Tkhoryn (Tkhorin) | Zhytomyr

/ Hanna K., born in 1932: “The place where the Jews were shot was further away,  It was a dry area with a small forest of pine trees. ” ©Les Kasyanov/Yahad - In Unum Ivan K., born in 1930: “We were about to be shot by the Germans, but a chief commandant arrived and stopped the execution. He told us to go to Ovruch. That is how we were saved.” ©Les Kasyanov/Yahad - In Unum Kateryna H., born in 1924: “Once we arrived, we saw a submachine gun positioned on the right side of the pit, ready to be used. Half of the Tkhoryn population had already been  gathered.” ©Les Kasyanov/Yahad - In Unum The Yahad team during an interview. ©Les Kasyanov/Yahad - In Unum The road by which the Ukrainians were taken to Ovruch. ©Les Kasyanov/Yahad - In Unum The road by which the Ukrainians were taken to Ovruch. ©Les Kasyanov/Yahad - In Unum The execution site, a former flax pit, where 48 innocent people, mainly Jews, were shot. It remains unknown where the Jews came from. They may be Jews from nearby villages who were hiding or Hungarian Jews brought here as forced labor. ©Les Kasyanov/Yahad

Execution of Jews in Tkhoryn

1 Execution site(s)

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

Witness interview

Kateryna H., born in 1924: “In 1942, the partisans attacked Germans in the town of Slovechne. Some time later a German unit arrived in Tkhoryn accompanied by local policemen. They rounded up all the villagers and took them to the cemetery, to the two big silo pits. When I was leaving the house, half of the village was burning. They set the village on fire. Once we arrived, we saw a submachine gun positioned on the right side of the pit, ready to be used. Half of the Tkhoryn population had been already gathered and waited next to the pit, while others were still arriving. At this moment a German commandant, in green uniform, arrived and ordered the release of all the villagers. He ordered us to go to Ovruch. We left in the direction of Ovruch, when we reached Slovechne we asked the guards where to go next and they told us that we could go anywhere we wanted. We came back and asked for shelter in a nearby village. We stayed there over the winter. In the spring we came back to Tkhoryn, rebuilt the house, and continued living there.” (Testimony n°2555U, interviewed in Tkhoryn, on March 22, 2019)

Soviet archives

"In 1941, when the Germano-fascist invaders occupied the Slovechno district, a punitive SS detachment arrived in Tkhoryn and settled in buildings of the kolkhoz. The SS rounded up 10 Jews from Slovechne who had found refuge in Tkhoryn. The SS punitive detachment immediately took them: first they mistreated them, then they took them to the woods to be shot. After spending two weeks in Tkhoryn, the SS unit left. In Slovechno, the [German] power was established. In 1942, a partisan detachment attacked Slovechno. After that, the SS arrived in Slovechno, and then in the hamlet of Zamostia near Tkhoryn, where they burned 35 houses. Six days after burning the hamlet, on December 15, 1941, at dawn, the SS surrounded Tkhoryn and began to burn the village and take its inhabitants in the direction of Ovruch. Some people fled. Those who did not manage to escape were shot. Thus, 19 people were shot; 10 people were burned alive. The inhabitants were forbidden to go to the village in ashes, but the people refused to obey. Therefore, in order to scare people, the burned village was bombed by an airplane and the roads leading to the village were mined. Five persons were killed during the bombing and by mines.” [Act n°14 drawn up by Soviet State Extraordinary Commission (ChGK) on April 27, 1945; GARF 7021-60-311, p.114-115]

Historical note

Tkhoryn is located 170 km (105mi) north of Zhytomyr and 50 km (31mi) northwest of Korosten. According to local villagers only few Jewish families lived in Tkhoryn, but they all moved to Slovechne, a town nearby where a big Jewish community resided. On the eve of the war, 897 Jews lived in Slovechne, making up 27% of the total population. No Jews lived in Tkhoryn. 

Holocaust by bullets in figures

Tkhoryn was occupied by the Wehrmacht on August 22, 1941. According to the Soviet archives and local witnesses interviewed by Yahad, a dozen Jews came to hide in Tkhoryn shortly after the Germans’ arrival. As a reprisal against the partisans, the village of Tkhoryn was burned to the ground in December 1941. Although it is mentioned in the archives that the villagers were shot, all the witnesses interviewed by Yahad confirmed that everyone was left alive, with the exception of a few victims burned alive inside their houses.  

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