Povchyne (Korets) | Rivne

At this place about 120 Jews of Korets were shot in 1941 by the Germans. ©Victoria Bahr/Yahad-In Unum Until 1939, this river was used to identify the border between Poland and the Soviet Union ©Victoria Bahr/Yahad-In Unum

Execution of the Korets Jews in Povchyne

1 Execution site(s)

Kind of place before :
Forest
Memorials :
Yes
Period of occupation:
1941-1944
Number of victims :
About 120

Soviet archives

“During the occupation, the German Kommendant ordered all Jewish houses to be marked with a Jewish sign. The Jews were also forced to wear yellow distinguishing badges on their chests and backs. All residents were registered according to their nationality. The Jews were no longer allowed to walk on the sidewalks. If a Jew was noticed walking on a sidewalk, he was forced to drink water from the puddles. If a Jew was noticed without a distinctive signs he was shot dead on the spot.” [Deposition of a Jewish survivor, Khaya B., born in 1924 to the State Extraordinary Commission; RG.22.002. 7021-71-54]

Historical note

Povchyne is located 120 km north-west of Zhytomyr. The village was a part of Poland until 1939. We don’t know if there were any Jews living in Kalynivka before the war, however we do know that the majority of them lived in the town of Korets, located 8km away.  According to the census in 1921, 4,120 Jews lived in Korets. By 1937, the Jewish population increased to up to 4,895 Jews and represented 75% of total population. Most of the Jews were traders, business owners or artisans.  There were at least 84 (Jewish) shops in the town. Under Soviet rule, the artisans were united in cooperatives or artisanal associations. Many Jews owned local industries. There were 3 mead breweries, 2 steam mills, 2 cloth factories, 2 beer depots, a tannery, and 3 timber yards.  In 1910, there were 15 synagogues. In the 1920s and 1930s, branches of various Jewish parties and organizations operated in Korets. Povchyne was occupied by the German forces in the beginning of July 1941.

Holocaust by bullets in figures

Throughout the course of Yahad’s field work, our team, with the help of local villagers, has identified an execution site located in the forest north-east of the village. Today there is a monument. According to the historical sources in the early July, 1941, about 120 Jews were shot here. It was first of four aktions conducted by the Security Police and German gendarmerie against the Korets Jews. After this aktion, all remaining Jews were marked with distinguishing signs and forced to perform different kind of manual labor, such as digging trenches. The second aktion was conducted a couple of weeks later, in late July-early August, 1941, against 350 Jewish women, children and elderly from Korets and surrounding villages. There were taken to the forest, located 10 km away and close to the village of Kalynivka, to be shot.  By the fall of 1941, an open ghetto was created, but in May 1942, it was transformed into a closed one, just after the third aktion conducted on May 21st, 1942. During this Aktion, some 2,500 Jews were killed in the forest close to the village of Kozak. The fourth aktion was conducted at the same place four months later. On September 25th, 1942, 2,000 remaining inmates of the ghetto were shot.

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