Kozlynychi | Rivne

/ Volodymyr K., born in 1937: “I saw the Jews being taken near the road in the direction of Skurat. They walked with their belongings because they didn’t know they would be killed.” © Victoria Bahr - Yahad - In Unum Yahad team with the witness on the execution site. © Victoria Bahr - Yahad - In Unum Execution site where about 50 to 60 Jews from Kozlynychi were murdered. © Victoria Bahr - Yahad - In Unum

Execution of Jews in Kozlynychi

1 Execution site(s)

Kind of place before :
Forest
Memorials :
Yes
Period of occupation:
1941-1944
Number of victims :
Between 50 to 60

Witness interview

Volodymyr K., born in 1937, remembered, “There were five or six shooters on the site. Besides them, there were also those who dug the pit. They were left on purpose to fill in the pit after the shooting. We were curious to see what was happening but also scared which is why we didn’t approach too close. The shooting started early in the morning, at dawn. There were about forty people. They all were lined up at the edge of the pit. When the shooters started to fire, ten of them attempted to escape but many were shot dead on the spot. However, there were two Jews, a father and a son, who came to our house in their underwear and we hid them. They stayed one week in our house and then they went somewhere else. I don’t know where. I also don’t know if they survived or not.” (Testimony N°1761, interviewed on July 25, 2013, in Kozlynychi)

Soviet archives

“In the summer of 1942, 20 policemen from Povorsk arrived at the village of Kozlynychi. At sunrise, a group of 50 to 60 adults, elderly people, and children was gathered in the city center. On a hill, I saw how inhabitants of the village dug a big, deep grave. Then, the Jews had to get undressed and the policemen began to kill them with revolvers. This shooting lasted for two or three hours." [Extract of interrogation of Makar S., taken to Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) RG 31.018, Delo n°21286]

Historical note

Kozlynychi is located about 150 km of Rivne in Kovel region. The Jewish community wasn’t big. According to the witness, there were about 30 Jewish families in the village. The majority of them were artisans. Some owned small stores. Between the two world wars, the village remained under Polish rule but was taken over by the Soviet Union in 1939 due the Ribbentrop-Molotov Pact. The Germans occupied the village at the end of June, 1941.

Holocaust by bullets in figures

After the occupation the Jews continued to live in their houses until they were murdered in the summer of 1942. According to the accounts of the local witness interviewed by Yahad, the Jews were not marked. There is no exact date of the shooting, but it happened in the summer of 1942 when all Jews were gathered at the central place under the pretext of being relocated and then they were marched 2km away in the direction of the forest where the pits had been dug in advance. There were men, women, and children among the victims. They carried their belongings with them.  Once on the site, the Jews were forced to undress and then they were shot by local policemen. According to the witness, the Germans were also present on the site. Some Jews managed to flee from the execution site before the shooting started. 

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