Banyliv (Banelo-Ruski, Ruski Banilov) | Chernivtsi

/ Maria Ch., born in 1925: “The executioners planned the massacres in advance by spreading the word about the time and place. When I arrived at the scene, there were already bodies in the street." ©Les Kasyanov/Yahad - In Unum. Mykola S., born in 1928: “In 1941, when the Soviets left and the Romanians hadn’t yet arrived, there was a period when no one was in charge. It was a very dangerous period when everyone tried to stay at home so as note to be killed. ” ©Les Kasyanov/Yahad The Yahad team during an interview with a local witness. ©Les Kasyanov/Yahad - In Unum. The road by which the Jews were taken. ©Les Kasyanov/Yahad-In Unum. The surviving tombstones at the Jewish cemetery in Banyliv. ©Les Kasyanov/Yahad-In Unum. The surviving tombstones at the Jewish cemetery in Banyliv. ©Les Kasyanov/Yahad-In Unum. The memorial at the Jewish cemetery in the memory of circa 200 Jews murdered in Banyliv during the period of anarchy before the Romanians arrived. ©Les Kasyanov/Yahad - In Unum. Mykola S., born in 1928:  “They were transported by cart to the cemeteries. They had a cemetery here. First, they took the bodies to bury there. We came to take a look and it was impossible to say that those were humans because their bodies were black.”©L

Execution of Jews in Banyliv

1 Execution site(s)

Kind of place before:
Jewish cemetery
Period of occupation:
Number of victims:
Between 100 and 200

Witness interview

Maria Ch., born in 1925: "When the Soviets left a few days later, the Jews were massacred. The local executioners, ordinary people without uniforms or armbands, went into houses, arrested Jews and killed them all along the main road in front of the ditch. Then on the same day, they requisitioned Ukrainians to collect the bodies in carts and bury them in the Jewish cemetery in a mass grave. I saw them being buried. The pit was square and rather deep. As far as I remember, there were over a hundred victims buried in that pit. This went on for several days, then there was a pause and then the massacres resumed. The executioners called the villagers to come and see the killing. I saw all these events. The executioners planned the massacres in advance by spreading the word about the time and place. When I arrived at the scene, there were already bodies in the street." (Witness n°2299U, interviewed in Banyliv, on September 22, 2017)

Soviet archives

"In the summer of 1941, members of the OUN arrived and shot about 200 civilians from Ruski Banilov, including my husband Hirsh Aaron Mendelevich, my 10-year-old son Zender, my 58-year-old mother Genia, my 34-year-old brother Berl and my 18-year-old brother Leo. The shootings and torture were led by K. Ivan. Other people who participated in this massacre: P. Ivan, Vasily, Piotr; L. Mikhail, Z. Taras and Andrei; G. Stepan, T. Filip from Berezhnytsia and others. [...] Some of the civilians were shot in the houses and barns, but most of them were taken 1 km away from the village. The executioners were very numerous. The victims were first stripped naked. The infants were not shot, they were killed or wounded with rifle butts. Before being shot, the victims were tortured, beaten and forced to sing. A villager, V. Maria, was connected with the bandits. She was the one who denounced the victims who were hiding. In addition, the clothes of the victims were stored in her house. M. Nikolai took a quilt and pillows from me and transported them to Ms V. […] " [Interrogation of a Jewish survivor Irina Hirsh, done on August 8, 1944 by the Soviet State Extrarodinary Commission; GARF 7021-79-71]

Historical note

Banyliv is located, 50 km (31mi) west of Chernivtsi. The first record of the Jewish community dates back to the second part of the 19th century. Before 1918, the village was part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. From 1918 to 1940 it was integrated into Romania, and in 1940 was taken over by the Soviet Union until 1941. In 1897, some 818 Jews lived in the village, comprising 20% of the total population. The majority of Jews lived off small scale trade, agriculture and handicraft. In the 1920s and 1930s, various Jewish organizations were active in the village. By 1920, the Jewish community had slightly grown and numbered 1,200 people. In the 1930s, only 517 remained living here, as many had relocated to bigger towns or immigrated for economic reasons. 

Holocaust by bullets in figures

Banyliv was occupied by Romanians in mid July 1941. There were 24 hours lawlessness between the Soviet retreat and the arrival of the Romanians. During this time, according to the Soviet commission and Romanian archives, on July 14 and 15, 1941, between 100 and 200 Jews and some Ukrainians who had embraced communism were killed. The massacre was carried out by local members of the OUN. The victims were tortured, beaten, and killed either in front of and in their houses or 1 km away from the village. There they were forced to sing, stripped naked and shot in three mass graves. There were men, women, and children. Some adults were buried alive while infants were wounded or shot with rifle butts and thrown into the pits. When the Romanians occupied the village, the remaining Jews were gathered and displaced to Transnistria, a region that remained under Romanian occupation. 

Nearby villages

To support the work of Yahad-in Unum please consider making a donation

Do you have additional information regarding a village that you would like to share with Yahad ?

Please contact us at
or by calling Yahad – In Unum at +33 (0) 1 53 20 13 17