Saturday, September 5, 2009


This is the town where my great-grandfather was murdered.

This is a model of the town where my great-grandfather was murdered.

This is a memorial to the murder of my great-grandfather and over 3,000 other Jews in the town, on the spot where they were killed.

This is an excerpt from an eyewitness account of Friday, March 20, 1942: the day my great-grandfather was murdered:

"With blows and curses the sleepy inhabitants were dragged to the market place. Nobody was spared -- old people, women, children and the sick. All of them were driven into the cold and compelled to stand half-naked. This continued until 10 in the morning. Then they were all ordered to stretch out on the ground, with faces to the earth. Anybody who looked up was immediately shot.

"The captured Jews were then loaded on trucks, driven to the pits, and ordered to stand at the edge of the hole. Eight armed Germans shot at them and the dead bodies fell into the pit, together with the wounded and the unharmed. These were covered by another layer of bodies.

"Before the shooting all the Jews were ordered to undress and to hand over any valuables they had. This continued until evening. When the church bells struck five the shooting stopped and the naked Jews who were still alive were told to go home. 3,000 adults and 600 children were murdered and buried in the mass grave on that Friday."

This is the man who led the attack.


Grandma said...

Thanks for all the research you must have done, although it is devastating and disturbing even after all these years. I can't get the picture of my sweet, gentle Papa out of my mind and imagine how he must have felt. He was 51 years young at the time. Where did you find the picture of the murderer? Do you know his name and whether he was German or Ukrainian? After our conversation today I am trying hard not to wish that he endured suffering and misery for the rest of his life because I don't want to put myself on the same level as that evildoer. But I am not a saint and my reaction as only a mortal human being is revenge, although I probably would not have been able to lift a hand against him if I had met him. Contradictory right? I love you for your goodness and caring about injustice and human rights.
Grandma E.

Wadoman said...

My great-grandparents were also murdered in Rohatyn on that day or the ones after, including almost all of my mother's aunts and uncles and cousins. I looked up Hans Kruger, the man in the photo, and I don't think he was the one. That man was a judge during 1942. There may have been another man by that name.

Stephanie Palumbo said...

Oh wow, thank you for telling me. I should take that photo down then. Do you have any information about the Hans Kurger who was responsible? If you'd like to email me at StephanieJPalumbo - at -, I'd love to get more information from you and learn more about your family.