Luhyny (Lugyny, Luginy, Luhin) | Zhytomyr

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Execution of Jews in Luhyny

3 Execution site(s)

Kind of place before :
Shell hole close to the destroyed Catholic church/Swamp/Behind the railroad
Memorials :
No
Period of occupation:
1941-1943
Number of victims :
735

Witness interview

Anastasia T., born in 1930, remembers: « YIU: When did the mass execution take place ? Was it during the day or at night?
W: First, they forced them to dig the pit. Then, to get undressed and line up at the edge of the pit. They shot them one by one. There were women, children, elderly people. There were no young men. After the shooting, someone covered the pit with soil. There were several execution sites here, one of them was close to the forest administration. Personally, I didn’t see the shooting, but local people from the village told me about it. By the way, right after the shooting, the Germans took local children with some adults to take pictures of us close to that place. » (Witness n°238, interviewed in Luhyny, on October 12, 2005)

Historical note

Luhyny is located about 100km north of Zhytomyr. Before the war the Jewish community was large and made up about 20% of the local population. The Jews lived in the center, where they had shops. The majority of them lived off of small business. However there were many artisans among them, including cobblers, tailors, dry cleaners, etc. The town was occupied by Germans in the middle of July 1941. By that time, many Jews had evacuated to the East and young men were enrolled in the Soviet army. 

Holocaust by bullets in figures

Little is known from the archives about the executions in Luhyny. Thanks to the accounts of local witnesses, Yahad was able to determine some details. There were two large executions in Luhyny, at two different locations. There was no ghetto in the village; however all the Jews were gathered in the barn before being killed. From the barn, they marched to the different execution sites. They were shot, one by one, with rifles. The execution was carried out by German mobile units, accompanied by local policemen.  Apparently, according to the local witnesses, a group of Jews from Luhyny were taken to be shot in the neighboring village of Luhynky. It is very difficult to determine the exact number of the victims because different sources provide different figures. The lists of 735 Jewish victims were identified by the Soviet Extraordinary Commission immediately after the liberation. 

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