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Mena, Mena County, Chernigov District, Ukraine

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Jews apparently settled in Mena in the second half of the 18th century. In 1897 more than a quarter of Mena’s population was Jewish. During the Soviet period, in the 1920s, Jews from Mena founded the Krasnyi pakhar (Red plowman) kolkhoz. Most local Jews worked in crafts, commerce, or agriculture until private commerce was forbidden at the beginning of the 1930s. In 1939 Mena had 586 Jews, who comprised 8 percent of the total population.
Mena was occupied by German troops on September 8, 1941, by which time many Jewish families had fled. The remaining Jews had to register with the German authorities. The Jews were taken for forced labor, beaten, and tortured. About 80 Jewish men were incarcerated in the basement of the NKVD building and used for forced labour. Mena’s Jews were killed in small groups in several German murder operations. A number of Jewish residents from nearby villages were transported to Mena and also shot there.
Mena was liberated by the Red Army on September 18, 1943.