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Kagarlik

Kagarlik

Kagarlik has been a town since 1971, a district center of Kiev region. It’s history goes back to 1590. In the XVII – XVIII centuries Kagarlik was a part of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. Kagarlik was incorporated into the Russian Empire since 1793. In the XIX and early XX centuries, it was a shtetl of Kiev uiezd, Kiev gubernia.

Part of the information for this article was provided by Lubov Petrovna Tkachenko, who had been the head of the Kagarlik museum for 40 years.

In the XIX – early XX centuries, most Jews of Kagarlik worked in crafts as well as the wholesale and retail trade. The town had market days and fairs where people could buy and sell cattle.
Jews owned 83 industrial enterprises, shops, and bars. 15 factories out of 16 were owned by Jews. The Jews also owned six bakeries, three butcher shops, an inn, as well as other enterprises.

Since 1875 The Rabbi was Tsvi-Leibish Podgoretskii (1847-?)

Kagarlik entrepreneurs list from Russian Empire Business Directories by 1913. Part 1

Kagarlik entrepreneurs list from Russian Empire Business Directories by 1913. Part 2

Kagarlik entrepreneurs list from Russian Empire Business Directories by 1913. Part 2

Jewish population of Kagarlik:
1861 – 808 Jews
1897 – 1414 (21%)
1910’s ~ 2000
1923 – 275 Jews
1939 – 325 Jews
1999 – 15 Jews

The royal commission from St. Petersburg reported that Tzaddik David Tverskoi had an impact on the Jewish population of South Russia during the late 19th century: “Huge Hasids were riding horses along the streets of Kagarlik. They looked for the Jews who were hiding in their houses and didn’t want to meet Tzaddik Duvidl. Hasid Moshko Krivoi was riding a horse with a trumpet in his hands. He was blowing into it and screaming: “Long live David, king of Israel! Kagarlik is in our hands. Kagarlik is ours!!!” They found a gabbai of the local synagogue, took him out of his house and put him in front of the leading hasids. They asked him, “Do you accept the power of Tzaddik rabbi Duvidl, king of Israel?!” He answered he did.”

Former center of shtetl

Former center of shtetl

In 1909, there was a synagogue and Talmud-Torah in Kagarlik.

In the period of the Civil War the Jewish population of Kagarlik suffered from pogroms and robberies.

In 1918, a Jewish cemetery was destroyed. 63 Jewish people died during the pogroms which were carried out by local bands. Three people were wounded.

25 Jews died during the pogrom organized by ataman Zelenii’s detachments in June 1919.

On August 30th 1919, soldiers from the Volunteer Army started a pogrom in Kagarlik. About 30 Jewish residents were killed, 22 wounded. In total, 131 Jews were killed, 25 people were wounded, and 215 Jewish people died of the diseases in 1918-1920. 111 Jewish families (464 people) escaped to Boguslav. 167 Jews died because of epidemics in Kagarlik and 48 in Boguslav.

On August 23rd 1920, a pogrom was carried out by Zavziatov from Zelenii’s band. Seven Jews were killed, and three were wounded, five Jewish apartments were destroyed.

Former synagogue

Former synagogue in Kagarlik

In the 1920’s-1930’s, the Jewish population of Kagarlik was further reduced when a lot of Jews moved to other towns.

Holocaust

On the third of August 1941, Kagarlik was occupied by the Wehrmacht.

On the ninth of September 1941, Germans carried out the first shooting of the Jewish population on the outskirts of town near the grain elevator. 72 Jews together with a group of war prisoners who had dug the mass grave were shot.

Holocaust mass grave near the grain elevator, 2017

Holocaust mass grave near the grain elevator, 2017

In the period of the occupation the shootings of civilians took place in the ravine of Kalinovii Yar. The Jews who had been hiding were found and also shot there.

Kalinovii Yar, 2009

Kalinovii Yar, 2009

On January 28th 1942, 750 residents of the town were shot there. The number of Jews among them is unknown.

Some Jewish families were shot in the park. Director of a sugar factory Grigorii Ovseievich Turok, his wife Tatiana Grigorievna, and their young daughter Liuba were shot by the fascists.

Jew Lonfenfein’s family was amongst those who were killed. Lonfenfein himself was at the front at that time. His wife and two daughters were killed. His son was grazing the cow while his family was taken away. When he came home, he found no one. Neighbor Litvin told the boy about his loss. She was hiding him. However, other neighbors betrayed the boy, and he was killed.

We have 2 lists of the perished Kagarlik Jews – civilians and Soviet soldiers:

Unmarked Holocaust mass grave in local Jewish cemetery

Unmarked Holocaust mass grave in local Jewish cemetery

After the WWII

Local Jew Lonfenfein returned from the war in 1946. His wife and three children were also shot by the fascists. He erected the first monument on the mass grave.

Lonfenfein’s monument (it was replced in 2010’s by the cross):

The following families returned from the evacuation and front after the war: Geisman, Sokolson, Andelman, Kovler, Shnaiderman, Povolotskii, Sklianskii, Bialskii, Levinskii, Chornobilskii, Orlik, Polishchuk, Aronskii (he had two daughters), Iakov Ostrovskii with his wife Yeva, Frenkel, Lamburskii (had eight children), Labunskii (one son and a daughter), Loifenfeld, Berezovskii Nionia and Pepa, Khait, Korsunskii, Chizhevskii Boris and Polina (worked in trade, had a daughter and a son), Ostrovskii. There were about 100 people. They settled in a central district of town Moskovshchina which was a traditional place where Jews used to live.

The building was built of red cement for landlord Chortkov’s servants in the beginning of the XIX century. In the XX century, Jews from Kagarlik lived there.

The building was built of red cement for landlord Chortkov’s servants in the beginning of the XIX century. In the XX century, Jews from Kagarlik lived there.

However, the number of Jews decreased. Elders died, youth either left the town or married non-Jewish partners.
In 1972,the first Jewish families left for Israel. Mykhailo Moiseievich and Alla Abramovna Shargorodskii were among them.

In the 1990’s, a small Jewish community was organized in the town. Aleksandra Andelman was its first head, then it was Lev Geisman, then Petr Frenkel, his wife Mariia Frenkel was the next head after his death.

 

In 1999, only 15 descendants of the local Jews lived in the community. During my visit in 2017 there was no community in the town. Only several absolutely assimilated descendants of the local Jews live in Kagarlik. The number of Galakha Jews is unknown.

Two former synagogue buildings are still preserved in Kagarlik. The first synagogue was built in the late XVIII century because of the visit of Empress Ekaterina II to Ukraine. A post-office was there. In the early 19th century, the building was bought by the Jewish community. A synagogue had been functioning by the early 1920’s. Then a military committee was located in there. In 1975, the building was covered with brick. In 1970-2010, the building belonged to the local museum. In the 1970’s, shreds of a Torah scroll were found in the attic of the museum. There were holes in the roofs of both buildings. Those holes had been made for Sukkot celebrations.

Former synagogue

Former synagogue in Kagarlik

Famous Jews from Kagarlik

Aleksandr Danilovich Tsirlin (1902, Kagarlik – 1976, Moscow) a soviet military activist, Colonel-General of the Corps of Engineers (1945), Doctor of Military Science (1956), Professor (1958).

Aleksandr Danilovich Tsirlin

Aleksandr Danilovich Tsirlin

Semen Moiseievich Kogan (1906, Kagarlik – 1993, Kiev) a bridge builder, Colonel, head of department “Kievavtodormost”, awarded with seven medals

Jewish cemetery

A Jewish cemetery was organized in the mid XIX century. It was situated on the outskirts of the town. In 2015, the cemetery was tidied up and surrounded by a fence. Adenauer Fund paid for it.
The participants of the expedition from project “Lo-Tishkakh” explored it in 2008. They discovered about 20 gravestones. The oldest one dated back to 1957, the latest – 1991. But during my visit in 2017 only several graves were left there. All iron parts of the monuments and monuments themselves had been stolen by the local population over the last several years.
There are no traces of pre-war graves in the cemetery. A few mass graves of the Holocaust period are still in the middle of the cemetery. The head of the local museum says that those Jews who had been shot by the Germans in the town were buried here.

Cemetery in 2008:

Cemetery in 2009 (photo by Klavdiya Kolesnik):

Cemetery in 2015:

Cemetery in 2017:

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