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Mizocz Ghetto
Location Near Rivne, formerly in eastern Poland, now in western Ukraine.
Also known as Mizoch Ghetto

The Mizocz Ghetto was a part of the town of Mizoch (Polish language: Mizocz ), which was located in an area once part of eastern Poland but which is now part of western Ukraine. The nearest major city is Rivne.

Uprising and Killings

On or about October 12, 1942, the ghetto of about 1700 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.[1]


The shootings were photographed.[2] 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.[3]

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. Mizocz photographs have been used ostensibly as evidence of crimes against humanity committed at Treblinka extermination camp.


  1. Shmuel Spector, quoting the memoirs of Peretz Goldstein, The Jews of Volhynia and Their Reaction to Extermination .
  2. Photographs of the Mizocz shootings are in the USHMM collection (## 17876-17879)/
  3. 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

  • 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

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