Nepolokivtsi (Nepolokovtsy, Nepolocăuţi, Nepolakivtsi) | Chernivtsi

Mordechai Fuerman - Reshafi, an emissary from Palestine,  meeting with the steering committee of the pioneering training commune (kibbutz hachshara) in Nepolokivtsi, 1934© בית לוחמי הגטאות Ghetto Fighters House Archives / Maria T., born in 1927 : “It was the Romanians who shot them. One Romanian shot only two Jews, then he fell, he couldn’t go on. He said he would not shoot them." ©Les Kasyanov/Yahad - In Unum. Maria T., born in 1925: “I followed another villager who was going to the cellar. There was a large number of “spectators," but then my mother came and took me back home. ” ©Les Kasyanov/Yahad - In Unum. Ievhenia S., born in 1925: “The columns crossed the border and returned two or three days later. I knew that they were Jews, because some of them worked with my father and mother.” ©Les Kasyanov/Yahad - In Unum. The Yahad team during an interview with a local witness. ©Les Kasyanov/Yahad - In Unum. The surviving tombstones at the Jewish cemetery in Nepolokivtsi. ©Les Kasyanov/Yahad - In Unum. The surviving tombstones at the Jewish cemetery in Nepolokivtsi. ©Les Kasyanov/Yahad - In Unum. The memorial at the Jewish cemetery in the memory of several dozen Jews murdered in Nepolokivtsi. Any bodies that were able to be recovered were buried at the cemetery. ©Les Kasyanov/Yahad - In Unum. The field where 34 men, including Jews and non-Jews, were murdered after having being taken out of the cellar where they had been detained. ©Les Kasyanov/Yahad - In Unum. The railway bridge where about twenty Jews, men, women and children, were savagely murdered and thrown inside the river Prut below. ©Les Kasyanov/Yahad - In Unum. The river Prut where dozen of Jews were thrown alive or dead during a killing Aktion. ©Les Kasyanov/Yahad - In Unum.

Execution of Jews in Nepolokivtsi

2 Execution site(s)

Kind of place before:
Railway bridge (1); Yard (2)
Period of occupation:
Number of victims:
Several dozen

Witness interview

Maria T., born in 1927: “Y. U. Was the school here in your village?
Witness: Yes, the big building that you probably saw was the school. It was built by a Jew.
Y. U. Did you have Jewish classmates?
Witness: Yes, they had Slavic names such as Vassyl, Kolia, Havrylo, etc.
Y. U. Do you remember the names of the Jewish families who lived here before the war?
Witness: I didn’t know their last names; I only knew their nicknames. For example, there were Grinykha (Grin’s wife, ndtr), Gerchykha (Hersch’s wife, ndtr), Leizerka (Leizer’s wife, ndtr) here, there was also Goriak, and others. I don’t know the first names of their children. They had a son Zeida, he was killed ... (the witness is very moved, she is crying, ndtr) They all lived on the main street, there were only Jewish houses. Even today, there are three Jewish houses still there.” (Witness n°2288U, interviewed in Nepolokivtsi, on September 20, 2017)

Soviet archives

Soviet archives "On July 9, as soon as the Romanian troops arrived in the village of Nepolokovtsy, the arrests of the inhabitants began. The former head of the village Golin[...] was summoned, the Romanians demanded the return of the red flag. Two days later, he was summoned again and never returned. 34 other inhabitants of the village were arrested for various reasons and locked up in a cellar. On July 10, at 10:00 a.m., they were taken out of the cellar two by two and shot in the yard that belonged to a certain Strizhko. The corpses remained on the ground, unburied, for 3 days. Then a mass grave was dug, the bodies were loaded onto a cart and buried, previously stripped naked and without shoes. On the day of the shooting, 20 people were arrested, including women, children and elderly people. They were brought to the bank of Prut the same day to be killed. For example, Beinesh Herman with his wife and their two small children were taken to the railway bridge over the river where the Romanians killed them. Beinesh Herman was hit in the head with a shovel and thrown into the water. They took his 3-year-old child by the feet, hit him hard against the railway bridge and threw him into the water. The mother clung to the parapet of the bridge and both her arms were cut off so that she fell into the river. In the same way, the Romanian soldiers killed the remaining 17 people. The Romanians raped the young girls of the village." [Act drawn up by Soviet State Extraordinary Commission, in July 1945; GARF 7021-79-76]

Historical note

Nepolokivtsi is located, 50 km (31mi) west of Chernivtsi. The village was founded in 1425. 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, a period of governance that lasted until 1941. The first record of the Jewish community dates back to the second half of the 18th century. In 1880, some 1,210 inhabitants lived in the village. The majority of the local Jews were farmers and craftsmen. With the development of the railway station at the turn of the 19th century, many Jews moved into the village. Their main occupation was trade, especially in the lumber business. According to the 1930 census, 316 Jews lived in the village, out of a total local population of 1,885. Nepolokivtsi was one of the Hachscharoth (training in agriculture) locations of the Zionist Movements in Europe during the 1920s - 1930s. In the 1930s the Jewish population decreased, many of them relocated to bigger towns or emigrated for the economic reasons. 

Holocaust by bullets in figures

Nepolokivtsi was occupied by Romanians on July 9, 1941. The massacres of Jews coincided with the local population being accused of being communists, and began shortly after the occupation. The victims were tortured, beaten, and killed by Romanian gendarmes. On July 10, 34 local men, Jews and non-Jews, were arrested and confined into a cellar. From there, they were taken one by one and shot. Their bodies remained unburied for several days. Around the same time,  the remaining Jews, in all about 20 individuals, were rounded up in their homes and taken in the direction of the railway bridge. They were savagely murdered on the bridge and thrown into the river Prut. According to the Soviet archives, the local girls were raped by the Romanian soldiers. The bodies of the victims were gathered and buried at the Jewish cemetery, where a memorial stands today. 


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