Hranivka (Granivka) | Rivne

/ Rural landscape of Hranivka. ©Aleksey Kasyanov/Yahad-In Unum Nothing is left of what used to be the Jewish cemetery ©Aleksey Kasyanov/Yahad-In Unum The place where the ghetto was situated in Verba village. ©Aleksey Kosyanov-Yahad-In Unum Yahad team during the interview with Andrey G. ©Aleksey Kasyanov/Yahad-In Unum Yakiv I., born in 1927, saw the shooting of Jews in Hranivka. After the shooting he looked into the pit and saw the little children crying in the bottom. ©Aleksey Kasyanov/Yahad-In Unum Andrey G., born in 1936, told Yahad about the table with alcohol that the Germans drank during the shooting. ©Aleksey Kosyanov-Yahad-In Unum Nadia S., born in 1931: “One young Jewish woman hid near the barn. However, the local policeman saw her and brought her to the pit to be shot”. ©Aleksey Kasyanov/Yahad-In Unum Vasil S., born in 1924, saw the Jews marching in the column to the direction of Hranivka. It was a column of about 70 meters long. ©Aleksey Kosyanov-Yahad-In Unum Georgy K., born in 1935: “The ghetto was situated in the center of the village where the Jewish shops were located. The locals had to surround the ghetto with barbed wire”. ©Aleksey Kosyanov-Yahad-In Unum Lubov N., born in 1931, saw five corpses of Jews from Verba who tried to escape. The rabbi was one of them. ©Aleksey Kasyanov/Yahad-In Unum At the execution site, the witness helps usreconstruct the crimes scene he witnessed ©Aleksey Kasyanov/Yahad-In Unum The diagram of the execution made with the help of the eyewitness  ©Aleksey Kasyanov/Yahad-In Unum The monument at the execution site of over 1,000 Jews from Kozyn and Verba in Hranivka. ©Aleksey Kasyanov/Yahad-In Unum

Execution of Jews from Kozyn and Verba in Hranivka

1 Execution site(s)

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

Witness interview

Andriy G., born in 1936, remembered: "The Jews were brought to the sand quarry where the pits were dug in advance. Someone brought a table and a machine gun was installed on it. The Jews had to undress and then in groups of eight or ten they walked on the plank put across and the pit and the German fired at them. Actually there were four Germans at the table with the machine gun, but I can’t tell you if all of them fired or not. I know that there were three pits, one for men, one for women, and the third one for children."(Testimony N°1412, interviewed in Hranivka, on April 6th , 2012)

Soviet archives

“According to the gathered materiel, the Commission can make a conclusion that in the summer of 1942, 350 people of the Jewish population, men, women, and children among them, were arrested in Verba and taken to Hranivka (7 km) in the district of Dyven where they were shot and buried in the pit. The children were thrown into the pit alive”. [Act n°43, drawn up by the State Extraordinary Commission on December 1 of 1944; RG 22.002M. Fond 7021, Opis 71, Delo 43]

Historical note

Hranivka is located about 73 km south-East from Rivne and about 5 km from Kozyn. According to the witness there were no Jews in Hranivka, however many Jews lived in the nearby towns of Kozyn and Verba.  Thus, in 1897, 972 Jews lived in Kozyn. Due to relocation and immigration as a result of several pogroms, in 1921 there were only 550 Jews. Verba is located about 65 km southwest of Rivne. The Jewish community in the village dates back to the 18th century when 142 Jews lived there. In 1897, 452 Jews lived in Verba in 1897 and  228 Jews remained in 1921, comprising almost 60% of the local population.  The majority of Jews lived off small scale trade and handcraft. There was a synagogue, built in 1865, and a Jewish cemetery in Kozyn. On the eve of the war, the Jewish population increased because of the arrival of Jewish refugees from Poland. Thus, in 1941 there were around 650 Jews in Kozyn, and about 270 in Verba. The district was occupied by Germans in late June 1941. 

Holocaust by bullets in figures

Within the first months of German occupation all Jews were marked with armbands and yellow distinguishing badges.  The first Aktion was conducted immediately after the occupation against 20 Jews accused of being communists, who were burned alive in a synagogue. The remaining Jews were subjected to perform forced labor. Like in many villages of the region, a Judenrat was created. Almost one year after, in late May 1942 the Jewish population was forced to move to one area in the village, and the ghettos were officially established in Verba and Kozyn. However, the ghettos didn’t exist for long time.  On May 30, 1942, the Jews from the Verba and Kozyn ghetto were taken to Hranivka, where they were shot. The Aktion was conducted by the SD unit from Rivne assisted by the Police battalion. About 370 Jews from Kozyn and 285 Jews from Verba were executed on this day. The remaining 700 Jews from the Kozyn ghetto and those who managed to hide during the first Aktion were shot on October 6, 1942, in Hranivka as well.The 80 remaining Jews from the Verba ghetto, mostly specialists and their families, were murdered earlier in August 1942. Before being killed the Jews were forced to undress completely. Only a few dozen Jews managed to survive the Holocaust.

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