Bohorodczany (Brotchin) - Holocaust


With the outbreak of World War II, Ukrainian farmers streamed into the town on the 16-18 of September 1939. Armed with sticks and axes, they called out anti-Semitic slogans. They also perpetrated hostilities against the retreating Polish soldiers, and attempted to capture their weapons. Unlike other locations, these events did not result in a pogrom (Pinkas Hakehilot, 72). As a result of the Soviet-Nazi non-aggression pact, the Red Army entered Bohorodchany on September 19, 1939 ("Istoriia Bohorodchaniv," 85). According to one Jewish memoir, the soldiers of the Red Army "stripped our shops and squares of anything of value" (H. Hasten, I Shall Not Die, 7-8).

Together with the rest of Eastern Galicia, Bohorodchany was annexed by the USSR and became part of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic. In January 1940, the town became the administrative center of a district (raion) ("Istoriia Bohorodchaniv," 85). The Soviet conquest led to restrictions in the business and political life as private enterprises were nationalized and all non-Communist political and associational activities prohibited. The Soviet occupation also influenced the style of life in the town. According to Hart N. Hasten's memoirs, "Men no longer wore neckties. Women got rid of their hats and put on headscarves. And the streets always stank of garbage" (H. Hasten, I Shall Not Die, 8).

The new authorities converted some Polish institutions into the Soviet ones Both schools became seven-grade Ukrainian schools. Additionally, a club, library, health clinic and pharmacy all became state run institutions ("Istoriia Bohorodchaniv," 86; M. Hasten, Mark My Words, 12-3).

Despite the fact that they prohibited private trade and thus harmed the economic situation of many Jews, the new authorities, received a significant degree of Jewish support. In Bohorodchany, for example, Ber Hasten, Wolf Friedman, Leib Lappe and other Jews joined the Soviet militia (police) and contributed to maintenance of order (M. Hasten, Mark My Words, 11, 14; H. Hasten, I Shall Not Die, 10).

On June 27, 1941, Bohorodchany was occupied by the German forces that invaded the Soviet Union ("Istoriia Bohorodchaniv," 86). Only a handful of Jews, among them the Hasten, Friedman, Lappe families, Shimshon Tabak, succeeded in escaping and arrived safely to the remote regions of the Soviet Union (M. Hasten, Mark My Words, 13-7).

On June 16, 1942, 1,200 Jews from Bohorodchany were brought to Stanislawow and murdered by the Ukrainian police at the Rudolf's mill (H. Hasten, I Shall Not Die, 309).


See: Bohorodczany (Brotchin) - after WWII