Rivne


Between 1941 and 1944 Rivne was Commissariat capital of Ukraine. The leader of the commissariat was Erich Koch, one of Hitler’s old acquaintances with a long and solid history as a political administrative leader both before and during the war. As the supreme political leader of the Reich Commissariat, Koch was only subordinate to Hitler and thus had a large power base to dispose of that not even the army and SS could access. As the Reich Commissar of Ukraine, Koch had the responsibility to nazify the area so that it was administered in line with Hitler’s wishes. He thus also bore the ultimate responsibility for the crimes and deeds that the Germans committed in the Riksskissariat. In Rivne, Koch had his workplace set up in Rivne’s regional (historical) museum. In connection with the museum, he also built a protective bunker in the event of an airstrike.

The commissariat in Ukraine was one of two Reichskommissariat that was established, the other was called the Reichskommissariat Ostland. Two more Commissars, Moscow and the Caucasus, were planned, but these were never realised. The commissariats were placed under a civil administration and were the top civilian leadership in that area. The origin of the commissariat dates back to the summer of 1941 when Hitler wanted to put the newly occupied territories in the east under a civilian administration. Ukraine was not only made up of parts of Ukraine, but also covered areas in the current Belarus and Poland. In line with German military successes, the area grew and at its peak it covered just over 130,000 square kilometers and about 17 million inhabitants. The occupied territories not under civilian control were under military control.

Current status: Preserved with information tablet (2019).

Location: 50°36'54.05"N 26°14'47.73"E

Get there: Walk from central Rivne.

My comment:

The museum exists and just outside the museum there is also the preserved bunker, and, as a bit surprising, part of Rivne’s cultural heritage. There is a simple little information board on the bunker and it will, to my knowledge, also be possible to enter the bunker.

Follow up in books: Arad, Yitzhak: Holocaust in the Soviet union (2009).