Nova Vyzhva | Volyn

/ Sergiy M., born in 1929: “The Jews had to lie down in the pit one close to another and they were shot in the nape of the neck. And once the first layer was filled in with corpses the next group layed over the blooded bodies”.©Victoria Bahr/Yahad - In Unum Yahad’s team during the interview with the witness of shooting of Jews in Nova Vyzhva.© Victoria Bahr/ Yahad - In Unum The execution site where 400 Jews (70 according to the memorial) were shot in Nova Vyzhva. © Victoria Bahr/Yahad - In Unum

Execution of Jews in Nova Vyzhva

1 Execution site(s)

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

Witness interview

Sergiy M., born in 1929, remembered: “Immediately after the German occupation, about 20 to 30 young Jews were rounded-up and taken away. Then, a ghetto was created and all the Jews from the neighboring villages were gathered there. Before it was created, the Jews continued to live in their houses and some of them even continued to work. I remember one Jewish tailor came to our house for several days. He worked from morning until evening and at night he came back home. In the ghetto, they were detained there until they had no more gold or valuables to pay the ransom. I don’t know if it was true or not, but people said that the Jews gave about 1kg of gold. It happened several times. Their clothing and belongings were also taken from them. The Germans looted everything they could.” (Testimony n°1760, interviewed in Bridky on July 24, 2013)

Soviet archives

“In the summer of 1942, I don’t remember the month, 12 to 15 Germans arrived to the village of Nova Vyzhva. They called the chief of the police, Mikhail B., and discussed with him for a long time. After that, he gathered all policemen and ordered them to surround the ghetto and escort the Jews along with the German soldiers and officers who were going to head the column. Grigori K., Pavel T., Yosif K., Yosif P., others and I escorted the Jews outside of Nova Vyzhva. About 3km away from the village, the Germans ordered all the Jews to sit down and we, the policemen, were ordered to guard them. At the same place all the Jews, including men, women, and children, were ordered to strip naked. Once all Jews, and they were about 400, were undressed, we, the policemen, escorted them 1km more towards the place where a big pit or a ravine measuring 20 to25m long and 4 to5m large was located. Next to the pit, first of all, the Germans selected the healthiest men, ordered them to get inside the pit and shot them dead. Then, they forced the women, the children and elderly to get inside the pit, lie down one over another and they shot them dead. While the Germans were shooting the first groups of Jews, we guarded the remaining Jews who stood close to the pit, until the last Jewish family was shot”. [Extract of the interrogation of the accused Grigori K., taken on March 29, 1948, Secrete Service (SBU archives): RG 31.018, n°20630, Delo n°1040]

Historical note

Nova Vyzhva is located about 200 km of Rivne. The Jews settled in the village in the 16th century and they had equal rights with the Christian population. In 1784, there were 30 Jews in the village and by 1853 there were about 70 Jewish households. The majority of Jews were merchants. They traded fabric, agricultural goods, and leather. Many Jews were artisans, such as tailors, carpenters, shoemakers, and tinsmiths. There were three mills owned by Jews. There was a synagogue. In 1920, a pogrom was conducted in the village and a few Jewish houses were destroyed. According to the census, there were 358 Jews in Nova Vyzhna in 1921. Between the two world wars, the town remained under Polish rule and but was taken over by the Soviets in 1939. On June 27, 1941, it was occupied by German units. 

Holocaust by bullets in figures

Immediately after the German’s occupation, about 20-30 young Jews were rounded-up and taken away under the pretext of the forced labor, but were likely taken to be shot instead. Jews were forced to wear yellow distinguishing patches on their chests and backs.  According to the local witness, their houses were marked as well.  Before the creation of the ghetto, the Jews continued to work, for instance artisans continued to take orders from the local population.  The ghetto was created in Spring of 1942 and existed until its liquidation in late August of the same year. The ghetto was fenced with barbed wire and likely guarded by local police.  

The biggest aktion was conducted on August 25, 1942, when about 400 Jews were taken to the pit, dug by the requisitioned local population in advance, and shot. The pit was located in the forest, outside the village, 6km away. Before being shot, the Jews were force to strip naked, the women had to undo their hair, were forced to go inside the pit and lie down facing the ground. They were shot in the nape of their neck with rifles.

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