Hertsa (Guertsa, Herta) | Chernivtsi

Jews performing the rite of tashlikh on Rosh Hashanah on the outskirts of Hertsa, 1928. © YIVO / The former synagogue building in Hertsa. ©Les Kasyanov/Yahad-In Unum In this building, the Jews were confined in the basement during the first days of the occupation. ©Les Kasyanov/Yahad-In Unum The remaining tombstones at the Jewish cemetery. ©Les Kasyanov/Yahad-In Unum Luchika M., born in 1931: “My parents went to watch the execution but we, children, weren’t allowed to go there. But we could hear the gunshots coming from the mill.” ©Les Kasyanov/Yahad-In Unum Sovieta Zh., born in 1930, was arrested and locked up in the basement along with the Jews by mistake. ©Les Kasyanov/Yahad-In Unum Avrora K., born in 1930: “The shooting started from the morning and lasted until the afternoon.” ©Les Kasyanov/Yahad-In Unum Yahad-In Unum’s team during an interview. ©Les Kasyanov/Yahad-In Unum The former mill where about 150 Jews were gathered before being shot in nearby pits. ©Les Kasyanov/Yahad-In Unum A drone view at the execution site located near the mill. Later, the bodies were reburied at the Jewish cemetery. ©Les Kasyanov/Yahad-In Unum The memorial to the 150 Jews murdered in Hertsa. The corpses of the Jews murdered near the mill were reburied here. ©Les Kasyanov/Yahad-In Unum

Execution of Jews from Hertsa and Mohylivka in Hertsa

1 Sitio(s) de ejecución

Tipo de lugar antes:
Near the mill
Período de ocupación:
Número de víctimas:
About 150

Entrevista del testigo

Sovieta Zh., born in 1930: “In the summer [of] 1941, when the first German troops passed by the village, all the Jews from Hertsa were rounded up and locked in the basement. I was about to go to the center of the town with a friend of mine because we wanted to take some Christmas decorations left by the Soviets when they retreated, but at this moment I was arrested by a German and a Romanian who spoke Russian. They thought that I was Jewish and took me to the basement where about fifty Jews more had been already gathered. There were other children of my age. Half an hour later my father came and spoke to Romanian guards explaining that I wasn’t Jewish but Romanian. They let me go and we went back home. Since that day I stayed at home most of the time because my parents wouldn’t let me go out.” (Witness n°2523U, interviewed in Mohylivka, on October 30, 2018)

Archivos soviéticos

“In June 1941 the 8th German infantry division led by Major [major’s name iillegible] shot 60 civilians of Jewish nationality in the town of Hertsa on [date illegible], under the order of the latter. Among the victims there were women, children, and the elderly. The lootings and the mistreatment of the civil population continued after throughout the region.” [Act drawn up by Soviet Extraordinary Commission (ChGK) on June 10, 1945; GARF 7021-79-72]

Nota histórica

Hertsa is a town located 30km (18mi) southeast of Chernivtsi, close to the border with Romania. Before WWI, the village was part of the Austrian Empire, and in between the two world wars, it was taken over by Romania. The first records of the town’s Jewish community date back to the 17th century. In 1890, 820 of the town’s 1,180 inhabitants were Jews. The Jewish community had two major synagogues and four houses of prayer, as well as several religious schools. The main language was Yiddish. As a result of immigration, many Jews from Galicia and other territories of the Russian Empire moved there. By 1930, the Jewish population numbered 1,810 out of the town’s 8,454 inhabitants. The local Jews were mainly involved in commerce and industry connected with products made from the surrounding forest, including timber processing. Other common professions were crafts and the liberal professions. In June 1940, Hertsa was taken over by the Soviet Union. In June 1941, 38 Jewish families were deported by the Soviets to Siberia.

Holocausto por balas en cifras

Hertsa was occupied by the Romanians on July 5, 1941, resulting in a series of attacks during which 150 Jews were massacred. The Jews of Mohylivka were killed alongside the Jews of Hertsa. According to the local testimonies gathered by Yahad, the Jews were first gathered on the territory of the mill, and then, a week or so later, shot in a nearby pit dug by the Jews themselves. Approximately 1,650 Jewish survivors were deported to the transit camp in Edineț, today Moldova. From there, they were taken to camps in Transnistria in early October 1941. It is estimated that approximately 800 Jews died in Transnistria.

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