The mass grave in Shumsk

In August 1942, during World War II, more than 2,400 Jews living in Shumsk were marched to pits near the Vilya River and shot to death by a German Einsatzgruppe unit.

A memorial to the victims
marks the site.

The memorial was built in 1991 through cooperation between local authorities in Shumsk and a group of Israelis with roots in Shumsk.
Here is the memorial
before and after
a 2017 cleanup.

Click here for a photo of Shumsk Jews visiting
the mass grave site after the war, and more photos from
Howard Freedman's visit to the mass grave site in 1999,
in present-day Ukraine.

At the time, the memorial was badly overgrown,
and the Hebrew text on a stone marker was garbled and incorrect.

A plaque had been made to cover up the incorrect text,
and was leaning against the monument, but had not been
bolted on.

1999 photo by Howard Freedman

2003 photo by Shimshon Bahat

When Shimshon Bahat visited the mass grave site in 2003, the plaque with the correct text was gone and a (subsequent?) black granite "cover-up" was in shattered pieces.

Below and at the top of this page, photos from 2006 show the site cleaned up, with a new, corrected marker installed.

Unknown date
Correct Hebrew text
covering the incorrect inscription

The 2006 inscription reads:


In this place are buried 2,432 Jews of Shumsk who were murdered by the Nazis and their accomplices in the month of Elul 5702, August 1942. Their forefathers had settled in Shumsk at the beginning of the 19th century. This mass grave calls to the People of Israel to return to their homeland in Eretz Yisrael. May their souls be bound up in the bonds of eternal life.


The translation from Hebrew is by Rachel Karni, who noted that the wording is “almost the same as the original plaque -- we didn’t want to change the wording (although perhaps there are things that might have been changed) because the people who made the original plaque were survivors themselves and we felt it important to respect their wording.”

2003 photo by Shimshon Bahat
One side of the wall has an image in relief.

2006 photo
A workman is reflected
in the new memorial stone

Earlier pictures of the mass grave site
More Images of Shumsk
Back to the Shumsk Pages