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The Artifacts Collection

Artifacts in the Holocaust History Museum

Scarf that Belonged to Ethel Stolyar, who was Murdered in a Killing Pit in Zhitomir

  • Ethel Stolyer’s scarf, which was with her when she was murdered in a killing pit near Vcherayshe, Ukraine on the 1st of May 1942
  • Ethel Stolyer from the village of Vcherayshe, Ukraine in the Zhitomir region. Ethel was murdered in a killing pit outside the village in May 1942
  • Yekaterina Lysiuk, “Righteous Among the Nations”, sheltered Mariya and Sonia Stolyer in her home after they escaped from the mass murder of the Jews of their village

In April 1942, a year after the Nazi occupation of the the region of Zhitomir, a group of ten young Jewish men were taken by the Nazis to the forest adjacent to the town of Vcherayshe. There they ordered the group to dig a large pit. At the end of the day, they murdered the ten Jews at the edge of the pit. Two days later, on May 1st, the Germans brought the Jews of the town to the pit where they murdered all of them – 1000 men, women and children.

Ethel Stolyar, a resident of Vcherayshe, was taken to the pit and murdered with her husband and three of her children. Her scarf was taken by a Ukrainian policeman present at the murder site. Later on, the scarf was recognized by a Ukrainian family friend who asked for it back.

Out of the entire Stolyar family, only Mariya and her sister Sonya, Ethel’s daughters, managed to escape the town. The two found refuge with Yekaterina Lysiuk, a woman from the adjoining village of Mala Chernyavka. When Mariya and her sister returned home at the end of the war, they were presented with their mother’s scarf. In 2004 Mariya’s son, Lev Azbolinksy, donated the scarf to Yad Vashem. Yekaterina Lysiuk was honored by Yad Vashem as  “Righteous Among the Nations” in 1994.

Yad Vashem Artifacts Collection, Gift of Lev Azbolinsky, Lod, Israel

Additional artifacts in the Holocaust History Museum