2 Execution site(s)
Petro V., born in 1928: “Y. U. And what about the Jewish doctor, was he allowed to keep treating the villagers? Witness: I’m not going to lie to you, I don’t know. I know that he was no longer working at the hospital. In winter, around Christmas, the Jews were told that they would be moved to Volochysk. The Germans told all the men that they had to leave first to pick a house, and that their families would join them after. So, all the men in the ghetto assembled with their suitcases to leave for Volochysk. Instead, they were taken to a school next to the pond, (today there is a music school there). In this school the Germans looted the suitcases, taking jewellery, gold, good shoes, and good clothes. After the looting they were lined up in columns of twenty people with a Polizei at the front and back and led away to Bazaliya, where they were shot.” (Witness n°897U, interviewed in Teofipol, on January 19, 2010)
“[…] here, in 20 degrees cold, the Jewish residents of the town of Teofipol were taken to the murder site completely naked. The little children were freezing from the cold and falling. Their little heads were struck by rifle butts and their maimed bodies put onto the sleds. By the time they arrived at their murder site, many sleds had been loaded with the bodies of these innocent children.” [Deposition of Vladimir T., given to the Soviet State Extraordinary Commission (ChGK) on June 1944; GARF 7021-64-798]
Teofipol is located 63 km (39mi) northwest of Kkmelnytskyi, today Proskuriv. The first Jews started to settle in Teofipol in the 18th century. According to the 1897 census, 65% of the town’s population was Jewish, numbering 2,914 people. The majority of Jews lived off small scale trade or handicraft. The Jewish community suffered from a wave of pogroms carried out in 1917 and 1919. As a result, several hundred jews were killed and their property was looted. The community had its own synagogue, cemetery, and a Yiddish school. During the 1930s, a Jewish kolkhoz was created. On the eve of the war, only 37% of the population was Jewish.
Teofipol was occupied by German forces on July 6, 1941. Approximately 10% of the prewar Jews had managed to evacuate by this time. Before the ghetto was created, all the Jews were marked with yellow distinguishing badges and registered. They were forbidden to leave the town’s territory and were systematically subjected to forced labor. The ghetto was established in late 1941 and was located on the outskirts of town. Alongside local Jews, Jews from nearby villages such as Shybena were also interned there. On January 21, 1942, an Aktion was conducted against 400-500 Jewish men who were first assembled at the school building under the pretext of a future resettlement, and then taken outside the town and shot. Once at the school, the victims were forced to undress and, under guard, were taken in groups of 20-25 to a ditch located 4-5 kilometers south of the town. The next day, the remaining Jews of the ghetto – women, children, and old people - were taken to the same murder site and shot to death. The Aktion was conducted by the German gendarmerie. According to the Soviet archives, 970 Jews were shot during this Aktion. According to the local witnesses interviewed by Yahad, some Jews were shot separately at the Jewish cemetery, after their lives were spared for a ransom. After the liquidation of the ghetto, a dozen Jewish skilled workers remained in the town. In July 1942, they were taken to a forest near Liakhivtsi, today Bilohirya, where they were shot alongside the local Jews.
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