Terebovlia (Trembowla) | Ternopil

/ / Myroslav S., born in 1926 : "In Terebovlia, I remember that the ghetto was created about 2-3 months after the beginning of the occupation. All the Jews in the town, including my neighbor, had to move there with their belongings."  ©Les Kasyanov/Yahad – In Bronislava L., born in 1928: "I was about 500 meters away from the site of the shooting. I could hear isolated gunshots. When I left, the guards were still there."©Les Kasyanov/Yahad – In Unum Former house of the rabbi of Terebovlia, located in front of the site of the synagogue. The building was also part of the ghetto. Today, the original building remains, rebuilt and enlarged from the original one. Today, it is home to a culture school. ©Les Site of the former Jewish cemetery in Terebovlia. Many POWs and Jews were shot here. Today, not much remains of the cemetery, which is located in the northern part of the town, in the middle of residential houses on a slope. ©Les Kasyanov/Yahad – In Unum Site of a former synagogue in Terebovlia. During the occupation, it was located on the territory of the Jewish ghetto. Today, another building has replaced it.    ©Les Kasyanov/Yahad – In Unum Site of another old synagogue in Terebovlia, located along the central street of the city. The original building still exists, and its facade is preserved. The premises are now occupied by a sports school.  ©Les Kasyanov/Yahad – In Unum Location of the former French POW camp. Currently, military barracks occupy the building. ©Les Kasyanov/Yahad – In Unum dings. A street in Terebovlia which delimited a part of the former Jewish ghetto. Several thousand Jews from the city and its surrounding villages were confined there. They perished by the hundreds from hunger and disease. ©Les Kasyanov/Yahad – In Unum A wide view of the hill where the former stone quarry of the village of Plebanivka was located. From April to June 1943, approximately 3,000 Jews from the Terebovlia ghetto were taken there to be executed by German security forces. ©Les Kasyanov/Yahad – I The monument located on top of the hill of the former stone quarry of Plebanivka. It is dedicated to the memory of the Jewish victims who were murdered at the site by the Nazi occupying troops during the war.    ©Les Kasyanov/Yahad – In Unum The former stone quarry where the Jews of the Terebovlia ghetto were shot. They had to undress and had  their valuables stolen. Then they were led in groups of ten to the pit and executed with automatic weapons. ©Les Kasyanov/Yahad – In Unum

Executions of Jews in Terebovlia

1 Execution site(s)

Kind of place before:
Stone quarry
Period of occupation:
1941 - 1944
Number of victims:

Witness interview

Bronislava L., born in 1928: “In 1943-1944, around Easter time, I was on my way home from church. At that moment I saw trucks stopping near the road about two kilometers away. The vehicles were carrying around 500 Jews. About ten policemen in dark uniforms took them out and the trucks left immediately. The Jews were then escorted by the policemen up a hill. When the column crossed a stream, some Jews tried to run away and the guards started shooting at them.” (Witness n°2547U, interviewed in Plebanivka on December 6, 2018)

Soviet archives

“On April 18, 1943, the executioners gathered 1,100 civilians, men, women and children, in the marketplace of Terebovlia. They were immediately undressed, and their clothes and valuables were confiscated. Then all these people were transported to Plebanivka in the old stone quarries, shot and buried there.

On June 13, 1943, another 1,089 people were shot in the same way at the same site. At the end of July 1943, another 500 people were shot at the same site. The shootings were carried out during the day with machine guns and pistols. Some victims were buried alive.

In October 1942, 1,500 people were rounded up and sent to the town of Belzec, their fate remains unknown.

Apart from the above-mentioned exterminations, the German executioners carried out several exterminations of small groups of civilians in other places, such as the Jewish cemetery and the surrounding forests.” [Act drawn up by Soviet State Extraordinary Commission (ChGK) on June 28, 1944; GARF 7021-75-12; pp. 7-9]

Historical note

Terebovlia is a town located 38 km (24mi) south of Ternopil, in western Ukraine. Terebovlia is one of the oldest cities in west Ukraine, dating back to the early 11th century. Terebovlia had an established Jewish community. At the beginning of the 20th century, the town was inhabited by Ukrainians, Poles and Jews. Relations between these different communities were good and some young Jews attended the same schools as the other students. In 1913, the city had about 10,000 inhabitants, of whom about 2,800 were Jews. They had several synagogues and a cemetery. They were mostly merchants and craftsmen. During the interwar period, the city was part of Poland. In 1939, just before the outbreak of the war, approximately 1,500 Jews lived in Terebovlia. In September 1939, according to the German-Soviet non-aggression treaty, the city was captured by the USSR.

Holocaust by bullets in figures

On June 22, 1941, the German armies and their allies began their invasion of the USSR. At that time, the city was home to about 5,000 Ukrainians, 3,000 Poles and 1,700 Jews. On June 29, 1941, with the rapid approach of German forces, Soviet officials from Terebovlia abandoned the town, followed by 100 to 150 Jews. On July 3, 1941, the city was occupied. As soon as the occupation began, anti-Jewish actions were ordered and carried out by the regional office of the SS-led security police, a German gendarmerie of about 30 men, a criminal police office and a local Ukrainian police unit. For example, the new authorities encouraged Ukrainian police and locals to loot Jewish homes and stores. At the same time, on July 10, Ukrainian auxiliary police arrested about 40 Jews, allegedly for forced labor, and then shot them near a military barracks. At the beginning of August 1941, the city was transferred from a military to a civilian administration. The German authorities ordered the Jews to wear a Star of David and to hand over all their money and valuables. They also forbade them from leaving the city limits without permission, on pain of death. In the summer of 1941, to convey their orders and restrictions to the Jewish population, the German authorities created a Jewish Council (Judenrat) of about 15 members and a Jewish police force. For example, they allowed them to register all Jews eligible for forced labor. Thus, many young Jewish men were sent to forced labor camps in the surrounding towns. When they tried to escape from this order, Ukrainian and Jewish policemen caught them in the street and beat them. At the same time, a camp for French POWs was created in Terebovlia. From September to October 1942, the authorities gathered all the Jews of Terebovlia and the surrounding villages in a ghetto. On November 5, 1942, German security forces deported over 1,000 Jews to the Belzec extermination camp. During the gathering, 109 Jews were killed on the spot by the German gendarmerie and Ukrainian police. After this deportation, approximately 2,500 Jews remained in the ghetto. The ghetto consisted of just two small streets and was very overcrowded. However, Jews could move freely outside the ghetto wearing their armbands. Nevertheless, during the winter of 1942-1943, famine raged in the ghetto and hundreds of people died of typhus due to the unsanitary conditions. On April 7, 1943, a security police unit from Ternopil, the German gendarmerie, and Ukrainian police officers rounded up circa. 1,100 Jews in the market square. After having them undressed and stealing their valuables, they escorted them to a stone quarry near the village of Plebanivka, 2.5 km (1.5 miles) south of Terebovlia. There, the victims were taken to a pit in groups of about 10 and then executed by several shooters with automatic weapons. In early June 1943, what remained of the Terebovlia ghetto was liquidated. On June 13, 1943, another 1089 Jews were shot in the same way at the same site. On June 4, the Germans declared the city Judenrein ("free of Jews"). However, on June 5, another 350 Jews, most of whom had managed to hide from the previous executions, were rounded up and killed at the same site. On March 23, 1944, the Red Army liberated Terebovlia. Only 50 to 100 Jews from the town managed to survive the German occupation.


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