Memorial to the Victims of Fascism
Rivne is famous for being the city with tough and tragic fate, which haunted it over the whole history of its existence. However, the darkest pages in city’s history were entered by the 20th century: during the World War II, Rivne’s territory was occupied by the German-fascist invaders and concentration camps, where people were massively annihilated, were created there. After the war, the Memorial to the Victims of Fascism was opened on the territory of the largest of them, in order to commemorate that terrible time.
For almost four years – from August 1941 until February 1944 – Rivne was the capital of the Reichskommissariat Ukraine (the administrative and territorial unit of the Third Reich). During this period three concentration camps functioned within the precincts of the city. Tens of thousands prisoners of war were brought here from different towns and subsequently massively shot or killed in gas chambers. In total, over hundred thousand prisoners of war and civilians were annihilated during the occupation.
In 1968, as soon as the echo of the war died down, the Memorial to the Victims of Fascism was installed on the place of the largest concentration camp, where the most people were killed. It consists of two meeting on the top concrete steles and four statues of emaciated prisoners at their foot. Prisoners’ figures are deliberately broken and body proportions are deliberately distorted; their faces are twisted with fear, but their eyes call down the last terrible curse upon executioners. Probably made with excessive naturalism, the monument is very impressive and renders all the horrors of the fascist death camps.