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Ananyev

Ananyev
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אַנאַניעוו‎ (Yiddish), Ана́ньїв (Ukrainian), Ананьев (Russian)

Ananyev is a city and the administrative center of Ananyiv district in the Odessa region. It stands on the Tyligul River. Population: 8,495 (2015 est.)

Ananyev became part of the Russian Empire in 1792, registered as a district town (uyezd) of Kherson gubernia in 1834-1920, then assigned to the Odessa gubernia in 1920. In 1924-1940, Ananyev was part of the Moldavian Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic within the Soviet Republic of Ukraine.

David Vladimirovich Neifleisch (born in 1948), a deputy of the local town council and one of the last remaining Jewish residents of Ananyev shared his memories of the post-war Ananyev in the summer of 2018.

David Neifleisch giving an interview near Holocaust memorial, 2018

David Neifleisch giving an interview near Holocaust memorial, 2018

His father’s first family, a wife and two children (a boy and a girl) perished in Ananyev during the Nazi occupation. Neifleish could remember the photo of his father’s killed son which remained on the wall of their house for the rest of his father’s life.

Some documents relating to the Jewish history of Ananyev are being kept in Tiraspol, the capital of as yet internationally unrecognized Transnistrian Republic. These documents are therefore very difficult to access as travel permits remain problematic.

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Beginning

Ananyev was founded in 1753. In 1792 it became part of the Russian Empire. Jews began to settle there in the beginning of the XIX century. A Talmud Torah operated from 1880.

Map of Ananyev, 1889

Map of Ananyev, 1889

Most Jews in Ananyev were engaged in tailoring and trade. In the 1810s, there was just one synagogue in Ananyev, with four more and two Jewish cemeteries by the turn of the XX century.

PreRevolution photo of Ananyev from collection of local museum:

In 1837, the Khevra Kadish was established, in 1899, the Society for the Assistance to the Poor, in 1893, a State Jewish college and a private Jewish Women’s college, in 1903, a Society for the Assistance for the Students, in 1912, a Jewish Savings and Credit Society.

Jewish population of Ananyev:
1856 — 532 Jews
1864 – 992 Jews
1897 — 3257 (20%)
1920 – 4135
1926 — 3516 (19,3%)
1939 — 1779 Jews
2018 – 3 Jews

In the 1860s, Solomon Nukhimovich Chernetsky was appointed a rabbi in Ananyev.
Solomon Markovich Zgut and Felix Fantukh were the district rabbis.
Since 1908, Abram-Volf Berenshteyn (1872 – ?) served as a rabbi in Ananyev.

On April 27, 1881, a pogrom broke out in the shtetl. As a result, 175 houses were destroyed.

Mikhail Krasniansky recalls:
My grandfather was one of the most distinguished citizens of Ananyev, he was a 2nd guild trader and owned several shops and warehouses, a photo studio, and a haulage firm. He chaired the board of trustees of the local Jewish school. He was killed together with his wife Sofia, my grandmother. They were killed by a Petliura’s gang in 1919 during terrible Jewish pogroms.

PreRevolution Ananyev postcards from collection of local museum:

Jewish self-defence unit was created in 1920. There were 300 soldiers but 220 of them were killed in the battle with Tutunnik’s gang.

In 1919, a Jewish agricultural association (artel) was formed in Ananyev. Later, it was transformed into a collective farm. In 1921, a local unit of Yevsektsiya (the Jewish section of the Soviet Communist Party) was organized.

Former PreRevolution Jewish school

Former PreRevolution Jewish school

By 1930, several synagogues were still open in Ananyev. In 1934, the Jewish school was closed.

PreRevolution building in Ananyev, 2018:

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Holocaust

In 1941, the head of the town council was Jewish.  His surname is unknown.
According to a former military commissar, 30% of those called up to fight in the Red Army in 1941 from this area, were Jewish.

Evacuation during the war was complicated as the town is located far away from the railway. Some Jews who had managed to escape came back. Ananyev was occupied between August 7th 1941 and April 1st 1944.

On August 23rd 1941, the Germans ordered all local Jews to be registered and deported all Jewish refugees.
On August 28th 1941, the local police gathered all Jews on the pretext of a general meeting. Three hundred Jews who turned up were shot by the Sondercommander 10 B. According to the Extraordinary State Commission data, which may be exaggerated, 1,600 people were killed.

The Romanians who occupied the area after the Germans had left on September 3 1941, formed a Jewish ghetto in Ananyev. More than 300 people lived there. Some Jewish children were baptized by a local priest Goncharov. In early October 1941, Romanians deported about 200 Jews from Ananyev to Dubossary where they were murdered. The remaining Jews, over a hundred people, were murdered in Gvozdavka village on November 11, 1941. Five people managed to escape.

The Jewish ghetto of Ananyev was located in Kriva street (now Shevchenko street) and lasted for two and a half months. It was surrounded by barbed wire and was guarded. The local Jews lived in terrible conditions. The locals used to throw food to the prisoners over the fence. The guards shot those who tried to hide.
Seven people were shot in the yard of what is now the building of the town council. They were I.Kh. Krasniansky (a labourer), B.Y. Bekker ( an accountant), Y.Bekker (a doctor), Bedniat (a labourer), Shoykhter (a teacher), Lekhtman (an accountant), Lekhtman (the director of a local creamery).
Many older residents of Ananyev still remember the ghetto inhabitants, a huge crowd of women, the elderly, and children, being driven up Sovetskaya street (now Nezavisimosti street) to the village of Zherebkovo.

Members of the local Jewish community near Holocaust memorial near Novogeorgiyevka village, 1990’s:

Also, a lot of people were forced to live in the basements of the houses in K. Liebknecht street. It was often called Jewish Street. The inhabitants of Ananyev I.Robul and G.Golovko said they often heard shouts and cries, moans and requests for water and bread from those basements.
The Gitman family with their daughters Mania, Zhenia, and Fira were all shot. Mania remained alive after the shooting; she got out of the pile of dead bodies and crawled to the village at night. The people from Novogeorgiyevka (Maynovo) rescued the girl. Despite this, after the war she died of tuberculosis.
The residents of Novogeorgiyevka also saved Mania Kleyman and Lyalya Ladyzhenskaya. The latter lost her children.
Buzia Neifleisch and her three children, Iba Neifleisch, Basia Litvak with her two children, Seibl Bidniak with two children, the Erlichmans with two children and many other Jews with their children were shot….
Many war prisoners and civilians from other towns and villages found their final resting place in those deadly anti-tank ditches.
Many war prisoners were reportedly brought from Balta, Gvozdavka.

Holocaust memorial near Novogeorgiyevka village, 2018

Holocaust memorial near Novogeorgiyevka village, 2018

The local police took an active part in killing of the Jews. Many collaborators lived in Ananyev after the war, Sergey Kinash was one of them. Most of them avoided trial and were never even investigated.

The first memorial was erected in the 1980s. The descendants of the Ananyev Jews from all over the world raised funds for a new memorial in the 2000s. Semyen Neifleisch (1930-2013) took an active role in fundraising and designing the memorial.
In 2013, a memorial was erected to mark the mass grave in Novogeorgiyevka (Maynove) where 360 Jews were murdered. According to other sources, 80 Jews were killed there.

Documents of Soviet commission, 1944:

Unfortunately, there are no exact records of the people murdered during Holocaust.

After the WWII

After the war, some Jewish families returned to Ananyev, among them the Galitskys, Zachs, Umanskys, Maischtuts, Schoklers (used to work as barbers), Odivets, Scheinsons (used to work as a glazier, had five children) and many others.

Former Jewish neighborhood in Ananyev, 2018. Now it is a Evreyskaya Str.

Former Jewish neighborhood in Ananyev, 2018. Now it is a Evreyskaya Str.

Berl Schtern, a glazier, was an unofficial rabbi after the war. Local Jews gathered at his place for prayers. He survived to over 90 years of age.
In the 1960s, the minyan was held in the Leya Odivets’ house with Yefim Schoklet (1890-1960), Umansky (1878-1957), Goichinder (1852-1959), Beilin Mikhail among the congregation.
The local Jews baked matzos themselves.
After Berl Schtern passed away, the minyan was held at the house of Mikhail Beylin. He was a shop manager. He knew how to pray and read the Torah. After his departure to Israel, the Jews of Ananyev lost their leader and the Jewish life in the town dissipated.

Umanskiy family, Ananyev 1960's

Umanskiy family, Ananyev 1960’s

From the interview by David Neifleisch:
Spektor, Schtern, Schaienson, they all were artisans. Neiman was the manager of the industrial plant, he had a relative Ruvim Tsap who used to clean cesspools with his bare hands. He had a cart, a couple of horses and he raked out everything and took it to the filters himself. Those were the Ananyev Jews, workers and common people. There were of course doctors, teachers, and people of different professions among them.
Yakov Moyseyevych Kheiman was the headmaster at a local school. His wife was a teacher.
Mass emigration of the Jews began in the 1970s.

Mikhail Beylin with his family, Shapiro, and the Elbergs were the first who left for Australia, the Perednik family moved to Canada.
The Goroshin family went to Israel, and the Guks went to the USA in the 1980s.
By the 1990s, there were very few Jews in Ananyev. In the 1990s, only the Venerov family moved to Israel.
In 1998, just 20 Jews remained in the town.

Famous Jews from Ananyev

Wolfkovich Semen Isaakovich (1896, Ananyev — 1980, Moscow) — a Soviet chemist, academician of the USSR Academy of Sciences (1946). was awarded the Stalin prize in 1941. There is street in Ananyev named in his name.

Semen Wolfkovich

Alter Lev Benzianovich (1907, Ananyev – 1968, Moscow), a Soviet economist, PhD (1959), professor. The key work – “Bourgeois political economy of the USA” (1961).

Litvak Iosif L’vovich (1907, Ananyev — 1987, Moscow), electricity engineer, in the years 1956—66 he was a chief engineer of Dinamo plant.

Jewish cemetery

There were two Jewish cemeteries in Ananiv. This first, older Jewish cemetery was lower down the hillside from the newer cemetery.
This cemetery no longer visibly exists. In its place is a department of transportation, built around 2001. The Jewish community members who would speak of it said that they conserved as many gravestones as they could haul up the grassy hill to the modern cemetery.

This second, more recent Jewish cemetery contains mostly Soviet-era families with birth and death dates ranging from 1884-1999.

The older cemetery (which was lower down the hillside) no longer visibly exists. In its place is a department of transportation, built around 2001. The Jewish community members who would speak of it said that they conserved as many gravestones as they could haul up the grassy hill to the modern cemetery.

Every May 9th, the Jews gathered at the cemetery and recalled those who had died during the war. However, in the 2000s this tradition was lost as all the Jews had moved away.

In the 1990s, the cemetery was fenced and a memorial to commemorate the Jews who had died during the Holocaust was erected there.

Holocaust memorial in local Jewish cemetery

Holocaust memorial in local Jewish cemetery

David Vladimirovich Neifleisch, the only Jew of Ananyev, is looking after the cemetery now…

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One Comment

  1. Наш дедушка, Берл Штерн дожил до 99 лет и был похоронен в Одессе. Он был в ясном уме до самой последней минуты своей жизни

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