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Berezovka

Berezovka
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Beresowka (Yiddish),  Березівка – Berezivka (Ukrainian), Березовка – Berëzovka (Russian)

Berezovka is a city and administrative center of the Berezovka Raion in Odessa region. In 2016, the population is estimated to be 13,421.

During our visit in the summer 2018, we could get almost no information about Jews from Berezovka. There wasn’t a Jewish community in the town at that moment. Jews didn’t live there anymore.

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On April 26–27, 1881, the Jews were attacked in a pogrom, and, out of the 161 buildings owned by Jews, only the synagogue and pharmacy were undamaged.

Description of 1905 pogrom:
«The population of Berezivka was extremely anxious at the rumor of the total extermination of Jews. One of the scruffles between the tradeswomen at the market turned into a fight. The crowd immediately rushed to the Jewish stalls, destroying everything on their way. There were calls to “kill the Jews who killed our Tsar”. Many buildings were set on fire. Only when a hundred Cossacks arrived, did they manage to get the situation under control. As a result of the pogrom, 159 houses, 17 stalls, and 11 cellars were devastated. The damage amounted to 450,000rubles».

Old building in the center of Berezovka

Old building in the center of Berezovka

The local Jewish Community was affected by the pogroms in 1918 and 1920.

During the Soviet period Jews were employed in artisan cooperatives and Jewish kolkhozes. A Yiddish elementary school, a Yiddish evening school, a club, and a library were in operation

In 1939, 1,424 Jewslived in Berezovka (16.5% of the population), and 800 Jews lived in district villages.

Holocaust

Berezovka was taken by the Germans on August 10, 1941. Later a ghetto was formed there. On August 14, 1941, Sonderkommand 10a shot 41 Jews in Berezovka. The remaining 211 prisoners of the ghetto were killed in the fall of 1941.

Jewish population of Berezovka:
1897 – 3458 (56%)
1926 – 3223 (42%)
1939- 1,424 (16%)
2018 – 0

At that time Berezovka became a center of Berezovka uyezd in Transnistria under Romanian control. Ten ghettos were formed in the uyezd. From January to February 1942, trains with Jews from Odessa arrived at the railway station in Berezovka. From that station, they were driven to the Southern Bug and killed on the way.

In total, 5,511 Jews were killed in Berezovka and nearby villages. Some of them, including children, were burnt alive. Jews who froze in cold wagons during the transportation from Odessa to Berezovka (according to the Extraordinary State Commission, there were 1,058 people) were buried not far from the station.

A memorial board was established near the railway crossing at 1,214 km.

View to Berezovka from Jewish cemetery, 2018

View to Berezovka from Jewish cemetery, 2018

After the WWII

According to the number of graves in Jewish cemetery, we can assume that around 40-60 Jews returned to the former shtetl.

The community ceased to exist during the years 1974 – 1978, when people started leaving in Odessa and other big city.

Since 1999, the Chairman of official Jewish Community was Alexander Grigorievich Baiderman.
It is unknown when the Jewish community was established.

Current Berezovka’s musical school locates in the building of the former synagogue.
On the site of another synagogue, locates church.

Jewish cemetery

Cemetery locates on the slope of a hill near a television tower and looks severly vandalized.

Guess, there were older Jewish cemetery in Berezovka, but I didn’t find such information 🙁

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