Oleksandriya | Rivne

/ Rural landscape of Oleksandriya. ©Aleksey Kasyanov/Yahad-In Unum Yahad team during the interview with Vasyl F. in Oleksandriya. ©Aleksey Kasyanov/Yahad-In Unum Vira G., born 1923: “On my way back from work I saw two carts passing by. The carts were transporting bodies of Jews. I remember there was a pretty woman with her long hair among the other bodies.” ©Aleksey Kasyanov/Yahad-In Unum Vasyl F., born in 1926: “The houses were destroyed by fire, but there were small huts behind which were integrated in the ghetto. It was fenced in with barbed wire.”. ©Aleksey Kasyanov/Yahad-In Unum Zoya Y., born in 1927, saw the column of Jews passing by in front of her house to the execution site: “The round up started from the early morning. The ghetto was surrounded by the police and all the Jews were forced out of their houses”.©Aleksey Kasyanov Olga R., born in 1932: “One day the Jews were gathered and taken to the ghetto: They could take only the most necessary belongings with them. The ghetto was overcrowded and several families had to share one room”. ©Aleksey Kasyanov/Yahad-In Unum The monument in the memory of over 1000 Jews from Oleksandriya. ©Aleksey Kasyanov/Yahad-In Unum

Execution of Jews in Oleksandriya

1 Execution site(s)

Kind of place before :
Forest
Memorials :
Yes
Period of occupation:
1941-1944
Number of victims :
Over 1,000

Witness interview

Zoya T., born in 1927, remembers: "When they arrived, the German soldiers burned the synagogue near the river and set fire to Jewish houses. They were terrible. The Jews tried to take the furniture from their houses so it wouldn’t burn." (Witness N°1392, interviewed in Oleksandriya, on April 2, 2012).

Soviet archives

“1,080 people of Jewish nationality, women and children among them, native from the chief district of Oleksandriya were shot in the forest, located 2km away from Oleksandriya, in a place called “Sviatskaya Dacha”. After the excavations of the pits the commission stated the following […]”. [Act drawn up by State Extraordinary Commission on December 6 ,1944; RG 22.022M:Fond 7021, Opis 71, Delo 41]

Historical note

Oleksandriya is located about 13 km northwest of Rivne.  In 1847, 728 Jews lived in the village and by 1897 the population increased up to 2,154 comprising almost half of the local population.  Due to relocation and immigration of Jews in the 1920s, the population dropped and in 1921 only 1,293 Jews remained in the village. The majority of Jews lived off small trade and handcraft. There were Jews who did farm work. According to the local witnesses, there were two synagogues and one Tarbut school. In 1939, the village was taken over by Soviets as a result of the Molotov-Ribbentrop agreement.  From September 1939, the Jewish school and other working institutions were closed. However, Jews could continue working in their shops. On the eve of the war there were about 1,100 Jews including the refugees from Poland. The village was occupied by Germans on June 29, 1941.

Holocaust by bullets in figures

The first killings started a couple of days after the occupation. Thus, as a result of a pogrom organized on July 1-4, 1941 by Germans with active participation of Ukrainian nationalists, the synagogue was burned down, the Jewish homes and shops were plundered, and a few Jews were killed.On July 1931, the first Aktion was conducted by Security police and SD squads arrived from Rivne. During this Aktion about 85 Jews were shot along with the communists. Within the first months of German occupation, all Jews were marked with armbands and yellow distinguishing badges. They were subjected to perform forced labor and were systematically robbed or beaten by the police. One year later, in late July-August, 1942, the Jewish population from was forced to move to one area in the village, close to the banks of the Horyn river, and a closed ghetto was officially created. It numbered about 1,080 inmates. The liquidation of the ghetto began September 21, 1942, and lasted a couple of days. The Jewish men were the first to be shot, then, the following days the remaining women, children and elderly people were rounded-up and taken to the nearby forest. As a result of this Aktion, 903 Jews were shot. About 100 Jews managed to escape, but later the majority was found and killed at the end of October. Only 15 Jews managed to survive the Holocaust. 

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