Extermination of the Jews of Stryj and Vicinity
1. First Persecution
12.000 Jews lived in Stryj at the time of the occupation by the
German Army in July, 1941. The German administration Authorities
arrived there in August.
On the 22nd August, 1941, the SD assisted by the Ukrainian
Police arrested a 1000 Jews in the town. Among them were Jewish intellectuals
and prominent Jews. The arrested were brought to the courtyard of the local
magistrate. They were beaten and maltreated most cruelly and a number of
them were killed on the spot. The others were left for 2 weeks in the open air in the
mud covered courtyard. Neither food nor water was given to them and
they were tortured continuously. Only 100 Jews succeeded in escaping
by bribing their guards. The remainder was taken after two weeks
to a forest near Holobotow. There they were killed by machine guns.
2. Anti-Jewish Decrees
All Jews were ordered to wear a special badge. They had to register at the
local German Labour Office and were employed at different forced labour.
The German authorities appointed a Jewish Council which had to carry out
German orders. Jewish enterprises were confiscated and no compensation
was paid to its owners. The Judenrat had to deliver large quantities of various
goods to the German Authorities. SD officers looted much Jewish property
for their own personal use.
3. Small Scale Murder
Young Jews fit for work were often apprehended in the streets and sent away
to SS forced labour camps. In the spring of 1942, Jews were ordered to move
to a special quarter. They were allowed to move freely in the town until 8 pm.
The SD would often carry out small-scale extermination actions. Small groups of
Jews were seized in the town and were murdered in the local prison or in
one of the forests outside the town. Jews who committed the slightest
offences against German regulations were arrested and summarily executed.
4. First Action
On a day in September 1942, the Jewish quarters were suddenly surrounded
by the SD, Gendarmerie and Ukrainian Police. 5,000 Jews were seized and
were marched to the local railway station where they were loaded onto trucks
and sent to the Belzec extermination camp.
5. Second Action
On the 7th October, 1942, a similar action was carried out by the
same Formations: 3-4,000 Jews were deported to the Belzec extermination camp.
6. Third Action
Jews from towns and villages of the vicinity were ordered to move into the town.
The ghetto was closed and no Jew was allowed to leave it without permission.
Almost daily small-scale actions were carried out in the town. Jews were taken
in small groups to the Holobotow forest for execution. There were
special days for murdering of children, women, old people, non-workers,
etc. The actions were carried out by the SD from Drohobycz and Stryj,
Schutzpolizei, Gendarmerie, Ukrainian Auxiliary Police and SS formations
composed of Russian P.O.W's.
In all towns of the vicinity extermination
actions against Jews were carried out. In Mikolajew almost 600 Jews
were deported to Belzec and a great number were shot in the town.
In Rosdol 1,300 Jews were deported to Belzec and 500 were brought to the
prison in Stryj. In Medenice, Roswadow, Zydaczow, Chodorow, Bolechow
and Skole similar actions were carried out. Several thousand Jews
were brought to the prison at Stryj. These actions were carried out
by the SD from Drohobycz and Stryj, German Gendarmerie and Ukrainian
Part of the Jews were released immediately
from the Stryj prison and were allowed to enter the ghetto. Part
of them were held back in the prison under horrible conditions until they
were released in February, 1943.
The conditions in the ghetto were
unbearable. The German Supply Authorities issued practically no food
to the Jews and a great famine prevailed in the ghetto. Jews falling
ill were killed immediately by the SD in the local Jewish hospital.
7. Fourth Action
In February 1943, the SD arrested in the forest near Stryj several young
Jews belonging to the Jewish Underground Movement, who were preparing
Jewish resistance. As retaliation 1,500 Jews were seized in the town and
executed in Holobotow.
8. Fifth Action
In March 1943, the ghetto was surrounded
by the SD, Schutzpolizei, Ukrainian Auxiliary Police, and SS formations
composed of Russian P.O.W.'s. Old Jews were dragged out of the houses
and brought to the local synagogues. Those unfit for transportation
or trying to resist were murdered on the spot. Children who were
running about aimlessly in the ghetto were killed on the spot. The
Jews were left for several days in the synagogue without food. They
were maltreated continuously and a great number died. Approximately
2,600 Jews were taken to the Holobotow forest. There they were ordered
to undress and were murdered by machine-guns.
9. Sixth Action
3,500 Jews remained in the ghetto. In April 1943 small actions were
carried out almost every day and Jews were murdered in the town.
On the 21st May 1943, 1,000 Jews were
seized and murdered in the Holobotow forest.
10. Seventh Action
On the 5th June 1943, the ghetto
was surrounded by the SD from Drohobycz and Stryj by Schutzpolizei and
Ukrainian Police. Several days before, all alien Jews who previously
were authorized to live out side the ghetto were ordered to move into the
The ghetto was searched house by
house and all the Jews were dragged out of the houses. Many houses
were set on fire and Jews perished alive in the flames. A great number
of Jews, especially old people, women and children were murdered in the
ghetto. Only 750 Jews were officially allowed to remain: 500
at the local saw mill and 250 at the glass works. All the others
were slaughtered at Holobotow or killed in the local Jewish cemetery.
Several hundred Jews succeeded in
hiding. Continuous searches were conducted after them, and all those
detected were murdered on the spot.
11. Eighth Action
In July 1943, Jewish labourers employed
at the glass-works were executed. They were taken out of the factory
by the SS, Schupo, and were murdered in the street.
12. Final Extermination
On the 22nd August 1943, the final
extermination action against the old Jews took place in Stryj and in the
sub-District. The actions were carried out by the SD from Drohobycz
and Stryj, commanded by Obersturmführer Bock, Obersturmführer Hildebrandt,
SS, Schutzpolizei, Gendarmerie, Ukrainian Police and members of the 'Werkschutz,'
an auxiliary SS formation composed of Russian P.O.W.'s.
All Jews were taken to the local
prison. A great number were killed during the proceedings.
A small group of Jews who had succeeded in obtaining arms started active
resistance. They were over-powered after a short fight, but 30 of
them succeeded in escaping. In the prison 40 Jewish specialists were
singled out and transferred to Drohobycz. The remainder were taken
to Holobotow forest and executed there.
Similar actions were carried out
at Bolechow, where a number of Jews had been left at the local municipal
workshops, and at Skole, where Jewish forced labourers were employed at
the local saw-mill.
The searches continued for the escaped and hiding Jews; every day small
numbers were found and executed on the spot.
On the occasion of Stryj being declared 'Judenrein', the SD, civil authorities
and local inhabitants arranged a great festival, which was attended by the
General Governor, Dr. Hans Frank.
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