2 Execution site(s)
Dmytro L., born in 1930: “A couple of hours later, when the Romanian soldiers passed by the bridge, they were attacked by a group of Jews who fired at them from the building located close to the prison. As a reprisal act, the Romanians decided to massacre the Jews. So, for the next ten days, they rounded up the Jews, women, children, and elderly included, and locked them up in the prison. The Romanians would enter each Jewish house, which were shown by locals, and would force the family out and take them on foot to the prison. Upon the arrival to the prison, those who attempted to escape were shot dead on the spot, while others were locked up in the cells. Other detainees were killed as well after having been detained and tortured.” (Witness n°2502, interviewed in Chunei, on October 20, 2018)
“[Due to an almost illegible copy of the archives, only a small summary is available] Upon their arrival in July 1941, the Romanian soldiers started to loot the Jews and encourage the local population to do the same thing. The looted belongings were taken to the central place of the village and shared between the looters. The Jewish population was gathered in a created camp located in the former warehouses of the forest guards. The place consisted of 14 cells where the detainees were detained, tortured, and killed. In all, 500 detainees of the camp were murdered along the way. After the shooting, the interior of the building was repainted and fixed to hide all the traces of the crime. The bodies were buried in six mass graves.” [Act drawn up by Soviet Extraordinary Commission (ChGK) in 1945; GARF 7021-79-81]
Moldovan archives “(Summary) About 70 Jewish families lived in the village. The majority of them were merchants. Upon the arrival of the Romanian soldiers in the village, all the Jews were arrested and locked up in a prison. All of them were shot dead in the prison. Their corpses were buried in six mass graves. The local villagers were requisitioned to transport the bodies from the prison to the pits. Then, Jewish houses were looted by the villagers. Here are some names of the Jews who lived in the village: Rabbi Babat; Grümberg family ; Shächter family; Moses family; Rosenblatt family; Kula family; Hartman family; Schuller family, owned a mill.” [Serviciul Român de Informații Archives; 25.00M, Reel 15, p. 538]
Chunei, is located in the historic region of Bukovina. It is 40km (25mi) southwest of Chernivtsi and is close to the Romanian border. Before WWI, it was part of the Austrian Empire, and in between the two world wars, it was taken over by Romania. In 1940, it was occupied by the Soviet Union. The first records of the town’s Jewish community date back to the 18th century. The local Jews were mainly involved in commerce and industry connected with products made from the surrounding forest, including timber processing. Other common occupations were crafts and the liberal professions. The Jewish community had a synagogue, rabbi, and cemetery. In 1930, 570 Jews lived in the village.
Chudei was occupied by Romanian forces in July 1941. During the first days of the occupation, all the Jews from Chudei were rounded up and confined to the town’s prison. The prison was where the ghetto was created as a reprisal against the Jews, since some of them attacked Romanian soldiers when the occupation began. When the Jews were rounded up, some were shot dead on the spot. In addition to Chudei’s Jewish population, Jews from nearby villages such as Krasnoyilsk, Izhivtsy, Budenets, Panka, Stara Zhadova, Nova Zhadova, Bobivtsy, Ropcha, and others were deported to the ghetto. During its existence, the detainees were tortured and shot in the yard of the prison. Their bodies were gathered by requisitioned villagers to be buried in six mass graves located on the prison’s territory. In all, 634 Jews were murdered in Chudei, according to the Soviet archives. As a result of field research, Yahad-In Unum discovered that eight Jewish men were shot separately near the road leading to Budenets when they went to greet the Romanians, having mistaken them for the Soviets. The Jews were forced to dig a pit, lined up next to it, and shot dead by two Romanians. Today, there is no marker at the site.
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