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Commemoration of Jewish Victims

Memorial sign at Gurka Polonka Memorial sign at Gurka Polonka Photomontage made by  Jews from Łuck who were living in Israel. On the left - a photo of the Great Synagogue of Łuck, on the right - inscription on the memorial sign at Gurka Polonka Photomontage made by Jews from Łuck who were living in Israel. On the left - a photo of the Great Synagogue of Łuck, on the right - inscription on the memorial sign at Gurka Polonka Yad Vashem Photo Collection 6560 Memorial gathering near the monument erected in 1986 Memorial gathering near the monument erected in 1986 Dedication ceremony on June 10, 1990 Dedication ceremony on June 10, 1990 Courtesy of Sergei Shvardovskyi (Ukraine) Current view of the monument at Gurka Polonka
Photo by Noa Sigal, 2013 Current view of the monument at Gurka Polonka
Photo by Noa Sigal, 2013
International School for Holocaust Studies at Yad Vashem Memorial plaque on the building of the former Bołeslaw Chrobry labor camp
Photo by Noa Sigal, 2013 Memorial plaque on the building of the former Bołeslaw Chrobry labor camp
Photo by Noa Sigal, 2013
International School for Holocaust Studies at Yad Vashem

In 1944, shortly after the liberation of Łuck, a memorial sign topped by the Star of David was set up by the remaining Jews of the city and its surroundings at Gurka Polonka. Its Hebrew inscription said:
"[To the memory of] the eight thousand Jewish residents of the city of Łuck who were murdered by the Hitlerite murderers. Every Jew cherishes in his heart their memory forever and ever. May their souls be bound up in the bond of life [the dates of the mass shootings at the site]: August 20 - September 3 [;] September 14. [;] December 12, 1942.
The Russian inscription (following the Hebrew one) stated:
"Here found their final rest the remains of eight thousand Jews of Łuck who were brutally murdered by Hitler's bandits-executioners. May their remains rest in peace." [the dates of the mass shootings at the site]: August 20- September 3 [;] September 14 [;] December 12, 1942
In 1986 a concrete monument was erected at the site, apparently at the initiative of local Jews. During its dedication a commemoration ceremony was held at the site.
In 1990, a short time before the break-up of the Soviet Union, a memorial to the local victims of the Holocaust was erected at Gurka Polonka. On June 10, 1990 the new monument was dedicated. The construction of the monument was funded by local individuals, Łuck County authorities, and Jews originally from Łuck living in the United States and Israel. In 2007 fragments of tombstones from the demolished old Jewish cemetery (found in the city sewage system) were placed along the steps leading to the monument. The monument consists of three marble slabs and it is situated on an artificial hill in the center of the memorial and surrounded by an iron fence and trees. The front slab of the monument has an image of barbed wire on the left, symbolizing the inmates of the Łuck ghetto who were murdered at the site, and the image of a burning candle symbolizing remembrance - on the right. The Ukrainian inscription says: "To the victims of the Fascist genocide [Holocaust] from the residents of Łuck." The slab placed below it has inscriptions in Ukrainian and Yiddish. The Ukrainian one says:
"At this site in August 1942 the German-Fascist occupiers shot to death 25,862 Jewish civilians – residents of Łuck and its surroundings. We bow our heads in sorrow before the remains of these innocent people. Eternal memory to you!"
The following Yiddish inscription, below a Star of David, says:
"Here in August 1942 the Fascist occupiers murdered 25,658 Jews - Soviet residents of Łuck and its surroundings."
The Hebrew inscription says:
"Here 25,658 Jews from Łuck and its environments were killed by the German murderers and buried in August 1942. May God avenge their blood!"
Since then, annually in August, a memorial service led by Sergei Shvardovskyi, head of the progressive Jewish community of Łuck, is held at the site, with the participation of county authorities, school children, local Jews, and Jews from Israel and the United States.
In December 2012 the Jewish community of Łuck placed a black marble memorial plaque on the building of the former Bolesław Chrobry labor camp, marking the 70th anniversary of the camp's liquidation. The Ukrainian inscription, which appears within the outline of a memorial candle, reads as follows:
"At this site on December 12, 1942 about 500 Jewish artisans of the city of Łuck who resisted the occupiers in the ghetto [i.e. labor camp] were murdered by the Germans. Eternal memory to the murdered ones."