1 Execution site(s)
Stefania M. recalls: “A mortician was requisitioned to expand the grave. It had to be round. There were two Germans present on this day. A German wanted to choose a beautiful young girl of 17 years at the execution site. Their parents refused to give her to him and she was killed. The Jews had to get undressed down to their underwear. They were lined up in front of the grave. The two Germans fired machine-guns at the same time. One shot from the front, the other from behind. All the Jews were killed with a single shot. There were about forty.” (Witness N°1822, interviewed in Medenychi, on August 31, 2013).
“25 people were taken from Medenychi and shot several kilometers away from Medenychi. The Ukrainian policemen K. and D. carried out the execution. They shot them with guns and threw the corpses in a grave.” [Deposition of Otto M., eyewitness to the execution of the Jews, taken on December 8, 1944, RG22.022M/7021-58/20].
Medenychi is located about 22km away from Drogobychi and 55km southwest of Lviv. Most of the Jews lived off of trade, although some of them worked in agriculture. The Jewish community was small but important. There were even Zionist groups established before WWI. After the Soviet occupation in September 1939, the territory was occupied by Germans in early July 1941.
Once the territory was occupied by Germans, the pogroms were carried out by locals and continued till spring 1942. In August 1942, most of the Medenychi Jews were sent to the death camp of Belzec. According to the Soviet archives and testimonies gathered by Yahad-In Unum, the column of Jews was shot mid-way between Medenychi and Hirske (Gorkoye). From the research findings, it is difficult to confirm if the executed Jews were only those native to Medenychi. Most likely, they were gathered from all the nearby villages. According to eyewitnesses N°1821 Maria R. and 1822 Stefania M., the Jews were shot in small groups in the clay pit, located close to the road. The execution was carried out by Germans. According to Stefania M., the Jews had to undress and their clothes were recuperated by the mortician as a reward for digging and covering the pit.
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