3 Execution site(s)
Mykola D., born in 1928, remembered: "Commandant Richter just sat at the edge of the pit. He could very clearly see the Jews lined up in the pit and he could fire at them without difficulty because he was not far. My father was nearby. He had to wait until the end of the shooting to fill the pit. He heard the Jews ask how they had to lie down and the policemen answered "Face downward". (Testimony N°1387, interviewed in Tuchyn, on March 31, 2012)
“The commission established that that during the first days of July 1941, 25 people were tortured and shot. Among the victims there were 5 Ukrainians accused of being Soviet activists and 20 Jews. All the victims were sot and buried in the vegetable garden behind the tannery. Over 72 residents of Jewish nationality were tortured and beaten with sticks covered with nails. They were buried at the Jewish cemetery.
In the fall 1942, the German perpetrators created a ghetto in the town of Tuchin where the entire Jewish population of the district was gathered. It numbered about 3,800 inmates who died as results of the abuses or were shot. They were buried on the left side of the Tuchin-Rechitsa ravine”. [Act drawn up by State Extraordinary Commission on November 29, 1944; RG 22.002M. Fond 7021, Opis 71, Delo 68]
"I remember that the captain was slow and sadistic. He gave me the pistol. I fired very quickly because I wanted to finish with this dirty work. I was afraid of reprisals." [Interrogatory of a shooter; B162-2917]
Tuchyn is located 26 km northwest of Rivne on the banks of the Horyn River. The first records about the Jewish community go back to the 18th century. In 1847, the Jewish population numbered 1,180 and within the next fifty years it increased up to 2,535 and dominated over the other nationalities. Almost 70% of population was Jewish. In 1921, the Jewish population decreased to 2,159 but still was the dominating group. The majority of Jews lived off small trade and handcraft. There was a cemetery and five synagogues. There was a Jewish school. Under Polish rule, Zionists parties operated in the town. 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. Tuchyn was occupied by the German army on July 6, 1941. By that time, there were about 3,000 Jews including the Jewish refugees who arrived from Poland.
Shortly after the Germans’ arrival, with the assistance of Ukranians, there was a pogrom in which they looted Jewish houses and murdered about 70 people. The following day, the Security Police, assisted by the SD, murdered 25 people, including 20 Jews and 5 Ukrainians. From the summer of 1941, all Jews were marked and subject to perform different kinds of forced labor. All of their valuables were confiscated. The skilled workers were forced to work at the newly established clothing factory. At the end of the summer 1942 the ghetto was established in Tuchyn. All the Jews from Tuchyn and nearby villages, like Gorynhrad I, were confined to the ghetto. The underground group was preparing for an act of resistance in the ghetto; as the result, many of Jews managed to escape. The Jews organized a resistance and on September 23, 1942, German and Ukrainian police moved in to liquidate the ghetto, the small underground group began shooting and setting houses on fire. In the confusion that ensued, about 2,000 Jews, including men, women, and children, were able to flee to the forest. However, almost the half of the escapees was caught or returned voluntarily. Thus, 753 Jews were murdered at the Jewish cemetery in the fall of 1942. Another 300 Jews were shot in the central town park. Only 20 Jews from the district survived the Holocaust.
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