Koriukivka (Koryukovka,Korukovka, Kariukovka, Kariukówka) | Chernihiv

/ The streets of Koriukivka, which used to be a prosperous town before the war © Kate Kornberg/Yahad-In Unum Dina K., born in 1928: “Nobody wanted to hire my mother because my father was branded with the label “enemy of the people.” The only person who gave her work was a Jewish pharmacist. His name was Braginski. He was a very kind man.” © Kate Kornberg/Yahad-I Nina was born in 1931 in Korioukivka. "Once the truck with the shooters left, we got closer to the grave. I saw 3 steps that descended into the grave and a ripped-up scarf. The ground above the grave was moving." © Kate Kornberg/Yahad-In Unum Lidia, born in 1924: "A German entered our house and said to us: ’Weg!’ My mother responded to him that there wasn’t any men here. So he shot her, with a bullet to her head, then he shot once at my sister and then he returned and started to shoot at every "The policemen brought these three men up to here. They lined them up and shot them in the head. When we got closer, their faces were completed ripped up by the explosive bullets and there was blood everywhere in the snow." © Kate Kornberg/Yahad-In Unum

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Execution of Jews in Koriukivka

1 Execution site(s)

Kind of place before :
Forest
Memorials :
Yes
Period of occupation:
1941-1943
Number of victims :
About 350

Witness interview

Dina K., born in 1928, remembers prewar life: “The town was much bigger before than it is today. There was a big sugar factory, which was destroyed during the bombings. All the children, including Jewish children, went to school together. There was a wooden synagogue, but it was closed in 1937, along with Orthodox churches. However, the synagogue building still exists. My mother had a hard time finding a job. Nobody wanted to hire her because my father was branded with the label « enemy of the people.” The only person who hired her was a Jewish pharmacist. His name was Braginski. He was a very kind man. He even rented us a room, where we lived before, during and after the war.”

Soviet archives

In the winter of 1943, a punitive detachment, composed of 1000 men, arrived in Koriukivka. They gathered all the citizens in groups in the restaurant to check their papers. Afterwards, they made them enter the restaurant in groups of two and shot them dead. […] Then, they set all the houses located on the outskirts of town on fire and murdered those who stayed at home on the spot, as well as those who walked on the streets. In two days, Koriukivka was burned down, and around 2000 people, including Jews, Ukrainins and Russians had been murdered. This action happened between March 1-4, 1943.” [RG22.00M:Fond 7021, Opis 78, Delo 14.

Historical note

Koriukovka is a town located on the Brech River, 86 km northeast of Chernigiv. The first Jewish community was recorded as dating back to the beginning of the 19th century. The majority of Jews were involved in trade or worked as artisans. There was a sugar factory which was owned by a Jew. At the end of the 1920’s, a collective farm was established in the Koriukivka region. There was a wooden synagogue, but it was closed in 1937.  According to the census, 475 Jews lived in Koriukivka on the eve of the war. The village was occupied on September 7, 1941. Only a few Jews had managed to evacuate, while the majority stayed in the village. 

Holocaust by bullets in figures

There is no information about the ghetto in the historical sources; however, one of the witnesses interviewed by Yahad mentioned that all the Jews were gathered in three Jewish houses on the eve of the shooting. The houses were taken by Hungarians. From there, they were taken to the execution. The execution lasted from November 1941 till January 1942.

The first victims were taken and shot in the nearby village of Kholmy (30km away) in November 1941. During field research, Yahad-In Unum wasn’t able to find any witness who could confirm that the Jews were shot there. According to the locals, there were only shootings of activists in Kholmy.

During the next execution, which took place in December, about 250 people, including 90 Jews, were shot in the center of Koriukivka, close to the riverbank.  In January 1942, another 130 Jews were shot in a nearby forest. Those who managed to escape were spotted and killed in different parts of the city. According to a witness of one of these shootings, the Jews weren’t killed by Germans.

Koriukivka was completely burned down and the population was destroyed during the massacre in 1943 as retribution for the partisans’ actions.  Around 6,700 people were murdered and 1,290 houses were burned down.  

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