Testimony:

In the village of Nevirkiv, Nikolai (born 1929) often had to bring the requisitioned food to stores guarded by a German platoon. The platoon’s commander lived on an old Polish estate with a very attractive Jewish woman. When he learned that she was pregnant, he shot her dead. With Nikolai’s help, the Yahad team was able to identify this woman’s grave. There is no monument.

 

From March 30 to April 15, 2012 a Yahad in Unum team conducted its 30th investigation in Ukraine, in the region of Rovno. In the course of this investigation, the Yahad team traveled to 15 places, interviewed 50 witnesses and identified 13 shooting sites.

 

Places:

Administrative region of Rovno
Investigated towns/villages: Tuchin,Aleksandria, Varkovyshi, Goryngrad premier, Choubkiv, Kozin, Granovka, Verba, Rovno, Dyven, Veliki Mezirichi, Korchevie, Derazhnoie, Klevan, Goshcha


Historical Background:

One important contextual feature is that the studied zone was part of the Polish State between 1920 and 1939. The Soviets took control of this territory in September 1939 and integrated it into the Soviet Union. The Germans occupied the region as early as the summer of 1941 and stayed until 1943. This area was placed under the German army’s civilian administration.

As it was part of the old historic province of Volhynie, the region is characterized by a very high number of Jewish victims (350,000 for the whole province). During our mission, we identified an exceptionally high number of eye witnesses to the shootings.

 

Key Findings:

– Public shootings – Because the Jewish population was so large, the shootings generally took place in several stages, mainly between the spring and autumn of 1942.

– The case of Tuchin – Tuchin was a small town with about 5,000 Jewish inhabitants. According to the available archives, a closed ghetto was created in the autumn of 1942 in a Jewish neighborhood with approximately fifty houses. When the Germans wanted to liquidate the ghetto, the people there rebelled and set the buildings on fire. A large number of Jews managed to escape. The shootings inside the ghetto left a high number of victims. The other Jews were killed in a ravine outside of Tuchin, on the road to Reshitsa. The Jews who had been killed in the ghetto were also buried in this ravine. Two weeks later, the Germans designed a trap to catch the Jews who had been hiding who then were shot in the Jewish cemetery. Richter, the German commander, and Kovshik, his second, are often mentioned in the archives.

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