3 Execution site(s)
Hrygorii L., born in 1926, says: “In 1941, the Germans chased out all Jews from their houses and confined them in a closed ghetto. Some Jews would secretly go out of the ghetto to nearby villages to get some food. Once, the Gebietskommissar ran into on a Jew who was trying to escape. The German whipped the Jew and his horse trampled him. The man fell, but he was not dead. Then he went back to the ghetto.” (Testimony n°1656, interviewed in Sosnove, on May 1st, 2013)
“1,297 persons, 570 men and 727 women, were executed in Ludwipol” [File 57 of State Extraordinary Commission; RG 22.002M ; 7021-71]
Sosnove is located 75km north-east of Rivne. Before 1939, the town was called Ludwipol and was a part of the Kostopol County under the Polish administration. The first records about the Jewish community go back to 17th century. In 1894, there were 246 Jews but its population grew very quickly, and in 1897, the Jews represented 85 % of total population, numbering 1,210 Jews. The majority of Jews lived off of small-scale trade. They were business owners. Some were involved in the lumber business. There was also a paper factory where a number of Jews worked. At the beginning of the 19th century there were five synagogues. Due to pogroms and a typhus epidemic in 1918, the Jewish population decreased and in 1921 there were only 916 Jews left. At that time many Jews lived off handcrafts. There was even a local branch of the Association of Jewish craftsmen. There was a Tarbut school opened during the 1930s. In the early 1920s, several Zionist organizations operated in the town. However, they were forbidden under the Soviet rule. Prior to war, in 1939, 93% of population was Jewish. Many Jewish refugees arrived from Poland in 1939-1940. Sosnove was occupied on June 29, 1941.
Shortly after the occupation all Jews were marked with yellow Stars of David. They were subjected to systematic robberies and assaults. A Jewish council and a Jewish police were created. The ghetto, consisting of about 1,500 local Jews and other Jews brought from nearby villages, was created in October 1941. It was located in the Jewish quarter situated in the center of the town. According to the accounts by local witnesses interviewed by Yahad, it was fenced in and guarded by the police. They Jews fit to work were forced to perform manual labor, such as road construction in the nearby village of Ivanivka. The ghetto was liquidated almost one year later, on September 26th, 1942. One local witness happened to see the column of about 1,000 Jews being brought from the ghetto to the forest of Adamovka for execution. The execution was carried out by: the Security Police (who arrived from Rivne specifically for this purpose), German gendarmerie and were assisted by the local police. According to the witnesses, throughout the town there were other isolated killings of the Jews who stayed in hiding. For example, the local rabbi’s family was executed near the village clinic, and a group of 6 Jews were murdered in the vegetable garden. The two shootings were executed at different time. Many Jews managed to survive the war by hiding in the forests or joining the partisans.
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