Dem'ianiv Laz

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Massacre at Dem'ianiv Laz
File:Dem'ianiv Laz.jpg
The memorial complex "Dem'ianiv Laz"
Location Pasieczna (Now Pasichna), Soviet-occupied Poland, modern Ivano-Frankivsk
Date 1941
Target Poles
Attack type
Mass shooting
Deaths At least 524
Perpetrators NKVD

Dem'ianiv Laz (Ukrainian: Дем'янів Лаз, Polish: Demianów Łaz)[1] is a mass burial site of victims of the Soviet extrajudicial killings committed in the wake of the Nazi German takeover of Stanisławów (modern Ivano-Frankivsk, Ukraine) in 1941. At least 524 Polish captives (including 150 women with dozens of children) were shot by the NKVD and buried in several mass graves dug by the prisoners themselves in a small gorge outside of the city.[2]

The mass murder site was located in the vicinity of a small village called Pasieczna in Soviet-occupied Poland, in a gorge called Demianów Łaz at the outskirts of Stanisławów (Ivano-Frankivsk since 1962). Some of the earlier victims were killed in the infamous NKVD prison in Stanisławów, others were brought to the site ahead of time in order to dig mass graves prior to their own execution.[2]

Cover up

During World War II the grave site was first discovered by the German forces. After the war, in the 1960s the Soviet authorities tried to bulldoze the area in order to cover all traces of the crime.[2] In 1970, following the Radio Liberty broadcast about Dem'ianiv Laz, the site's landscape was changed by heavy machinery to hinder any future attempts to excavate it. The cover-up continued almost until the end of the Soviet Union, as in 1984 and 1985 the site was further covered with rubble and debris of several demolished buildings.[3]

Despite these efforts, in 1989 remains of more than 500 men, women and children were uncovered during excavation performed by a local branch of the Memorial society. Only 22 victims were identified by name and all were Polish citizens of either Polish or Ukrainian ethnicity.[4] The memorial complex "Dem'ianiv Laz" was opened near the excavation site in 1998.

After the invasion in 1941, the German authorities under SS-Hauptsturmführer Hans Krueger perpetrated another Aktion against Polish intelligentsia called the Czarny Las Massacre. It was committed near the village of Pawełcze (Pawelce) several km away.[5][6]

See also


  1. Robert Nodzewski, "Demianów Łaz" IV Rozbiór Polski, 1939. Retrieved 1 December 2014.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 "Dem'yaniv Laz". A chronicle of the communist inquisition. Memorial Society. Retrieved 19 October 2011.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. Ющенко закликав пам'ятати про катів і знищувати "сатанинські символи". (in українська). 2009-10-11. Retrieved 2011-10-19.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. ДЕМ'ЯНІВ ЛАЗ. МЕМОРІАЛ ЖЕРТВАМ СТАЛІНСЬКИХ РЕПРЕСІЙ. (in українська). Memorial. 2000. Retrieved 2011-10-19.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. PWL. "Mord w Czarnym Lesie (Murder in the Black Forest)". Województwo Stanisławowskie. Historia. PWL-Społeczna organizacja kresowa. Retrieved 9 December 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. Tadeusz Kamiński, Tajemnica Czarnego Lasu (The Black Forest Secret, Internet Archive). Publisher: Cracovia Leopolis, Kraków, 2000. Book excerpts.


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