This article presents a brief history of the village of Ralivka, also known as Ralowka, Radlovice, or Radlowitz in the Lviv region of Ukraine. Full text of the article is prepared in Ukrainian. If you are interested in reading it, please use a web translator. In case you are not satisfied with website translator, we would be very happy to assist you.

The village of Ralivka was founded in 1375. Today is has a population of about 4000 people. Back in 1880 the village had 384 Roman Catholics, 498 Greek Catholics and 121 Jews. 

Sadly, the village of Ralivka witnessed the massacre of many Jews in the WWII period, who were brought here from the neighboring towns of Stary Sambir (Old Sambir) and Sambir (Sambor), including their outskirts. The Nazis occupied Stary Sambir twice. Most of the Jews of Stary Sambir were exterminated during the first wave of occupation. The Nazis first entered the town in September of 1939, during Rosh Hashanah. They broke into a local synagogue, harrasing and intimidaing the people there with rifles and physical violence, and thus forcing them out on the street to clean the market square. Among the people were lawyers Pavel Lerman and Mendel Dornbusch, who eventually disappeared without a trace.

In July 1941, the Nazis took over the Stary Sambir for the second time. 32 Jews were brought to the Jewish cemetery and shot dead on the spot. Among those murdered were Mordecai Glik, Icyk Groilich, Yakov Groilich, Yakov Gibner with his son, Shlomo, Mordecai Ratman, Benjamin Reiter, Moshe Reiter, Asher Schwarz, Yeshua Spinner and Zoles Girsh.

Many Jews from Stary Sambir were later transported to a Jewish ghetto in Sambir, which was established in September 1942. Between February and April 1943 Jews from the Sambir ghetto, around 1700 people, were driven out to the forest near Ralivka (4-5 km from Sambir) and gunned down.

The evidence of the abovementioned extermination of Jews can be found in the State Archive of the Russian Federation in Moscow and the State Archive of Ukraine in Lviv. In the Lviv Archive it can be looked up in R-87 collection, Description 11, Case 95, Page 110. 

The location of the Jewish mass graves near Ralivka was confirmed by the aerial photographs of the said area retrieved from the National Archives in the United States. The aerial data was verified on land by means of photogrammetry and geodesy at the request of the Representation to Ukraine of the Union of Councils for Jews in the former Soviet Union. The Representation along with other local Jewish organizations works to preserve and protect the boudaries of the mass grave, which is a very important historical and cultural monument to the destroyed Jewish communities of Stary Sambir, Sambir and the sorroundings.

A set of records containing technical reference, archival and geodetic documentation was produced for this site. It is available upon request. If you feel concerned about the state of this cultural heritage site as much as we do and would like to contribute to our continuous efforts to ensure its upkeep and protection, please write to us to support our work.