Starochudnivska Huta (Starochudnovskaya Guta) | Zhytomyr

/ Local ambiance in the village. People are still using the wells to get water. ©Les Kasyanov/Yahad – In Unum Anatolity G., in 1935, was an eyewitness who climbed over a tree and watched the execution together with other boys until they were chased away by a policeman.  ©Les Kasyanov/Yahad – In Unum Maria C., born in 1932, shows our team the site of execution of the Jew who had managed to escape the first mass shooting.    ©Les Kasyanov/Yahad – In Unum The Yahad team during an interview with a local witness. ©Les Kasyanov/Yahad – In Unum The Yahad team during an interview with a local witness. ©Les Kasyanov/Yahad – In Unum The location of a former Jewish house. Itsko lived at this location. ©Les Kasyanov/Yahad – In Unum Anatoliy G., born in 1935, points out the site where the 25 Jews of the village were executed.    ©Les Kasyanov/Yahad – In Unum The execution site of Grisha, the Jewish boy who fled the first mass shooting and stayed in hiding for a while.    ©Les Kasyanov/Yahad – In Unum The execution site of the 25 local Jews, which is now in the forest and remains unmarked.    ©Les Kasyanov/Yahad – In Unum An aerial photo of the execution sites. One is located close to the cemetery, another one a little bit further, where the clearing is. ©Les Kasyanov/Yahad – In Unum

Execution of Jews in Starochudnivska Huta

2 Execution site(s)

Kind of place before:
Next to the cemetery (1); Field (2)
Period of occupation:
Number of victims:

Witness interview

Maria C. born in 1932: “Y. U.: And when did the shooting take place, right after the Germans came?
Witness: Some Jews were not killed right away. First they were forced to work, even if they already knew what would happen next. There was a rumor that the Germans wanted to destroy the whole Jewish race. The Jews had nowhere to go, they were hunted down everywhere. My father and other local residents were forced to dig graves. Later he came back and told my mother and I that the Jews had all been killed there, except for one, who had fled into the forest. There was also an old Jew who lived further away. He hung himself because he did not want to be shot. He said he preferred to carry out his death himself.” (Witness n°2939U, interviewed on August 24, 2021)

Soviet archives

"In November 1941, German punitive units shot the inhabitants of Starochudnovskaya Guta, Dzerzhinsk district, Zhytomyr region. The shooting took place 20 meters from the local cemetery." [Act draw up by Soviet State Extraordinary Commission, GARF 7021-60-291, pp.39-40]

Historical note

Starochudnivska Huta is a village located 40 km (25mi) west of Zhytomyr, in western Ukraine. Before the war, Ukrainians, Jews and Poles lived in the village and had good relations.

Holocaust by bullets in figures

On June 22, 1941, the German army and their allies began their invasion of the USSR. The village was captured in early July 1941. German and Hungarian soldiers were stationed there. The military administration immediately established a starosta and three local policemen. During the occupation, the school continued to function and the children had to learn German. The Jews were able to continue living in their homes, but were subjected to various forms of hard labor. In November 1941, about 25 Jews from the village and its surroundings were taken to a field of the kolkhoz, near the Orthodox cemetery. On the site, requisitioned locals had to dig a pit. The Jews were forced to undress and were then executed in the same mass grave. Some Jews managed to escape the execution, including one boy who was later found and shot by a policeman near the cemetery fence.

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