Hilberg reply to Letter 01   15-Dec-1997   Lviv Massacre implicitly denied
Raul Hilberg
236 Prospect Parkway
Burlington, VT 05401
802-863 4653

December 15, 1997

Mr. Lubomyr Prytulak

Dear Mr. Prytulak,

I have had to delay a reply to your letter of September 15, because I had an almost impossible deadline for a manuscript, plus two trips, one to Europe and one to Alberta.  Now I have had a chance to reexamine some sources with respect to actions in Lviv and a few other places within eastern Galicia during the early phase of the occupation.

Here then are a few more details to complement the sections you have taken from the 1961 edition of my book, The Destruction of the European Jews.  The historian Philip Friedman writes on pages 246-47 of his Roads to Extinction, New York 1980:

By inciteful proclamations, pamphlets, and oral propaganda, the Germans stirred up mass hatred of the Jews.  Persecution and pogroms began immediately after the entry of the German army.  From June 30 to July 3, German soldiers spread through the streets of the city in the company of Ukrainian nationalists and an unruly mob of the local population.  They fell upon the Jews in the streets, beat them murderously, and dragged them away for "work" especially for cleansing of prisons filled with corpses and blood.  Thousands of Jews were seized and conveyed to the prisons on Zamarstynowska, Jachowicza, and Lackiego Streets; to the Brygidki prison on Kazimierzowska Street; and to the Gestapo headquarters, at 59 Pelzynska.

The first mention of these events in a report of the Security Police of July 3, 1941, is a statement that angered residents had already seized 1,000 Jews.  A subsequent report, dated July 16, 1941, notes that "In Lemberg [Lviv] the population rounded up about 1,000 Jews, and with mistreatment [unter Mißhandlungen] delivered them to the [German] army-occupied GPU prison."  In the same report, there is mention of the shooting by the Security Police of 7,000 Jews in all of eastern Galicia.  Fifty Jews were reported to have been killed by local inhabitants in Sambor.  Another Security Police report, dated July 11, 1941, refers to 600 Jews "liquidated" in the course of "persecutions of Jews inspired by the Einsatzkommando" 4b in Tarnopol.

In conclusion, it would seem that local inhabitants violently seized about a thousand of the Jews arrested in Lviv.  Because of the German role and the presence of Ukrainian militia, I have not called these actions a pogrom, but that may be a matter of labeling.


Raul Hilberg [signature]