Mizocz Ghetto

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Mizocz Ghetto
Einsatzgruppe shooting.jpg
German police shooting women from the Mizocz Ghetto, 14 October 1942
Red pog.svg
Mizocz Ghetto location during the Holocaust in Poland (map of the Polish Republic from before the attack marked with Nazi German administrative districts)
Also known as Mizoch Ghetto
Location Near Rivne, formerly in eastern Poland, now in western Ukraine.
Date 14 October 1942
Incident type Imprisonment without due process, forced labor, mass shootings
Perpetrators Einsatzkommando
Organizations Einsatzgruppen, Ordnungspolizei, Ukrainian Auxiliary Police
Ghetto 1,700 population
Victims about 800-1,200 Jews
Notes Noted for the series of photographs taken of the mass shootings.

The Mizocz Ghetto was a Jewish World War II ghetto established as part of the town of Mizocz (now Mizoch, Ukraine), which was located in Wołyń Voivodeship before the Nazi-Soviet invasion of Poland in 1939, some 18 miles (29 km) east of Dubno (the seat of Dubno County),[1] in the area of eastern Poland which is now part of western Ukraine. The nearest major city is Rivne.

Uprising and mass killings[edit]

On or about October 12, 1942, the ghetto of about 1,700 people was surrounded by Ukrainian auxiliaries and German policemen in preparation for the liquidation of its Jewish occupants. The Jews fought back in a defense which may have lasted as long as two days. About half the residents were able to flee or hide during the confusion before the uprising was finally put down. On October 14, the captured survivors were taken to a ravine and shot. [2]


The shootings were photographed.[3] The photographs were published and have become well known. Frequently the photographs are said to depict other shootings. Historians have commented upon the brutality shown in the Mizocz shooting photographs:

In 1942 at Mizocz, in the region of Rovno in Ukraine, approximately 1,700 Jews were executed. The photographs show large numbers of people being herded into a ravine, women and children undressing, a line of naked women and children in a queue and finally their executed bodies. Two particular harrowing photographs show German police standing among heaps of naked corpses of women strewn on either side of the ravine.[4]

Further, two of the photographs show the "Aktion" in progress. The photographs give clear evidence of the execution practice, common in Ukraine, of bringing the victims to the killing site in small groups of around five or so individuals, and having them lie down among the prior victims, to be shot in the back of the neck or head with a single bullet.


  1. ^ Jewish Communities in Volhynia, JewishGen Database, New York.
  2. ^ Shmuel Spector, quoting the memoirs of Peretz Goldstein, The Jews of Volhynia and Their Reaction to Extermination.
  3. ^ Photographs of the Mizocz shootings are in the USHMM collection (## 17876-17879)/
  4. ^ Struck, Janina, Photographing the Holocaust, at pages 72-73.


  • Didi-Huberman, Georges, and Lillis, Shane B., Images in Spite of All: Four photographs from Auschwitz, Chicago : University of Chicago Press, 2008 ISBN 978-0-226-14816-8
  • Struk, Janina, Photographing the Holocaust: Interpretations of the evidence, London ; New York : I.B. Tauris, 2004 ISBN 1-86064-546-1
  • Shmuel Spector, The Jews of Volhynia and Their Reaction to Extermination, Published in Yad Vashem Studies 15 (1983)
  • Patrick Desbois, The Holocaust by Bullets, New York, Palgrave McMillan, 2008 ISBN 0-230-60617-2

Further reading[edit]

  • Huneke, Douglas K., The Moses of Rovno: the stirring story of Fritz Graebe, a German Christian who risked his life to lead hundreds of Jews to safety during the Holocaust, New York, Dodd, Mead, 1985 ISBN 0-396-08714-0