(JTA) — The remains of 286 Jews who were murdered during the Holocaust were found in two basements in a town in southwest Ukraine.
The remains, mostly women and children, will be buried in a mass grave in the ancient Jewish cemetery in Sataniv, Ynet reported.
The town had an organized Jewish community for about 500 years before the Nazis captured it in 1941 and began systematically killing its Jews, according to the Yad Vashem website.
On May 15, 1942, Nazi troops and Ukrainian military police locked the 286 Jews in the cellars and suffocated them.
After World War II, the bodies were left in place in the cellars with a sign indicating that they were Nazi victims. The ruined house above them eventually covered the cellars with a heap of rubble and an outdoor market operated over the area for many years, according Ynet.
Rabbi Alexander Feingold, of the Khmelnytsky and Ternopil districts in Ukraine, told Ynet that his community waged a six-year legal battle with the property owner to search the cellars. Though the community lost in the courts, it eventually reached an agreement with the landowner, according to the report. Some of the bodies were discovered in 2019, and the rest were found about two weeks ago.
Feingold said a park will be established in memory of the victims near the site of the massacre.