Holovne | Volyn

/ Oleksiy M., born in 1924: “The Jews were shot in groups. First, they were forced to undress and then got inside the pit. They threw the clothes on a pile at the edge of the pit. Then, a German gave an order to shoot and the shooters fired.”© Yahad-In Unum Vasyl Z., born in 1927: “There was an ancient cemetery there, and we had to dig the pit close to the cemetery. We finished digging and the polizeis told to us to go home. I do not know who covered the pit”. © Yahad-In Unum Anna Z., born in 1927, remembers a column of about 15 Jews marching to the shooting place. © Yahad-In Unum

Execution of Jews in Holovne

2 Execution site(s)

Kind of place before:
Orthodox cemetery
Period of occupation:
Number of victims:
About 70-80

Witness interview

Anna Z., born in 1927, remembers: “I saw the Jews who were marching in the column. There were men, women and children. The column passed near me and went in the direction of the pit which had been dug in advance. There were some 15 Jews in this column surrounded by the policemen. The Jews walked calmly without carrying anything. I think they just did not have time to take anything with them. They were taken in the direction of the Orthodox cemetery where the pit had been already dug. The pit was located about 100 meters away, maybe more”. (Testimony n°1446, interviewed in Holovne, on April 25th, 2012)

German archives

"In the summer of 1942, an aktion occured in the community of Holovne where 70-80 Jews were liquidated. U., the chief of the Gendarmerie, gathered the Jews in the square with the help of his gendarmes and the Ukrainian police. There, they shot, males and females of all ages together." [Deposition of Mosche L., survivor of the ghetto of Lubomyl, made in Tel-Aviv; B162-2059].

Historical note

Holovne is located 140 km northwest of Lutsk. According to the local witnesses, there were about ten Jewish families. The majority of Jews were merchants. Some of them were artisans. According to a local witness there was a synagogue and a rabbi. There was no Jewish school and all children, Jewish and non-Jewish, went to the same school. Between the two wars Holovne remained under Polish rule. In1939, it was annexed by the Soviet Union.

Holocaust by bullets in figures

In late June 1941 it was occupied by the Germans. All Jews continued to live normally in their homes until the summer of 1942. There was no ghetto, however the Jews were forbid to leave the village. In the summer of 1942, the Jews were rounded-up from their homes and marched towards the orthodox cemetery where a pit had been dug in advance by the requisitioned locals. The Jews were shot in groups at the bottom of the pit which was 3m long, 2m large and 1.5m deep. They Jews had to disrobe completely.  There were five shooters and one chief who gave ordered to fire. The execution was conducted by Germans, but according to an eyewitness, they were actually local police who fired at the victims.

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