German soldier regulating the traffic near a grocery store (гастроном) in occupied Zhytomyr
Zhytomyr (Russian: Zhytomir, Dutch: Zjytomyr, German: Schytomyr) is a city in the Ukraine (I still like to use 'the' in front of 'Ukraine'). Population: 277,900 (in 2005). From 1991, the city has been part of the independent Ukraine. In the past it has been controlled by Russians, Mongols, Lithuanians, Poles and Germans.
From July 1941 until December 1943 Zhytomyr was occupied by Nazi Germany. Due to the fertile grounds and the local minority of about 10.000 Volhynian Germans the sparsely populated Zhytomyr district ('bezirk') was envisioned by Nazi leaders as a future Aryan stronghold consisting of German agricultural colonies, SS-estates, and defense fortifications. The region was the location of Heinrich Himmler's Ukrainian headquarters, and it became a laboratory for Himmler's resettlement activists (source: Wendy Lower).
In 1939 there were about 266,000 Jews residing in the region. There were many Jewish shtetl communities in the area, and the nearby town of Berdychiv, a center of Hasidism, was known as little Jerusalem. By 1997, about 5,500 Jews lived in Zhytomyr (source).
Many websites claim that this photo shows a scene in Kharkov. After a long search using google translator (which could use an update) I can now state that this photo has been taken at the corner of Berdichev Street and Michael Street in Zhytomyr. Here is a picture of the present situation:
Zhytomyr: the same corner, present situation (photo: Sergey Reent)
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