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Yad Vashem This Month in Holocaust History
August
August 1941, The bodies of two Jewish judges, Wolf Kieper and Moshe Kagen, hanging on the gallows in Zhitomir, Ukraine




7 August 1941

The bodies of two Jewish judges, Wolf Kieper and Moshe Kagen, hanging on the gallows in Zhitomir, Ukraine

On the eve of WWII Zhitomir’s Jewish population was 29,503. Conquered during the Nazi invasion of the USSR on July 9, 1941, the Jews of the city were subsequently crammed into a ghetto and forced to wear a Jewish star. In July and August, about 4,000 Jews were transported to the Dovzhik area where they were murdered. In the beginning of August, two Jewish judges, Wolf Kieper and Moshe Kagen, were arrested on charges that they were responsible for the murder of hundreds of Germans. On August 7, 1941, 402 Jews were gathered and brought to the town square, where they were forced to watch the public hanging of the two Jewish judges. A large crowd of locals had gathered to watch the event, and participated in the public abuse, beating and murder of the 402 Jews gathered in the town square.

Yad Vashem Photo Archives A25O1/43