Smidyn | Volyn

/ Adam G., born in 1927, was requisitioned to cover the pit after the shooting of Jews in Smidyn. © Victoria Bahr - Yahad-In Unum Yahad team during the interview with the witness. © Victoria Bahr/ Yahad-In Unum Execution site n°1. At this place, about 15 Jews were shot. © Victoria Bahr - Yahad-In Unum Execution site n°2. At this place, about 16 Jews were shot. © Victoria Bahr - Yahad-In Unum

Execution of Jews in Smidyn

1 Execution site(s)

Kind of place before:
Period of occupation:
Number of victims:

Witness interview

Adam G., born in 1927, remembered: "We dug a grave. The Jews were put at the edge of the grave and were shot. I don’t really know who dug the grave. There were two graves: 15 people in the first one and 16 in the second one. Policemen came from another place to kill the Jews.” (Testimony N°1762, interviewed in Smidyn, on July 25, 2013)

Historical note

Smidyn is located about 95km northwest of Lutsk. Little is known about the Jewish community in Smidyn. Supposedly, the first records go back to the 17th century. There is no concrete information about the number of Jewish living in the village, but according to the local witness, the Jews represented about 20 to 30 percent of the total population. The Jewish and non-Jewish children went to the same Polish school. Between the two world wars, the village remained under Polish rule. Only in 1939 was the village taken over by the Soviets. There was neither a synagogue nor a Jewish cemetery.  The majority of Jews were artisan and only a few owned shops. The Germans occupied the village around June 24 or 25, 1941.

Holocaust by bullets in figures

Nothing was known about the executions in Smidyn. However, through Yahad’s fieldwork, it was possible to obtain witness accounts to better understand the events that occurred.  The research supported that Jews were allowed to continue living in their homes even upon the German occupation. However, one day, the Jews were collected along with the Jews of nearby villages. They were taken to the forest and were shot.  It is difficult to establish the exact date of the execution, but according to the witness, who was requisitioned to it fill the pit, the shooting occurred in the summer of 1942 We conclude that the execution was likely conducted in August of 1942, since that is when many other executions in the area were conducted There were men, women, and children among the victims. There were two pits: one with 15 corpses and the other with 16. The pits were filled by requisitioned locals. There is no memorial at these two sites.

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