholsky,
  25. Shudert,
  26. Hubert,
  27. Otto,
  28. Gross,
  29. Urban,
  30. Frynd.

Traitors of the Fatherland. (Ukrainian Nationalists):

  1. Mula Ivan
  2. Mulyk,
  3. Roshko,
  4. Mykechans,
  5. Hushulak,
  6. Starovsky,
  7. Skab,
  8. Skorevych,
  9. Ivasiv,
  10. Moroz,
  11. Podlubny,
  12. Gnatkivsky,
  13. Slobodyan,
  14. Leschinsky,
  15. Kachmanyuk,
  16. Krchak,
  17. Melnychenko,
  18. Tyll.

Commission Members:

Doctors: Shorr, Goldberg (signatures)
Citizens, City Chortkiv: Wolanski, Eisenberg.
Military: MajorJustice Dept. (signature)
Lt. M/S (illegible) (signature)
Priest, Roman Catholic Church (signature)
Priest, Greek Catholic Church (signature)

W. Druzhynin, Turevich, Brytski, Cheverda, Prokopov, Krupko, Litvynenko, Evstygnewa, Kozachenko, Cheremysinov, Shuter,

Head of' Extraordinary State Commission:

Investigating Fascist crimes: Kuzhmin
Medical Expert, Major M/S: Chervinsky
Medical Expert, Major M/S: Chursanov
(stamp signatures)

Courtesy: Soviet State Archives. Ukr. SSR." (Sabrin, pp. 264-8)

Work Cited

Sabrin, B.F., Ed. Alliance for Murder: The Nazi-Ukrainian
Nationalist Partnership in Genocide. New York: Sarpedon, 1991

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