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1 Execution site(s)
Galyna L., born in 1932, describes the column of Jews: “The pit was dug in advance. The Jews dug it themselves. On the eve of the shooting, they were taken to dig the pit and the next day, they were shot. This day, the column passed by our house. When they saw my mother, they started to cry: “Oksana, save us.” But we couldn’t do anything because they were guarded by Germans who had dogs and local policemen. We just stayed there, watching and crying.
YIU: How many people were there in the column?
W: There were about 50-70, but I can’t tell you exactly because I didn’t count them.” (Witness n°1957, interviewed in Makoshyne, on November 11, 2015)
On November 21, 1941, 18 Jews were shot close to the railroad bridge in Makoshyne. On February 7, 1943, 35 Ukrainian civilians were shot close to the school building in Makoshyne. [Summary from the Acts of the Soviet extraordinary Commission, drawn up on July 17, 1944; RG.22.002M: Fond 7021, Opis 78, Delo 19]
Makoshyne is a village located on the banks of the Desna River, 90km east of Chernihiv. The Jewish community living in Makoshyne was much smaller than in the nearby town of Mena. There was a synagogue, but under Soviet rule, it was closed and transformed into a Klub where movies were shown. The majority of Jews lived off of trade and handcrafts. According to different sources, there were several dozen Jews living in Makoshyne at the eve of the war. The village was occupied by Germans on September 8, 1941. Those Jews who had financial possibilities managed to evacuate to the East by train or by boats, by that time.
Unfortunately, there is not too much information about the living conditions of Jews immediately after the Germans’ arrival. According to local witnesses, they were able to continue living in their houses and they were not forced to wear distinguishing signs. The execution took place on November 21, 1941. On this day, local policemen and Germans rounded up Jews from their homes and took them to another bank of the Desna River via a railroad bridge, where they were shot in a ravine. There is different information about the number of victims. While the Soviet Commission states 18 victims, local witnesses stated that there were over 50.
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