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1 Execution site(s)
Witnesses interviewed: 1. (N°1793).
Raïssa K (N°1793): “The Jews were under watch. The guards surrounded them and stayed at the stadium’s entrance. They were shot near this entrance. The stadium was surrounded by a fence. The people saw columns of Jews and I was aware and could go on the site. I was hiding in a cherry tree.”
“After the search, we established: at 600 meters from the city of Kostopol, six graves at the same place were dug: one grave 20 meters long, 1 grave 22 meters long and 4 meters wide, 1 grave 5 meters long and 4 meters wide, 1 grave 10 meters long and 4 meters wide. One of the graves was only half closed. The corpses (men and women) were killed from a bullet to the neck. In these graves, 40, 000 people were shot”.”
“In November 1941, I saw a second action against women, elderly people and children. From my house, I saw how Germans in green uniforms took our friends – the Brytzko family. 1,400 victims were killed behind the town. I heard shooting and members from my own family were shot”.”
Kostopol is located 29 kilometers north-northeast of Rowne. In the fall of 1939, many refugees from Poland settled in the town so that in mid-1941, 4,500 Jews lived in the town.
The Germans occupied Kostopol on July 1, 1941 and immediately there was a pogrom against the local Jews. The Germans progressively degraded the Jews’ position and condition, by enforcing the wearing of yellow stars, imposing forced labour and confiscating Jewish property. On August 16, 1941, the Germans rounded up 470 of the most influential Jews in the community and transported them out of Kostopol, where they were all executed. Another 1,400 Jews related to those who had been executed, were arrested on October 1st and also taken away and killed. A ghetto was established in Kostopol on October 1941. Despite the great over-crowding, there were no epidemics. The ghetto was liquidated on August 25, 1942. German police surrounded the ghetto. The ghetto was emptied and the remaining inhabitants were transported to Khotinka, a nearby village, and exterminated upon arrival. A few managed to escape but they were caught and returned to the Germans and murdered. In July 1942, the remaining Jews from Rivne (perhaps 7,000 people) were brought by train to Kostopol and were murdered by German police in a quarry near a forest outside the town.
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