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Chapter IV

The Jews of Winniki – Vynnyky
(Vynnyky, Ukraine)

49°49' / 24°06'

11.3 miles from Nowy Jarczow

 

dzi071.jpg
Lviv (Lwow), big city center Vynnyky (Winniki) is south of the city of Lviv in the map above Novyy Yarychiv (Nowy Jarczow) is north of Lviv

 

Winniki was mentioned as a village as early as the 15th century. In the 19th century, a tobacco plant and a yeast factory were established there. The local population worked in the factories or in agriculture. Winniki is about eight kilometers from Lemberg (Lwow) and provided the city with its products. The Jewish population was small and consisted of about 40 to 50 families. According to the census of 1925, the town had a population of 5,000 of whom 3,300 were Poles, 2,150 were Ukrainians, 300 were Jews and 200 were Germans.

For the Jewish community of Winniki, there was only a religious slaughterer in the hamlet. The Jewish community of Lemberg ran the community of Winniki and provided burial services. The Jews dealt in business and peddling. A charity fund was established in 1928 to help the Jewish merchants and craftsmen with small non–interest loans. Zionism penetrated Winniki and the Betar youth movement opened a branch.

Winniki was occupied by the Soviets in accordance with the Ribbentrop–Molotov agreement. Many well–to–do Jews were ordered to leave Lemberg by the Soviets. Some of them settled in Winniki, whose Jewish population rose to about 500 people. The Soviets proceeded to arrest influential Jews, Poles and Ukrainians and deported them to Siberia.[1] Of course, the Communist Party opened a branch office in the hamlet as did the Soviet secret police. People disappeared during the night. All jailed communists were freed (the Communist Party had been forbidden to exist in pre–war Poland). The Soviet economic system of administration was forcefully introduced into the area, resulting immediately in shortages of staples and goods. All political parties and Zionist parties were banned. Only the Communist press was permitted to print material. Slowly and steadily the Jewish population was being pauperized by all the rules and regulations.

The Germans attacked the Soviet Union and the hamlet of Winniki was occupied on June 29, 1941. They permitted the Ukrainian population to stage a violent pogrom that resulted in Jewish deaths and a great deal of commercial damage. German soldiers helped themselves to some of the spoils. Then the Germans began to grab Jews for work details without feeding them. Several weeks later all Jewish males were ordered to present themselves in front of the Jewish community office. They were told to bring work tools and food. They were marched out of Winniki, escorted by the local fire brigade band that played Polish marching songs. They walked to Piaski, about seven kilometers from Winniki. There they were ordered to dig ditches, disrobe and were shot by the Ukrainian police.

A few Jewish men still survived in Winniki as well as all the women and children. They were moved to a temporary ghetto where a Judenrat office functioned. Toward the end of 1941, a Jewish forced labor camp was established in Winniki that contained several hundred Jews from Lemberg, Sokal, Jarczow and the remnants of Winniki. They built or fixed roads and repaired tracks. Their conditions were abysmal. They pleaded with the Jarczow Judenrat office to send them some food. The work camp maintained a strict regime with daily roll calls. The exhausted or sick Jewish workers were usually shot following the daily roll call. The Winniki ghetto was liquidated in the early part of 1942 when Ukrainian policemen surrounded the area and Jewish inhabitants, mostly women and children, were forced to mount trucks that took them to an unknown destination, probably the Piaski area, where they were shot. The Winniki labor camp continued to exist until the summer of 1943. Then some inmates were sent to a forced labor camp and those who remained in Winniki were shot on July 23, 1943.

The German determination to kill all Jews can be amply demonstrated by the documents below that were issued by the German administration in Eastern Galicia.

The document written in German describes a person named Moses Greif who was born between 1808 and 1812, Jewish religion, district of Janow.

The district governor's office wanted to know the actual birthplace of this person and was searching the record of births of the various communities in the district of Lemberg. The hamlet of Winniki also received a letter of inquiry. The request is dated August 2, 1943, after all the Jews of Winniki had been murdered. We do not know the reason for the search but notice the efficacy of looking for people, especially Jews long after they were murdered. Jews lived in Winniki and probably the mentioned party did so. But no definite commitment.

 

dzi072.jpg

 

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The reply of the Winniki office

 

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Yad Vashem Page of Testimony for Benyamin Mohrer, resident of Winniki,
killed in 1942 in the city of Winniki

 

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Yad Vashem Page of Testimony for Rachel Mohrer, née Kenigsberg,
resident of Winniki. Killed by the Germans in 1942

 

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Yad Vashem Page of Testimony for Moses Mohrer of Winniki, killed in Belzec

 

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Yad Vashem Page of Testimony for Hersh Lowenkrown

 

List of Winniki Jews mentioned in the Yizkor Book of Rabbi Mordechai Gerstel

Family name First name Father's name Mother's name Gender Remarks
HOCHBERG Sheindel     F  
HOCHBERG Pinie   Sheindel M  
HOCHBERG Zelig     M  
HOCHBERG Esther Zelig   F  
HOCHBERG Perl Zelig   F  
HOCHBERG Etel Zelig   F  
MARCH Wolf     M  
MARCH       F Spouse: Wolf, 2 children
MOHRER Benyamin     M  
MOHRER Ruchel     F  
MOHRER Reuven   Ruchel M  
MOHRER Michal   Ruchel M  
MOHRER Shimon     M  
MOHRER Shmuel     M  
MOHRER Yossel     M  
MOHRER Henia Yossel   F  
MOHRER Rasha Yossel   F  
MOHRER Chaya Yossel   F  
MOHRER Dobrish Yossel   F  
MOHRER Reizel Yossel   M  
MOHRER Reuven Yossel   M  
MOHRER Zachary     M  
MOHRER Rivka     M Spouse: Zachary

 

Translator's Footnote

  1. William Leibner interviewed Karola Lowenkrown–Baum. Return

 

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