Toykut ( former Nesukhoïzhe, Niesuchojeże, Neskhizh) | Volyn

/ The synagogue in Toykut ©Ellénore Gobry – Yahad-In Unum Anna I., born in 1932, saw the column of the Jews from her window. She saw how the Jews were shot on the hill. They were naked. The shooting lasted one hour © Ellénore Gobry –Yahad-In Unum Maria K., born in 1935, remembered a lot of details about the shooting of the Jews. She explains that the Jewish men had to dig their own graves for two or three days © Ellénore Gobry –Yahad-In Unum Oleksandr Y., born in 1932: “The Jews didn’t want to go down to the pit because there was water there. The pit was not very deep”. © Ellénore Gobry/Yahad-In Unum A well-known sewing machine Zinger. © Ellénore Gobry/Yahad-In Unum Yahad’s team during an interview at the execution site. © Ellénore Gobry/Yahad-In Unum The exectuion site of Jews from Toykut murdered in August 1942 by Germans and local police. © Ellénore Gobry/Yahad-In Unum The bullet shells found at the execution site. © Ellénore Gobry/Yahad-In Unum

Execution of Jews in Toykut

1 Execution site(s)

Kind of place before:
Near the Jewish cemetery
Period of occupation:
Number of victims:

Witness interview

Anna Y., born in 1932, remembered: “Y.U: Where the Jews were brought from?
Witness: They were brought from this direction. There was a Jewish town there. My house was located just by the road and we could see the Jews passing by through a window. I don’t know if they were policemen or Germans who brought them. After, when the column was quite far, my brother went outside because he wanted to follow the column to take a look at what would happen to them, and I followed him. We hid in the stable and we watched through a crack in the wall.
Y. U.: Did you see the Jews undress, get closer to the pit and lie down on the ground inside the pit?
Witness: I saw how they undressed and walked naked toward the pit. However, I didn’t see how they lay down at the bottom of the pit, because I was quite far away. Those who dug the pit told us after that the Jews had to lie down one close to another; there was no space between, them.
Y. U.: How long did the shooting last?
Witness: I do not know exactly, a little more than an hour. After, people took Jewish clothes but I didn’t take anything. I did not want to take the clothes of others. (Testimony N°1467, interviewed in Toykut, on May 2nd, 2012)

Historical note

Toykut, also know under Nesukhoïzhe or Neskhizh in Yiddish, is located about 100 km north of Lutsk. The first records of the Jewish community go back to the middle of the 16th century. In 1897 there were 814 Jews living in the town comprising less than a half of the total population. By 1921 the Jewish community grew up and represented almost the majority of the population (94%) The Hasidic religion was predominated in the town. Even today, there is a synagogue with the graves of two Hassidic rabbis who were buried there. Between the two world wars Toykut was under the Polish rule and in 1939, as a result of the Ribbentrop-Molotov Pact, was annexed by the Soviet union. The majority of Jews lived off small scaled trade or were artisans, for instance shoemakers, tailors, carpenters and bricklayers.  

Holocaust by bullets in figures

The Germans occupied the region on June 26th, 1941. Shortly after the German’s arrival, all the Jews were marked with distinguishing armbands bearing the Star of David.  The Jews were subjected to forced labor and to paying regular ransoms in money or valuables.  According to some sources, in early 1942, 25 young Jewish girls were rounded-up, supposedly beaten and some even raped, and afterwards they were shot. Unfortunately, Yahad couldn’t confirm this or get more information about this killing during its field research.  The major execution was conducted in August 1942. According to the witnesses, interviewed by Yahad, all the Jews were first confined into the barn where they stayed beetwen several weeks and one month. The pit was dug close to the Jewish cemetery by the Jews themselves. Once on the site, the Jews were forced to undress, get inside the pit which was partially filled in with water because of heavy rains on the eve. The Jews stayed facing the shooters in small groups of twenties.   The execution was conducted by SD unit who were assisted by the local police. There is a monument today, but it was erected at a wrong place, not exactly on the mass grave.

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