Sushybaba (Sushibaba) | Volhyn

/ Typical horse cart which is still used in the rural areas as a mean of transport. © Ellénore Gobry – Yahad-In Unum Yahad’s research with the witness at the execution site © Ellénore Gobry/Yahad-In Unum Fivronia K., born in 1932: “They were ten shooters or maybe less. Honestly, I didn’t count them. The majority of them were Germans, but I guess the Ukrainian police was also present that day.©Ellénore Gobry/Yahad-In Unum Yahad’s team during the interview with the witness © Ellénore Gobry – Yahad-In Unum Rostyslav V., born in 1927: “The German who fired wore a t-shirt because it was hot outside. After the shooting, he went in near house and asked for the milk and drank it all.”  © Ellénore Gobry/Yahad-In Unum Ivan P., born in 1927: “780 Jews were killed in Ozeryany. It was one of the biggest towns back then, the Jews were engaged in trade, and they had their shops. They sold everything: candies, bread, beer, sausages, clothing”. © Ellénore Gobry/Yahad-In Unum Yahad’s team with the witness reconstructing the five steps of the crime carried out against the Jewish victims. © Ellénore Gobry/Yahad-In Unum The execution site of the Jews brought from the Ozeryny ghetto. They were shot close to the village of Sushybaby. © Ellénore Gobry/ Yahad-In Unum

Execution of Jews from Ozeryany and Kupychiv in Sushybaba

1 Execution site(s)

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

Witness interview

Fivronya K., born in 1932, explains: "The Germans chased us out of the house and forced us to watch the execution of Jews. All the villagers were present. We thought that we would be next." (Testimony N°1462, interviewed in Sushybaba, on May 1st, 2012).

Soviet archives

"The buried bodies of those shot from the villages of Kupychev, Ozeryany, and Pereseka were discovered in a sector east of the hamlet of Sushybaba, 5 km from Kupychev, toward Ozeryany, to the right of the Kupychev-Ozeryany main highway, in a ditch. Upon the opening of the pit, the Commission recorded that the corpse were covered with a 2.5m layer of soil. The corpses were piled up on 2.5-3m high. The corpses were not arranged inside the pit, the majority of the victims laid down with their heads to the north-east. They were stripped naked. There were women, men, and children, including the teenagers and children of all ages. The victims were the local population from [illegible], Kupychiv, Ozeriany.” [Act n°18 drawn up by State Soviet Extraordinary Commission, on October 11th, 1944; RG-22.002M/7021-55/1, p.431-432].

Historical note

Sushybaba is located 3.5 km of Ozeryany. Supposedly, there were no Jews in Suchybaba before the war. However, there were many Jews in the nearing village of Ozeryany and Kupychiv.  In 1897, the majority of the Ozeryany population was Jewish comprising 90% of the population. Between the two wars the village was under Polish rule. In 1921, 340 Jews lived in the village while 236 Jews lived in Kupychiv. The majority of them lived of small scaled trade and handcraft. In 1939, the villages were taken over by Soviet Union as a result of the Ribbentrop-Motov Pact.

Holocaust by bullets in figures

The Germans occupied the area on June 28th, 1941. The victims who were shot near the village of Sushybaba were the Jews native from Ozeryany , Kupychiv and other nearing villages, who were first confined in the ghetto located in Ozeryany. The ghetto was fenced in with barbed wire and guarded by local police. After having been detained in the ghetto for a several months, all the Jews were murdered in August 1942. This Aktion was conducted by an SD unit who arrived from Kovel specifically for this purpose, and was headed by a certain Mantel. The SD unit was assisted by German gendarmerie and local police who were in charge of the round-up. The pit was dug by requisitioned locals.  Before the shooting the Jews were forced to undress. In all, 762 Jews were shot at the bottom of the pit with a bullet in the nape of the neck. There were men, women, elder people and children amongst the victims.

 For more information about the ghetto in Ozeryany please refer to the corresponding profile

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