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Bobrovytsia

Bobrovytsia
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Bobrovitza (Yiddish), Bobrowica (Polish), Bobrowyzja (German), Бобровица – Bobrovitsa (Russian), Бобровиця (Ukrainian).

Bobrovytsia is a city (since 1958) in Chernihiv region of Ukraine. Population is 11,916 (2001). Before Revolution it was a town of Kozelec Uezd, Chernigov Gubernia.

Beginning

The earliest known Jewish community was first half of 19th century.

Jewish prayer house was opened here in 1869 but I haven’t find information when it was closed and in what building was situated.  In 1875 there was registered only one Jewish marriage: Zelik Berkov Resnik and Beila-Enta Sruleva Altshuler.

In Chernigov Archiv stored documents about Bobrovitsa rabbi’s electing in 1889. It gives interesting details about small Jewish community in the end of XIX century. In that year rabbi became Abraham Getselev Tseitlin, gabay – Mezhirov Berko Mihelev, treasurer – Eliyash Epshtein.

In same document  mentioned next Bobrovitsya Jews: Shevel and Moses Volinskie, Volko Kotlyarevskiy, Abraham Pertsev, Kaganov, Udka Shur, Moses Leikin, merchant Gersh Levitanskiy.

According to 1897 census there lived 671 Jews.

Jewish population of Bobrovytsia:
1897 – 671 (13,1%)
1926 – 154 jews
1939 — 122 jews
2013 – 0

In Bussines Directory for 1904 mentioned next Bobrovitsya Jews: Levitanskiy Evsei Aronovich (grocery store), Mezhirov Berka Mih. (kerosene amd grocery store), Stoyanovskiy Izko Haimovich (timber), Nohotovich Haim Gershelevich (manufacture store), Roizman Izko Avraamovich (manufacture store), Drobinskiy Gersh Berkovich (grain trade), Drobinskiy Udka Berkovich (grain trade), Zhukovskiy Aizik (grain trade), Kadinskiy Nota Girshevich (grain trade), and Kramko Aaron Leizerovich (grain trade).

First pogrom happened in Bobrovitsa at October 27, 1905 when 27 Jewish shops were robbed. Total damage was estimate in 74530 rubles.

Bobrovitsya railway station

Bobrovitsya railway station. Platform was build more than 150 years ago and haven’t rebuilded.

In 1916 there was Jewish Savings and Loan Association (chairman – Eliyash Mordyhovich Epshtein; members – Itzko Haimovich Stoyanosckiy, Moses Berkovich Mezhirov, Gersh Aizikovich Libson, cashier – Iosif Movshevich Shur, accountant – Samuil Berkovich Rapoport).

Pogroms

In September 2, 1919 units of Denikin’s White Russian Army carried out a pogrom in Bobrovitsa, killing four Jews.

In January 2, 1920 the Romashko gang killed 38 Jews. Locals afraid to burry corps and they did it only at January 10, 1920 in 6 graves at Jewish Cemetery. I find detail description of this massacre in book by Milyakov L.B. and can sent to you if you need it.

Full list of Bobrovitsa Jews killed at January 2, 1920 by Romashko gang:

Name, Occupation, Age 1 , Lipson Gersh Ayzikov , Trader , 44 2 , Al Simon Evelev , —«— , 62 3 , Stoyanovskii Elia Haimova , —«— , 52 4 , —«— Hasya , Mill owner , 38 5 , Briskin Israel Aronov , Trader , 52 6 , —«— Yankel , —«— , 42 7 , Blitshtein Moses Avramov , Tinsmith , 50 8 , —«— Iosel Moiseev , —«— , 22 9 , —«— Lipa —«— , —«— , 17 10 , Kadinsky Nota Gershov , Official , 60 11 , Reznikov Gilya Leibova , Trader , 44 12 , Katz Leyba Mikhelev , —«— , 65 13 , Pemov Israel Neeson , —«— , 65 14 , Tarakhovskaya Gil Gershenov , —«— , 33 15 , Kaganovich Haim Taneyev , —«— , 23 16 , —«— Selman —«— , —«— , 18 17 , Skorobogat Gersh Moiseev , —«— , 52 18 , Leikin Iosel Moiseev , —«— , 19 19 , Zamorskiy Benya Hanselev , Butcher , 23 20 , —«— Boruch Avramov , —«— , 19 21 , Mazin , No occupation , 70 22 , Jankelevich Wolfe , Official , 24 23 , Haytovich Yankel Bernov , —«— , 52 24 , Aron , -«- , 18 25 , Lipshitz Meer Mayromov , —«— , 23 26 , Shur-Buyanover Yasha Pinkhusov , Laborer , 20 27 , Blitshtein Feiga Moiseevna , Housewife , 52 28 , Lamnin Dvoyra Mihelevna , —«— , 52 29 , —«— Leah Gdalevna , —«— , 23 30 , Zeldin Haya Leybovna , Trader , 18 31 , Shybe Taiba Berkovna , —«— , 18 32 , Blitshtein Gisya Moiseevna , —«— , 20 33 , —«— Zelda —«— , Housewife , 17 34 , Mazin Sita , —«— , 70 35 , Stoyanovskaya Liba , —«— , 68 36 , Skorobogat Masha Ionovna , Schoolgirl , 9 37 , Frenkel , Student , 23 38 , Komsky , Red Army soldier , –

After this pogrom all Jews families escaped from Bobrovitsa to Nezhin. List of these families stores in Kiev Oblast Archiv. In 1926 Jewish population was 154 persons that show an impact of Civil War pogrom…

This document was issued by Bobrovitsya branch of communist party in 1931. Document was given to communist Levant regarding his punishment for circumcision of his son.

This document was issued by Bobrovitsya branch of communist party in 1931. Document was given to communist Levant regarding his punishment for circumcision of his son.

The Jews in Bobrovitsa were mostly artisans; others were employed in one of the village’s 28 small enterprises and one large sugar factory.

In 1939 only 122 Jews lived in Bobrovitsa, comprising 1.7 percent of the total population.

Holocaust

Bobrovitsa was occupied by German troops on September 15, 1941. Because the village was located on the Kiev-Moscow railway many Jewish families succeeded in leaving Bobrovitsa in time. During the German occupation of Bobrovitsa the remaining Jews, numbering at least 11, and some Jews from nearby villages were murdered by Germans, while other Jews were shot in the Nezhin prison.

Shop near railway station which was build on the place of Jewish house. House owner collaborated with Germans during WWII and save his family. He escaped together with Germans in 1943.

Shop near railway station which was build on the place of Jewish house. House owner collaborated with Germans during WWII to save his family. He escaped together with Germans in 1943.

A group of at least 7 Jews from Bobrovitsa was transported to the Nezhin prison and killed there in 1942 by a German murder squad. One Jew from Bobrovitsa was taken to the prison and shot there in 1943.

Bobrovitsa was liberated on September 9, 1943 by a partisan unit commanded by Bovkun. On September 18 (or September 20), 1943 the Red Army took control of the town.

Exact number of killed and survived Jews during WWII in Bobrovitsa is unknown…
In “Chernigov Region WWII memorial book” mentioned 17 killed Jews from Bobrovitsa (military and civilian).

After the war several Jewish families returned to Bobrovitsa (Katz, Rabinovich and Haitovich).
In 2013 no Jews lived here.

Jewish cemetery

The Jewish cemetery was located on the south-east outskirts of the town on Oleha Bychka Street, on the road to the village of Nova Basan’. The cemetery was demolished in the late 1980s. There is an open field at the site of the cemetery.  Location of removed stones is unknown.

Former Bobrovytsia Jewish Cemeter

Former Bobrovytsia Jewish Cemeter

In 6 mass graves there were burried victims of Romashko’s pogrom.

Architecture

According to memories of old persons before Revolution Jews lived in the center. Territory of modern central square was build up by small wooden shops. Most pre-revolution building in the center were destroyed in 1960’s-1970’s.

Last Jewsih house near Bobrovitsya railway station

Last Jewsih house near Bobrovitsya railway station

In the end of Nezalezhnosti Str. near railway station lived 4 Jewish families. On this place stay only one Jewish house (other were destroyed during construction of gas station). In Chernigov Archiv I find names of people who lived there in the end of XIX century: Mendel Zhukovskiy, Zalman and Gersh Drobinskie, Eliyash Epshtein. They lived here separately and didn’t visit synagogue in central part of Bobrovitsya.

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