Zelena (Zelionoye) | Chernivtsi

/ Dionisiy V., born in 1920: “The Romanians wanted to hide from rain in the empty house but there they found a Jewish family” ©Aleksey Kasyanov/Yahad-In Unum The witness leads the Yahad team to the burial site of about six Jews from Zelena ©Aleksey Kasyanov/Yahad-In Unum Dionisiy brought us to the border of Romania. It’s where his Jewish friends, among the other 6 victims from the village, were buried after being shot in their homes. There is no memorial   ©Aleksey Kasyanov/Yahad-In Unum The burial place of the Jews murdered in Zelena. ©Aleksey Kasyanov/Yahad-In Unum

Execution of Jews in Zelena

1 Execution site(s)

Kind of place before:
Clay pit
Period of occupation:
Number of victims:
Between 6 and 15

Witness interview

Dionisiy V., born in 1920, says: “The Romanians shot local Jews, who came out of their houses to meet them in the village center. There was one aged Jewish man called Shloma who was alive because he stayed in the house. He was sitting in the street among the corpses. He was crying, his friends and all his family were shot, and he begged them to shot him as well. He was killed by a Romanian soldier who passed by.” (Testimony n°1899, interviewed in Zelena on June 28th, 2015)

Soviet archives

“On July 5th, 1941, immediately after the arrival of the Romanian troops in the village of Zelena, the Romanian soldiers were ordered to execute the Jewish population and to plunder their houses. As a result, on July 11, 1941, 15 villagers of Jewish origin were shot. The shooting took place in a field 1 km south of Zelena village in the direction of Lipcani (Moldova). The bodies were buried on the spot.” [Act drawn up by State extraordinary commission on July 7, 1945; RG 22.002M: 7021-79-75]

Historical note

The village of Zelena is located 80 km east of Chernivtsi. In the 19th and the beginning of 20th century, Zelena was a part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. In 1918 the village fell under the control of Romania. The village was part of the Lipcani district, Khotyn county. Back then the majority of the population was Romaian and Ukrainian. Only about 12 Jews lived in the village. They were traders and tailors. In 1940 Romania ceded the northern part of Bukovyna to the USSR. The village was occupied by Romanian troops on July 5th, 1941.

Holocaust by bullets in figures

According to the archives, it is likely that the Jews were shot on the way, in a field 1km south of Zelena. However, according to the witness’ accounts, interviewed by Yahad, those Jews who went out of their homes were shot dead on the spot when the Romanians entered into the village, on July 5th,1941.  The remaining Jews were gathered and taken in the direction of Lipkani, where they were most probably shot on the way.  The same witness remembered that the following night the Romanian soldiers found a Jewish family consisting of 7 people hiding in the house near the village. They shot them in the morning not far from the village on their way to Lipcani. The villagers buried the victims in a clay pit that is a field today.

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