Uprising in Tuczyn Ghetto


On the evening of Tuesday, September 23, 1942, a blockade was mounted against the ghetto of Tuczyn, a town in the Oblast (district) of Rovno. The leaders of the uprising declared a full alert; the fighting groups took up positions. On the dawn of September 24, German forces and Ukrainian auxiliaries advanced toward the ghetto fences. When the resistance forces gave the signal, the buildings of the ghetto and the German warehouses at its edge were set ablaze. The fighting groups opened fire, broke through the ghetto fence, and urged the population to escape. Under cover of smoke and gunfire, some 2,000 people-about two-thirds of the ghetto population, including women, children, and the elderly-fled into the forest. The flames continued to burn for the rest of that day and part of the next; the gunfire continued as well. Several Germans and Ukrainian auxiliary police were killed. One-third of the ghetto population fell, including almost all the fighters. The uprising ended on Saturday, September 26. The escapees fared very badly. Half of them were captured and murdered within three days. About 300 women, clutching infants, unable to withstand the conditions of the forest, returned to Tuczyn and were shot. Many of the remainder died; others were turned in or murdered by peasants in the vicinity. Some young people joined the partisans and were killed in combat. Of the 3,000 Jews of Tuczyn, only 20 were still alive on January 16, 1944, when the town was liberated.