Mykhalcha (Mihalcze, Mihalcea) | Chernivtsi

/ Landscape of modern- day Mykhalcha. ©Les Kasyanov/Yahad-In Unum Gueorhyi S., born in 1922: “Many Jews stayed in hiding at the moment when the Romanian army passed. They were denounced by a local man, Konstatiy, and killed. ” © Les Kasyanov/Yahad-In Unum Gueorhyi S., born in 1922, near the mass grave where the corpses of the Jewish victims were buried. Les Kasyanov/Yahad-In Unum Yahad’s team with a witness on the way to the mass grave. ©Les Kasyanov/Yahad-In Unum Yahad’s team with a witness on the way to the mass grave. ©Les Kasyanov/Yahad-In Unum The execution site of a Jewish elderly couple killed by Romanian soldiers. ©Les Kasyanov/Yahad-In Unum The execution site of an 18-year-old Jewish boy. Back then, it was a field. The houses in the picture didn’t exist. ©Les Kasyanov/Yahad-In Unum Gueorhyi S., born in 1922, pointing out the execution site where he saw an 18-year-old boy killed by Romanian soldiers. ©Les Kasyanov/Yahad-In Unum The location of the mass grave where 16 Jews were buried after being sporadically shot on the streets of the town by Romanian soldiers in July 1941. The Jews were killed at the start of the occupation. ©Les Kasyanov/Yahad-In Unum The monument in memory of the 16 Jews killed in Mykhalcha in July 1941. ©Les Kasyanov/Yahad-In Unum

Execution of Jews in Mykhalcha

1 Execution site(s)

Kind of place before:
Animal remains pit
Period of occupation:
Number of victims:

Witness interview

Gueorhyi S., born in 1922: “First, I saw an elderly couple of Jews. Then, later, on the same day, I saw a Jewish boy being killed. It happened not far away from the hospital. He was killed in the field while attempting to escape. He was 18 years old or so. The Romanians fired at him three times, but they missed him. So, the local man Kostatiy ran after him and brought him back. The Jewish boy begged to not kill him, but he was killed by a Romanian soldier.” (Witness n°2525U, interviewed in Mykhalcha, on October 30 and 31, 2018)

Soviet archives

“The soldiers from Romanian forces shot 16 Jews, including four simple peasants.” [Act drawn up by Soviet State Extraordinary Commission; GARF 7021-79-83]

Historical note

Mykhalcha is a town located in the historic region of Bukovina, 9 km (5.6mi) southwest of Chernivtsi. 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 late 17th - early 18th centuries. According to a local resident, only 7 Jewish families lived in Mykhalcha. The town did not a have a synagogue or a cemetery. A bigger Jewish community lived nearby in Chernivtsi or Velykyi Kuchuriv. Besides the Jews, Mykhalcha was home to Ukrainians, Poles, Romanians, and some ethnic Germans. The Jews of Mykhalcha lived off trade and handcrafts. Before the occupation, the majority of local Jews managed to evacuate.

Holocaust by bullets in figures

Following the occupation of Mykhalcha by Romanian forces in early July 1941, 16 remaining Jews were shot, according to the Soviet archives. The victims were murdered in a series of isolated shootings on the streets in different places carried out by Romanian soldiers who passed by the village. Later, the corpses were gathered and buried in a mass grave.

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