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Obj. ID: 14020
Modern Jewish Art
  Holocaust Memorial in Sosonky Tract in Rivne (Rovno), Ukraine, 1990, 2023

© Center for Jewish Art, Photographer: Kravtsov, Sergey, 2011

Memorial Name

No official name

Who is Commemorated?

Jewish Holocaust Victims from Rivne, murdered here on November 6, 1941

Description

The memorial complex is located on the killing site in Sosonky Tract.

A plaque with information about the memorial complex in Ukrainian and English languages is located on the way to the monument.

A Menorah-shaped memorial sign stands near the entrance. Five figures of women and a Magen David appear on the Menorah.

To the left of the entrance, there is a mass grave, which is divided into two parts by an asphalt walkway. On both sides of the walkway, there are 12 double headstones of different shapes with carved images of eternal flame and carnations. There is a lying slab with a Russian inscription in the center of the mass grave to the left of the walkway. In 2023, the Russian inscription was covered by a plaque with Ukrainian and Hebrew inscriptions.

An upright stele in a form of a half-cylinder is located to the right of the walkway. A tunnel with steps leads to it. In the center of the steps, images of bare foots are carved. The upright stele sits atop a round base, it bares a Magen David at its top and a plaque with Yiddish, Hebrew, and Ukrainian inscriptions at its foot. Around the stele, there are 69 stone plaques on bases, 68 of them have names of the Victims in Yiddish. 

In 2023, the Ukrainian inscription on the stele was changed due to the decommunization process. A "Russian-style" word "Rovno Jews" was replaced by Ukrainian "Rivne Jews," as well as Soviet-style "German fascists torturers" were replaced by "Nazi torturers." For an unknown reason, the words "were shot" were removed from the inscription. 

Inscriptions

On the upright stele:

Yiddish:

דא איז דער בּרודער קבר פון
17500 ראוונער אידן פרויען קינדער
און זקנים אומשולדיג פארפייניגטע
דערשאסענע לעפעדיקערהייט
בּאגראבּענע דורך די היטלעריסטיש
פאשיסטישע מערדער דעם 6-טן
נאוועמבּער 1941 - דער ליכטיגער
אנדענק פון די קדושים וועט אייבּיג
בלייבן אין אנדזערע הערצער.

Translation: Here is the mass grave of 17,500 Rovno Jews, women, children and elder people, innocently tormented, killed and buried alive by Hitler's fascist murderers on November 6, 1941. Blessed memory of the martyrs will always remain in our hearts. 

Hebrew:

פה קבר אחים של 17.500 יהודי רובנה-
זקנים, נשים, וילדים שהושמדו ניספו ונקברו
חיים בּידי הרוצחים הפאשיסטים של
היטלר ט”ז חשון תש”ב 6 נובמבר 1941
זכרם של הקדושים לעולם לא
ימוש מקרבנו

Translation: Here is a mass grave of 17,500 Rovno Jews, elder people, women, and children who were destroyed, perished, and buried alive by Hitler's fascist murderers on Heshvan 16, 5702, November 6, 1941. The memory of the martyrs will not fade away from us.

Ukrainian (initial):

Тут братня могила 17500
ровенських євреїв – стариків,
жінок і дітей безвинно заму-
чених, розстріляних, живцем
закопаних німецько-фашист
ськими катами 6 листопада
1941 року вічна шана їх світ-
лій памʼяті.

Translation: Here is the mass grave of 17,500 Rovno Jews - elder people, women and children innocently tormented, shot, buried alive by the German-fascist torturers on November 6, 1941. Eternal honor to their blessed memory.

Ukrainian (since 2023):

Тут братня могила
17500 рівненських євреїв -
стариків, жінок і дітей
безвинно замучених, живцем
закопаних нацистськими катами
6 листопада 1941 року.
Вічна шана їх світлій памʼяті.

Translation: Here is the mass grave of 17,500 Rivne Jews - elder people, women and children innocently tormented, buried alive by the Nazi torturers on November 6. 1941. Eternal honor to their blessed memory.

On the lying slab to the left of the walkway in the center of the mass grave:

Russian (before 2023):

Здесь лежат
17500 детей, женщин, стариков,
зверски замученых фашистами
6-7 ноября 1941 года.
Светлая память им.

Священная месть Советского Солдата
настигла палачей

Translation: Here rest 17,500 children, women, elder people, brutally tormented by the fascists on November 6–7, 1941. Blessed memory to them. Holy revenge of the Soviet Soldier has overtaken the executioners.

Ukrainian (since 2023):

Тут спочивають
17500 євреїв
закатованих нацистами
6-7 листопада 1941 року.
Вічна їм памʼять!

Translation: Here rest 17,500 Jews tormented by Nazis on November 6–7, 1941. Eternal memory to them!

Hebrew (since 2023):

כאן קבורים 17,500 יהודים
שעונו על ידי הנאצים ב-6-7
בנובמבר 1941. זכרם נצח

Translation: Here are buried 17,500 Jews, who were tortured by the Nazis on November 6–7, 1941. Eternal memory

Commissioned by

Local authority, former Jewish residents of Rivne from the USA and Israel

Summary and Remarks

We are grateful to Petro Dolhanov, the Associate Professor of Pedagogy and Educational Innovations in the Rivne Regional Institute of Postgraduate Pedagogical Education, editor of "Overcoming the Past" in the International Intellectual Journal "Ukraina Moderna," for providing us with consultations and the passport of the monument.

193 image(s)

sub-set tree:

Name/Title
Holocaust Memorial in Sosonky Tract in Rivne (Rovno) | Unknown
Object Detail
Monument Setting
Public park
Killing site
Mass grave
{"9":"Any memorial erected or installed in a present-day public park, including Jewish cemeteries or other sites now operated as public space."}
Date
1990
Synagogue active dates
Reconstruction dates
2023
Artist/ Maker
Ostroverkha, Mykhailo (architect)
{"5167":"Ukrainian, The main artist of the City Architecture Department of Rivne"}
Historical Origin
Community type
Congregation
Unknown
Location
Site
Unknown
School/Style
Unknown|
Period Detail
Collection
Unknown |
Documentation / Research project
Unknown
Iconographical Subject
Material / Technique
Granite, concrete, reinforced concrete
Material Stucture
Material Decoration
Material Bonding
Material Inscription
Material Additions
Material Cloth
Material Lining
Tesserae Arrangement
Density
Colors
Construction material
Measurements
Plaques on bases:
- lenght of a plaque 0.7 m
– height of a plaque 0.5 m
– height of a white base 0.48 m
– length of a white base 0.81 m
– width of a white base at the bottom 0.68 m
– width of a white base at the top 0.2 m

The plaque with inscriptions on the upright stele:
– width 0.52 m
– height 0.93 m

The lying slab:
– left side 0.85 m
– front side 1.31 m
– right side 1.04 m
– the length of the plaque 0.7 m
– the height of the plaque 0.5 m
Height
Length
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Condition
Extant
Documented by CJA
Surveyed by CJA
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Architectural Significance type
Historical significance: Event/Period
Historical significance: Collective Memory/Folklore
Historical significance: Person
Architectural Significance: Style
Architectural Significance: Artistic Decoration
Urban significance
Significance Rating
0
Ornamentation
Custom
Contents
Codicology
Scribes
Script
Number of Lines
Ruling
Pricking
Quires
Catchwords
Hebrew Numeration
Blank Leaves
Direction/Location
Façade (main)
Endivances
Location of Torah Ark
Location of Apse
Location of Niche
Location of Reader's Desk
Location of Platform
Temp: Architecture Axis
Arrangement of Seats
Location of Women's Section
Direction Prayer
Direction Toward Jerusalem
Coin
Coin Series
Coin Ruler
Coin Year
Denomination
Signature
Colophon
Scribal Notes
Watermark
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Binding
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Suggested Reconsdivuction
History/Provenance

On November 6–7, 1941, approximately 17,500 Jews of Rivne were shot in the Sosonky Tract [Dolhanov].

According to Yad Vashem, Jewish Holocaust Survivors in Rivne erected a first monument on the killing site in 1944 right after the war. It had a shape of Tablets of the Law and bore Russian, Yiddish, and Hebrew inscriptions. There was an information about 23,500 Victims. In 1945, a Hebrew word "Zion" was written in the center of the monument, and a Magen David was added to its top. During the commemoration ceremony of that year, Jewish Holocaust Survivors recited the Kaddish and "El Male Rachamim" prayers.

In 1967, a memorial stele was erected at the entrance of the killing site [Hon]. Its further fate is unknown.

On November 17, 1970, the territory of the mass graves is taken under the state protection as a monument by the decision of the Executive Committee of the Regional Soviet of Workers' Deputies no. 102 [Wikipedia].

According to Wikipedia, landscaping of the killing site was carried out in 1983–1985. Memorial steles and a memorial slab were erected (possibly, the slab with Russian inscription, which lies to the left of the walkway and the steles on both sides of the walkway were meant). The author of the landscaping project was O.T. Liashuk , the author of the memorial inscription is Ya.M. Teplytskyi.

Creation of the memorial complex started on the initiative of the Jewish Community with the support of the city executive committee. The main artist of the City Architecture Department, M.V. Ostroverkha, designed the complex [Wikipedia].

The upright stele with a Magen David and Hebrew, Yiddish, and Ukrainian inscriptions was unveiled in November 1990. I. Fediv, the Deputy Head of the Executive Committee of the Rivne City Council of the Members of Parliament, S. Chornoloz, the Deputy Head of the Regional Executive Committee, V. Chervonii, the Member of Parliament of Ukraine took part in the ceremony. People of Rivne from Moscow, Kyiv, Leningrad, Kharkiv, and New York also visited the event [Feishter].

The memorial complex was unveiled in June 1991. The USSR People's Deputy V.A.Martyrosian, local authority representatives, Jewish community members, Holocaust Survivors, and local residents took part in the ceremony. O.P. Shteinhart recited two prayers. Poems were also read. Participants laid flowers on the monument and lit candles [Shepitko].

During the next several years after the unveiling ceremony, local authority representatives did not take part in memorial services near the monument [Hon].  

In 2008, scientists and communal services representatives carried out examination of the territory and defined the boundaries of the mass graves [Kudina].

The mass graves were vandalized and dug up several times – in 1995, 2008, 2012, and 2018. There were also a few attempts to build up the territory of the memorial complex [Mamotiuk]. 

Over the past few years, the main commemoration dates for this memorial complex are International Holocaust Remembrance Day (January 27) and the first Sunday in November, when local authority representatives, Jewish community members and local residents commemorate the day of mass murder on this site. They lay flowers and stones to the monument and lit candles [Dolhanov]. In 2021, national guardsmen commemorated the International Holocaust Remembrance Day at the monument [Novikova]. According to Yad Vashem, commemoration ceremonies also took place on Victory Day (May 9), but this tradition ceased to exist during the last years.

In September 2022, someone laid apples to the monument and to all the memorial plaques on the memorial complex. Local media supposed that it was dedicated to the Jewish holiday Rosh ha-Shana [Radio Trek].

Within the decommunization process, which started in 2015, after Russia invaded Ukraine, and increased after Russia's full-scale invasion in 2022, the Ukrainian inscription on the monument has been changed. During the commemoration ceremony in November 2023, a new plaque with a Ukrainian inscription was embedded on the monument [Lapikotska; Dolhanov]. According to the photos of 2023, the Russian Soviet-style inscription on the lying slab has been covered by a plaque with Ukrainian and Hebrew inscriptions.

Main Surveys & Excavations
Sources

"Bratska mohyla na mistsi masovoho rozstrilu hromadian yevreiskoi natsionalnosti,"
Wikipedia, https://uk.wikipedia.org/wiki/Братська_могила_на_місці_масового_розстрілу_громадян_єврейської_національності.

Dolhanov, Petro, "Vzhe tradytsiino v pershu nediliu zhovtnia Rivne vshanovuie pamiat zhertv Sosonok," November 5, 2023, https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=pfbid02eC3DmD1upTVfL8M43XY1qSau7UsZag2pvbxGMi4eCKovCD5GKXrzxWgvKvCz7uE8l&id=100001776696271 (accessed November 5, 2023)

Feishter, D., "Svichky skorboty – svichky nadii," Chervonyi prapor, 216, November 14, 1990, pp. 1, 4.

Hon, Maksym and Natalia Ivchyk, "Instrumentalizatsiia pamiati: Inshyi yak "vyklyk" (na prykladi m. Rivne)," Ukraina Moderna, October 23, 2021, https://uamoderna.com/pdl-min/instrumentalizacziya-pamyati-inshij-yak-viklik-na-prikladi-m-rivne/?fbclid=IwAR3AnUmPWiUUjvB3_ZYzLHc_Sk61QjkLtuSYKz2XrUgfqbIHDWGa3f0KBpY (accessed November 5, 2023)

"Khtos vyklav yablukamy mohyly zahyblykh yevreiv na memoriali "Sosonky" v m. Rivne (6 foto)," Radio Trek, September 29, 2022, https://radiotrek.rv.ua/news/_295777.html (accessed November 5, 2023)

Kudina, Olena, "Istoriia rivnenskoi trahedii – Sosonky," Rivnenska oblasna universalna naukova biblioteka, October 22, 2021, http://libr.rv.ua/ua/virt/220/ (accessed November 12, 2023)

Lapikotska, Kristina, "'Roboty vzhe nabahato menshe, nizh bulo:' u Rivnomu dekomunizuvaly shche shist obiektiv," Suspilne Novyny, October 9, 2023, https://suspilne.media/589911-roboti-vze-nabagato-mense-niz-bulo-u-rivnomu-dekomunizuvali-se-sist-obektiv/ (accessed November 6, 2023)

Mamotiuk, Viktoriia, "Na mistsi masovoho rozstrilu yevreiv u Rivnomu khochut vlashtuvaty budivnytstvo," Rivne Online, September 29, 2021, https://rivne.online/archives/48416 (accessed November 5, 2023)

Novikova, Alina, "Hvardiitsi u Rivnomu v urochyshchi Sosonky vshanuvaly pamiat zhertv Holokostu," 7 Dniv, January 27, 2021, https://7dniv.rv.ua/news/hvardiytsi-u-rivnomu-v-urochyshchi-sosonky-vshanuvaly-pam-iat-zhertv-holokostu/ (accessed November 5, 2023)

"Rowne," Untold Stories (Yad Vashem), https://collections.yadvashem.org/en/untold-stories/community/14622495 (accessed November 5, 2023)

Shepitko, Ye., "Sosonky 1941–1991," Chervonyi prapor, 121, June 26, 1991, p. 2.
Type
Documenter
Sergey Kravtsov, Oksana Chala | 2011, 2023–2024
Author of description
Marina Sedova | 2023–2024
Architectural Drawings
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Computer Reconstruction
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Section Head
|
Language Editor
|
Donor
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Negative/Photo. No.
The following information on this monument will be completed: