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For other uses, see Sarny (disambiguation).
Central part of Sarny
Central part of Sarny
Flag of Sarny
Coat of arms of Sarny
Coat of arms
Rivne Oblast
Sarny Raion
Population (2011)
 • Total 28,604

Sarny (Ukrainian: Сáрни, Russian: Сáрны, Polish: Sarny) translated as Does, is a small city in the Rivne Oblast (province) of western Ukraine. It is the administrative center of the Sarny Raion (district), and is a major railway node on the Sluch River.

The current estimated population is 28,604 (2011).


Sarny was a part of the Kingdom of Halych-Volhynia. It was later annexed by the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, followed by the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. From 1795 it was considered a part of the Russian Empire, as part of the Volhynian Governorate. Railway reached to Sarny in 1885. It became an important junction between railways of Rivne-Luninets and Kovel-Korosten, particularly after the construction of a railroad station in 1901, tied to the rail line linking Kiev to Kovel.[1]

Sarny became a focal point of the settlement of Russian Jews, commencing as of 1903, following the pogroms at Kishinev, when Sarny was under Russian rule. Russian Interior Minister Vyacheslav von Plehve published a list of villages in which Jews were given "permission" to live, one of which was Sarny.[1]

The city's economic zenith occurred after World War I, particularly during the period of Polish rule between 1920 and 1939, involving close economic and social relationships with the neighbouring city of Rovno.[2] In 1921, the city became part of the Second Polish Republic. In Poland it was the seat of a Sarny county (powiat), firstly in Polesie Voivodeship, then, since 1930 - in Wołyń Voivodeship.

In the 1930s Polish military authorities constructed a number of fortifications in the area of Sarny, known as Sarny Fortified Area (Sarnenski Rejon Umocniony), along the Sluch river.

After the Soviet invasion of Poland in September 1939 Sarny became a concentration point for units under command of gen. bryg. Wilhelm Orlik-Rückemann. Concentraction was taking place under cover of "Sarny" regiment commanded by ppłk. Nikodem Sulik. The regiment itself was stemming the attack of the Soviet 60th Rifle Division based on strong fortifications of Sarny Fortified Area. Crew of a single bunker, under command of ppor. Jan Bołbot, lasted out in its position up to 19 September, delaying advance of Soviet units.[3] Some of the bunkers making up this line still exist.

As a consequence of the repudiation by Germany of the Ribbentrop-Molotov Pact and the German attack on Russia on June 22, 1941, Sarny was shortly thereafter, on July 8, 1941, captured by Nazi Germany, following the retreat of Russian forces. In April of 1942, a ghetto was established in Sarny, into which were forced the Jews from Sarny and the surrounding towns.[4] In August of 1942, Sarny was the scene of what came to be known as the Sarny Massacre. Over two days, on August 27-28, 1942, between 14,000 and 18,000 people, mostly Jews from Sarny and surrounding towns, including an estimated 100 Roma, were systematically executed in the ravines on the outskirts of the town, where pits had been prepared.[4] The executions were carried out by German and Ukrainian police, assisted by some 200 members of Organization Todt.[5][6] A monument commemorating those killed in the Sarny Massacre has been erected in Sarny.[7] A memorial to those killed has also been erected in Holon Cemetery, Israel.[8] A memorial book of the history of the Jewish community in Sarny was published in 1961, containing first person accounts by community survivors.[9]

During the Volhynian Genocide, commencing in 1943, Sarny was a shelter for ethnic Polish population of Volhynian countryside, massacred by the Ukrainian Insurgent Army. In May 1943, German authorities created a Polish police unit, which defended the town from the Ukrainians. In 1944, most Poles were transported either to the General Government, or to the Third Reich as OST-Arbeiters.

Sarny was again reclaimed by Soviet forces in 11 January 1944. Since 1944, it has been a part of Ukrainian SSR and later independent Ukraine.

Polish economist Czeslaw Bobrowski was born in Sarny.


International relations[edit]

Twin towns — Sister cities[edit]

Sarny is twinned with:


  1. ^ a b Ben-Zion Dinor, The Origins and Configuration of Sarny. Contained in Y. Kariv, (ed.), Jacob Solomon Berger (trans.), Sefer yizkor le-kehiat Sarny (Memorial book of the Community of Sarny), Tel Aviv, 1961. Retrieved 2016-07-23.
  2. ^ Aryeh Avtikhi, That Was The Sarny of The Past. Contained in Y. Kariv, (ed.), Jacob Solomon Berger (trans.), Sefer yizkor le-kehiat Sarny (Memorial book of the Community of Sarny), Tel Aviv, 1961. Retrieved 2016-07-22.
  3. ^ Wieczorkiewicz, Paweł Piotr (2001). Kampania 1939 roku. Warsaw: Krajowa Agencja Wydawnicza. p. 98. ISBN 83-88072-53-6. 
  4. ^ a b Peter Longerich, Holocaust: The Nazi Persecution and Murder of the Jews. Oxford University Press 2010, p. 351.
  5. ^ Alex Levin, Under the Yellow & Red Stars. Azrieli Foundation, 2009, p. 20, fn. 10.
  6. ^ United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, Profile of Itzhak Gendelman. Retrieved 2016-07-21.
  7. ^ Alex Levin, Under The Yellow & Red Stars. Azrieli Foundation, 2009; "Maps & Photographs", p. 18.
  8. ^ Image of Sarny Memorial, Holon Cemetery. Retrieved 2016-07-21
  9. ^ Y. Kariv, (ed.), Jacob Solomon Berger (trans.), Sefer yizkor le-kehiat Sarny (Memorial book of the Community of Sarny), Tel Aviv, 1961. Retrieved 2016-07-21.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 51°20′14″N 26°36′21″E / 51.33722°N 26.60583°E / 51.33722; 26.60583