Meleni | Zhytomyr

Execution of Jews in Meleni

2 Execution site(s)

Kind of place before :
Field (1); Close to the Jewish house(2)
Memorials :
Yes
Period of occupation:
1941-1943
Number of victims :
Between 115 and 150

Witness interview

Mykhailo V., born in 1928, recalls: “Many Jews went into hiding after the initial shooting. There were four Jewish komsomols who hid in the barn, but they had been denounced by someone. Five or eight days after the shooting, the Germans came and arrested them. But they didn’t kill them right away. First, they tied their hands up behind the back with barbed-wire and forced them to graze as if they were cattle. They were forced to graze for four days. While they were grazing, the Germans guarded them and if they stopped – the guards would beat them.
After that, the four Jews were taken to the administration building where other Jews had already been rounded up. Once they had gathered all Jews, they took them in the direction of Korosten. In all, they were about 50.” (Testimony n°1624, interviewed in Meleni, on April 21st, 2013)

Soviet archives

“On August 22nd, 1941, in the village of Meleni, 74 civilian Soviet citizens including 28 children, 19 elderly, and 23 women were arrested. The same day, they were taken to the land belonging to Petrovskyi kolkhoz, shot barbarously, thrown into the grave and buried.” [Act drawn up on May 29th, 1945, by the State Extraordinary Commission; RG 22.002M:7021-60-313]

German archives

“On August 22nd, 1941, in the village of Meleni, 28 children, 19 elderly persons and 23 women were imprisoned and shot on the territory of kolkhoz “Petrovskyi”. [Report; B162-7321]

Historical note

Meleni is located 75km north of Zhytomyr. Before the war there were two kolkhozes in Meleni: “Kirov” and “Petrovskyi”. There was also a furniture factory that employed many Jews. Other Jews lived of small trade or were artisans. The Jewish and Ukrainian children studied together at one school. There wasn’t a synagogue. The village was occupied by the German army in early August 1941.

Holocaust by bullets in figures

Three weeks after the occupation the anti-Jewish measures were implemented. A part of the Jews, who continued to live in their houses until now, was arrested and taken to the Petrovskiy kolkhoz territory where they were executed. During this execution, carried out on August 22nd, 1941, 74 Jews were killed, including children, women, and elderly people.  The next Aktion was conducted on September 17th, 1941, during which time 39 Jews from Meleni and 4 Jews from Shershni were shot on a road in the Korosten area by the Germans assisted by the local police. Based on the accounts of local witnesses interviewed by Yahad, we found that several isolated shootings took place at different time. Before being killed, the Jews were subjected to different types of humiliation, like eating grass, or pulling cannons. Throughout the occupation, between 115 and 150 Jews from Meleni were killed, including 74 Jews killed in Meleni. 

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