Stumbling Stones (Stolperstein)

The stumbling stone is an object of cubic shape with the size 96Х96Х100 mm. It is installed in the sidewalk in front of the house where the victim of Nazism lived or worked. It is forbidden to place stones on the scene of the murder, because they are intended to commemorate person's life, not murder
It is the first memorialization initiative of NGO "Mnemonics" in Rivne. The official installment of these memorial signs took place on July 26, 2018

The author of the concept

Gunter Demnig
a German artist
The artist suggested the idea of such a memorial sign in 1993. The following year, he presented it at the exhibition in Cologne. In total, more than 50,000 stones have been installed in more than 1,200 cities and towns in Europe
How and why are stumbling stones installed?
Criteria for the installation of these memorial signs
This project seeks to honor the memory of all victims of Nazism – Jews, Sinti, Roma, mentally disabled, persecuted for political or religious views, forced workers – all who were persecuted or killed by National Socialists from 1933 to 1945.
Stumbling stones are installed according to "one victim – one stone" principle.
The typical inscription on the stumbling stone is "Here lived" (usually set near the victim's place of residence). Another possible inscription is "Here worked".
If it is difficult to determine the victim's place of residence or it is impossible to set a stumbling stone for him or her for any other reason, it may be laid near the victim's place of work. In this case, the inscription may be "Here taught", "Here created", "Here worked", etc.

Information about the victim inscribed on the stumbling stone

1. First and last name.
2. Year of birth.
3. Arrest date (if known).
4. Information about internment to the camp.
5. Year of deportation to the concentration camp (this does not apply to the majority of victims of Nazism in Ukraine, who were not usually sent to death camps but shot near their towns of residence).
6. Murder date. If the victim committed suicide in order to avoid a brutal murder, the stone shall be marked "Salvation in death".

Whom are the stumbling stones in Rivne dedicated to?

Volodymyr Mysechko

Volodymyr Mysechko was born in 1903 in the village of Vovkoshiv, Rivne region. In the summer of 1927, he graduated from the Volyn Theological Seminary in Kremenets. The same year, in the Pochaiv Lavra, he was ordained to be a priest by Archbishop Dionysius (Valedynskyi).

In 1931, Rev. V. Mysechko was transferred to the village of Vuikovychi (now Zaluzhne), in Horokhiv district. Then, he was the rector of the Holy Ascension church in horokhiv. He held worship in the Ukrainian language, opposed polonization, supported Ukrainian national culture and Ukrainian enlightenment.

After Nazi occupation of Rivne, he worked for some time in the Holy Resurrection Cathedral.
He refused to cooperate with the occupying authorities, in particular, to persuade people to voluntarily go to work to the Third Reich. He argued that the priest had no right to be a politician.

In October 1943, together with representatives of the Ukrainian intellectuals and clergy, Archpriest V. Mysechko was arrested. He was tortured in Rivne prison. On October 15, 1943, together with 33 other prisoners, he was shot in Vydumka quarry.

The place of the stumbling stone – 29 Soborna Street, (at the entrance to the Holy Resurrection Cathedral).

Yakiv Sukhenko

He was an engineer sent to Rivne from the USSR in 1939. He rescued Jews during World War II (namely, Rivne residents Varvara and Mira Barats) in Rivne. Yakiv Sukhenko and his friend Ivan Shevchenko also helped other (unknown) victims of Nazism to leave for Kiev. There they were all exposed and shot.

The information about this extraordinary person came to us thanks to the memoirs of the rescued by him Varvara Barats (memoirs "Escape from Destiny"). Until recently, these memoirs were perhaps the only source of information about Yakiv Sukhenko. Recently, the State Archives of Rivne Region managed to find his registration data during the occupation period. In particular, the date of birth of the Righteous among the Nations (1910) and his place of residence in Rivne – 19a Studenna Street (former Gaidar Street, now Ihor Voloshyn Lane).

He was shot by the Nazis in Kyiv in 1943 for helping the Holocaust victims. In 1983, Yakiv Sukhenko was recognized as Righteous among the Nations.

In 2017, NGO "Mnemonics" created a short documentary animation about Yakiv Sukhenko "The Man with the Face".

The place of the stumbling stone – near the house at 19a Ihor Voloshyn Lane.

Zuzanna Ginczanka

Zuzanna Ginczanka was born in Kyiv in 1917. She finished Rivne Gymnasium. From 1935, she studied at the Faculty of Humanities at Warsaw University.

Zuzanna wrote her first poems in Rivne Gymnasium at the age of 10, and published them in a school newspaper. From that time, she dreamed of becoming a poet.

The dream began to come true in 1935, when she entered the University of Warsaw to study teaching at the humanities department. In the capital city, Ginczanka became acquainted with the leading writers of the time – Witold Gombrowicz, Julian Tuwim, and became close with the literary group Skamander.

In 1936, she published her debut poetry collection "O centaurach (About Centaurs)", which established her name among the cultural elite of Warsaw. The poet successfully collaborated with literature journals. She published not only poems but also satire. She often prepared radio programs.

In the pre-war years, she visited Rivne, where not only her family, but also in the Volyn literary society welcomed her. Several photos were taken in the town of Rivne in her childhood. They are now stored in the archive of the Literary Museum in Warsaw.

Together with V. Ivaniuk, Ch. Yancharsky and others, Zuzanna Ginczanka was a member of the Volyn literary society. She also belonged to the youngest members of Skamander literary group.

She published her works in "Literary Heralds", "Signals" and "Shpilky". She published one collection of poems "About Centaurs" (1936), a poetically mature ode to the biological and sensual side of life.

Her later works are dominated by reflections, anxious outlook, and social criticism. Ginczanka was the author of sharp political satire, often of anti-Nazi character ("Hunting", "Press", "Laundering").

Zuzanna Hincanka was tortured by the Nazis in Krakow in 1944. In one of her last poems (1942) "Non omnis moriar", she described a prophetically shocking image of her own destiny.

In 2018, Zuzanna Ginczanka's poetry collection was published in Ukrainian.

The place of the stumbling stone – Theater Square (near the entrance to Rivne Drama Theater).

The Krulyk family

Yakiv Krulyk (Jacob Krulyk). Teacher of Tarbut School in Rivne. Date of birth – 1899 (Lviv).

Rachel Krulyk. Date of birth – 1937 (Rivne). Yakiv Krulyk's daughter.

The victims of the Holocaust in Rivne, died in 1942.

In order not to be brutally murdered by the Nazi occupation authorities, they were saved in death. The inscription on the memorial sign, "Salvation in death," is universal on the stumbling stones for all those Holocaust victims who found suicide the only way out of a hopeless situation.

More information about the Krulyk family can be found in the memoirs of the Holocaust survivor, Chaya Musman (My Executed Town).

The place of the stumbling stone – near 96 Soborna Street (between Petliura and Poshtova Streets).

Installation of stumbling stones in Rivne

On July 26, 2018 at 5:00 pm In Rivne, with the participation of representatives of the City Council and the Department of Culture, an official ceremony of installation memorial signs to the 5 victims of Nazism took place. Famous German artist, designer of memorial signs, Günter Demnig, arrived in Rivne to lay stumbling stones.

The official ceremony was held at the entrance to the Rivne Regional Academic Music and Drama Theater (Theater Square, 1), beginning at 17:00.

Choosing the victims, to whom these memorial signs had to be dedicated, the experts of NGO "Mnemonics" were guided by the principle of inclusivity. In an effort to commemorate not only the Holocaust victims, but also Ukrainians and Poles who were victims of the Nazi occupation regime in Rivne, members of the NGO set up stumbling stones to the following people:

Yakiv Sukhenko (Ukrainian, Righteous among the Nations, who rescued Rivne Jews during the Holocaust);

Volodymyr Mysechko (Ukrainian priest who became the victim of Nazism by refusing to cooperate with the occupation regime);

Zuzanna Ginczanka (Polish poet of Jewish origin);

Jacob and Rachel Krulyk (Jewish family, Holocaust victims in Rivne).

The first two victims symbolize the Ukrainian part of the town population and commemorate the noble behavior of Ukrainians in extreme conditions. Although she was Jewish by ethnic origin, Zuzanna Ginczanka chose for herself the identity of a Polish poet, which is why she symbolizes the Polish part of the town. Finally, the Krulyk family embodies the Holocaust victims themselves.

Videos about memorial signs installation

Сюжет на «Суспільному
Сюжет ТРК «Ритм»
The stumbling stones to Rev. Volodymyr Mysechko, the Righteous among the Nations Yakiv Sukhenko, and the Jewish family of Jacob and Rachel Krulyk were installed by the costs of NGO "Mnemonics".
The stumbling stone dedicated to the poet Zuzanna Ginczanka was made via a charitable donation of a German literary researcher, expert in Slavic studies and historian Jutta Lindekugel.
We are grateful for the institutional support of the event to the Mayor of Rivne Volodymyr Khomko, Secretary of the Rivne City Council Serhii Pladiichuk, Head of the Culture Department of the Executive Committee of the Rivne City Council Taras Maksymenko, and Archbishop of Rivne and Ostroh Ilarion.
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