Before the war Rovno/Rivne was the largest city in what was then the Polish province of Volhynia. When the Germans occupied Rivne in late June 1941, about 25,000 Jews lived in the city. Sporadic murders and pogroms followed the occupation and a Jewish ghetto was established. Only those Jews with shifts were allowed to move between the ghetto and the rest of the city, for the rest for the forbidden. In order to free up space in the ghetto and to dispose of Jews who were not able to work or superfluous, the germans decided that the majority of the jews in the ghetto would be murdered. On November 6, 1941, the Germans ordered all the Jews in Rivne who did not have so-called work shifts (proof that they were working) to appear in a square in central Rivne.

The pretext was that they would be taken away to be put to work elsewhere. From the square, the Jews were taken to a wooded area east of Rivne called Sosenki. Upon arrival, the Jews were forced to hand over their luggage, their possessions and were also forced to undress. Then they were shot by assassination commands from the SS and Ukrainian collaborators and buried in mass graves. During the two days of the action, about 17,500 Jews from Rivne were murdered at Sosenki. About 5,000 Jews who had shifts were brought together in a ghetto that existed until July 1942 when the remaining Jews were shot outside Kostopils about four miles north of Rivne.

Current status: Monument (2019).

Location: 50°36'57.11"N 26°18'49.88"E

Get there: Car.

My comment:

Sosenki is located just on the outskirts of Rivne along the main road between Rivne – Zhytomyr. The place is atmospheric and has the character of a memorial and consists of several monuments that are bound together by smaller roads. Even if some maintenance and maintenance takes place, it is obvious that some monuments need to be renovated. But at the same time, there is something atmospheric and beautiful about places like Sosenki that balances between conservation and decay without, for that matter, crossing the line of what is considered unworthy.

Follow up in books: Burds, Jeffrey: Holocaust in Rovno (2013).