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Khaschevatoye

Khaschevatoye
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Хащувате(Ukrainina), Хащеватое(Russian)

Khaschevatoye is a village in Gayvoron district, Kirovograd region. Its population is 2,260 people. The village is on the Southern Bug River.

It used to be a town of Gaysin uyezd, Podolia gubernia from the late 18th through the early 20th century. From 1923 through 1932, Khaschevatoye was a district center of the Odessa region.

Information about Jews from Khaschevatoye was obtained from several different sources, including books by Solgutovsky and Khaim Melamud, and from various websites as well. In the summer of 2018, we explored Khaschevatoye’s points of Jewish interest, with the guidance of Yelena Mikhaylovna Vdovichenko, the principal of a local school. More information about the Holocaust in Khaschevatoye can be found in khashchevato1942.ru

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Beginning

The settlement’s history goes back to 1362. It was originally a part of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and was called Kachuchinka. In the early 15th century, it was renamed Khaschevatoye. There had long been a main road from Odessa to Kiyev that went through Khaschevatoye. However, when the South-West railway was built, the road became far less popular. In 1893, a railway was constructed in the village.

In 1905, Khaschevatoye had 720 houses, with a total population of 4,335 people. The village contained an orthodox church, a synagogue, a prayer house, a village council, a post office, a village bank, a merchants’ council, a town hall, a drugstore, three pharmacy warehouses, a hotel, four inns, a water mill, one-classroom school, and a parochial school.

Khaschevatoye entrepreneurs list from Russian Empire Business Directories by 1913

Khaschevatoye entrepreneurs list from Russian Empire Business Directories by 1913

In the 19th century, Jews made up half of the population and played an active role in the economic life of the village. Khaschuvatoye was a large shtetl with well-developed trade and craft industries. Large fairs took place weekly and attracted traders from Uman and Balta; there they sold corn, wheat, rye, cattle, as well as products produced by various industrial and artisanal industries, such as pottery, shoes, saddles, and barrels.

There were several oil and grain enterprises situated along the street that began at the railway station. One oil mill even had a steam engine. These mills were so successful that together they employed more than ten men. On this street there were also smithies who produced carts and wheelbarrows.

Former shtetl's market square. Now it is a territory near local's school

Former shtetl’s market square. Now it is a territory near local’s school

In the market square, there was an assortment of workshops representing a variety of industries: timber, construction materials, cooperages, metalwork and tin, ropes, leather harnesses and other leather goods, etc. The market square’s site is now occupied by a Khaschevatoye school building. The butcher’s building was the last pre-revolutionary building on the square and was dismantled in the 1970s.

Family of emigrants from Khaschevatoye in USA, beginning of XX century

Family of emigrants from Khaschevatoye in USA, beginning of XX century

In the center of town there were rows of large and small shops, hairdressers, shoemakers, tailors, photography, restaurants and inns. The streets now known as Vorovsky, Kondratsky, and Yevreyska streets begin at the town’s center and continue down to the river; these were inhabited only by Jews.

The town had one central synagogue and three or four small prayer houses.

Building of synagogue in Khaschevatoye. Now its a mill

Building of synagogue in Khaschevatoye. Now its a mill

Jews of Khaschevatoye severely suffered from pogroms during Russian Revolution 1917-1920. More than 50 Jews were killed during pogroms of different local gangs.

About pogroms in Khaschevatoye from “Massacre book”:

When Soviet authority was established in the early 1920’s, the economic life of the town was disrupted, private enterprises were prohibited, and small Jewish artisans were forced to unite in artels. Jewish working unions, known as “kharchsmak” and “Budivelnik”, were organized. The independent Jewish artisans formed a savings and loan society consisting of 90 people.
All of the synagogues and prayer houses of Khaschevatoye were closed in the late 1920’s–early 1930’s.

L.H.Furman - first Chairman of Khaschevatoye village's Jewish council in 1920s

L.H.Furman – first Chairman of Khaschevatoye village’s Jewish council in 1920s

After the Russian Revolution ended, two seven-years schools, one Jewish and one Ukrainian, were opened in Khaschevatoye village. The Jewish school was closed in 1937.

Similarly, there were both Jewish and Ukrainian village councils and collective farms in the 1920’s; the Jewish farm was named “Progress”.

When forced collectivization started in the late 1920’s, the Jewish population began to leave the shtetl and move to Gayvoron, Odessa, and other cities of the USSR. According to the results of the demographic census of 1926, 3,171 Jews (53% of the total population) lived in Khaschevatoye. Jews also lived in the nearby villages of Strunkovo (127), Mogilno (286), and Salkiv (133).

In the spring of 1928, many Khaschevatoye families moved to the steppe areas of the Dnieper. This was triggered by the Soviets’ decision to develop the land by giving away property; this was an important opportunity for the Jewish poor. Kh. Melamud, a writer from Khaschevatoye, described these events in his novel Land.

In the period 1937-1941, M.P.Ustenko was a head of the Ukrainian council and Samovol B.B. was a head of the Jewish council in Khaschuvatoye.

Holocaust

On the 29th of July, 1941, German troops occupied the village.

Jewish population of Khaschevatoye:
1888 – 1370 (45%)
1926 – 3171 (53%)
1970 ~ 30 Jews
2018 – 1 Jew

On the 14th of February, 1942, the Ukrainian police and German gendarmerie (a police force that is a part of the armed forces) ordered Jews to gather “for registration” in the village club, where they were locked inside for 24 hours without food and water. The next day, 20 men were forced to take off their clothes and were then given shovels. The police ordered them to remove the snow from the ground in the clay quarry. When they finished this work, they were immediately shot.

On the 16th of February 1942, a similar action began, under the leadership of SS troops and the chief of the Gayvoron police, Leonid Girman. They had the Jews undress and then pushed them outside in groups — it was winter and the temperature was 20 degrees below zero. Prisoners were taken outside in groups of 20 and the clothes of the Jews who had been shot before were brought inside..A total of between 895 and 962 Jews were shot in the village on that day.

The shootings lasted several days, concluding on the 20th of February. Jewish houses were robbed by the local population and many of them were vandalized or destroyed by the citizens of nearby villages.

Many mothers had done the only thing they could do to try to save their children, which was to leave them behind in the club; the police later found these children and killed them. Two children survived the massacre: an 11-year old girl who had been hidden in the village of Salkovo and Isahak Kris, who had hidden under the club.

Before the mass shooting Jewish specialists were sent to Bershad ghetto together with their families. Their destinies were different but many of them survived.

Khaschevatoye was liberated in March 1944.

A bridge above the Southern Bug, which had been previously crossed by the Soviet troops, was subsequently bombed by German aviation. As a result, the center of the shtetl was destroyed.

In 1944, a state commission of the Nazis’ crimes investigation opened the graves in the clay quarry in Khaschevatoye. The pits were found to contain 963 corpses, including 596 children, 191 women, and 176 elderly.
A woman named Rivva Tashlytsky survived the war due to the help of Terentiy Ziama and Yefim Ivanovich Levitsky’s family, which had hidden her for three years. She was eventually liberated along with the rest of the village’s survivors.

The shootings described above had been conducted under the direction of the Ukrainian police, under the direction of the Germans. About 60 Ukrainian policemen took part in the shooting; of these, 22 were caught and shot, according to decisions of the Odessa military court, issued in the years 1945-1946. Their names were: A.Ye. Belochenko, P.P. Blazhko, I.T. Gal, S.F. Lukashuk, O.I. Palamarchuk, I.I. Svirid, G.F. Chernichenko, K.A. Andriyevsky, M.A. Ragriy, T.D. Balanda, I.G. Vovk, I.D.Melnik, V.I. Lokhmaniuk, I.P. Klimkin, O.Ya. Belous, V.M. Prituliak, M.P.Liulka, Ye.I. Svirid, V.Z. Shvets, I.Z. Gavursky, S. Baydukov.

In addition:
– Police officer P. Grigorash was caught in the 1960’s and sentenced to 25 years in 1969.
– Chief of police Dorosh was caught and executed by court decision in 1962.
– Police officer Andrey Kravchenko was the last known participant of the shooting of Jews from Khaschevatoye. In 1991, while living in Russia, he was sentenced in absentia in independent Ukraine. Russia didn’t agree to extradite him to the Ukraine. In 1994, Kravchenko hanged himself in his apartment.

Memorial meeting in Khaschevatoye Jewish cemetery, 1960's-1970's

Memorial meeting in Khaschevatoye Jewish cemetery, 1960’s-1970’s

It should be noted that not all of the village’s Jews complied with the order to appear at the general meeting; instead, they went into hiding in various locations. These attempts were ultimately made in vain, as all of them were eventually discovered by the Ukrainians and shot. We know the following details:
– Khayka Protektor survived the shooting, but she was later found and killed.
– Riva, the wife of soldier Petr (Pulia) Tsisar who was at the Eastern Front, and his daughter Ania had been hiding in the stove of the bakery. When discovered, police officers removed and killed them.

Center of Khaschevatoye, 2018

Center of Khaschevatoye, 2018

Sergeant Petr (Pulia) Naumovich Tsisar entered Khaschevatoye on one of the first three jeeps to arrive after the massacre, in hopes of seeing his family. Locals told him what happened and that his wife and daughter had died. He left the village and did not return to Khaschevatoye until after the war.

The Samovol family had lived in Khaschevatoye before the beginning of WWII. There were six brothers: Beniamin, Bilyk, Moysey, Zamvel, Isahak, and Samuil. All of them fought at the Front of the Great Patriotic War (what most of the world outside the former USSR knows as the Eastern Front). Samuil Samovol was the only one of the six to survive.

The list of the Jews who had been killed on the 16th of February 1942 is given below. It contains only 783 names — 180 are absent. Some believe that there were many more victims, but it is impossible to establish an accurate count at this point. The list was given by Solgutovsky in the early 1990’s in the office of Security Service of Ukraine in Gayvoron.

After the Holocaust

After the war, about 100 Jews returned to the shtetl, both from the evacuation and from the Front. Among them there were members of the Fisher, Leybman, Stoliarsky, Faynman, Shaposhnik, Shkolnik, and Solgutovsky families. The heads of the local establishments were primarily Jewish. Isahak Naumovich Shkolnik was a school principal, Vinokur was a chairman of the village council, and Sarra Markovna Rakhshteyn was a German teacher at school. The heads of a creamery and the hospital were Jewish as well.

 

Naftula Rabinovich acted as the unofficial rabbi in the village. He had a Torah, which he was able to read, and led the prayer services as well. The minyan was made up of Naum Shpiler, the Milmans, Danil Fraymovich, Yakov Rozenshteyn, and Yania Shapochnik. They used a separate, vacant, house in the center of the shtetl as an informal synagogue. They celebrated the traditional holidays, baked matzah for Pesakh, and exchanged presents on Purim.

Abandoned hosue in the center of the shtetl which was unofficial synagogue in 1950's-1970's

Abandoned hosue in the center of the shtetl which was unofficial synagogue in 1950’s-1970’s

The Jewish youth didn’t stay in the village, They would often go to the big cities to study and would later take their parents with them. As a result, the number of Jews in the shtetl was decreasing gradually, and by 1970, only 30 Jews lived there.Over the next several years, some of the Jews from Khaschevatoye managed to leave for the USA and Israel, and so by 2018, only one Jewish woman lived in the village.

Center of former shtetl Khaschevatoye, 1960's-1970's

Center of former shtetl Khaschevatoye, 1960’s-1970’s

The first monument to commemorate the mass shooting was established by the local Jews in the 1940’s. Some families placed small symbolic graves near the monument, in memory of their murdered relatives. A new memorial replaced the original and was installed in the spring of 2014. This memorial was funded through the donations of the Krutoy, Rozenfeld, Pushkar, Marmer, Zhadan, Shvartsman, and Galperin families, who were now scattered in the U.S. and other countries.During the construction of these memorials, some remains were found and were reburied according to Jewish traditions.
The actual grave is located between the steps to the new memorial and the old monument, but its precise boundaries are unclear. Isahak Mikolayovich Shkolnik (1917-1987) was buried in Odessa, but his relatives also installed a small symbolic grave near the memorial.
There were two Jewish cemeteries in the shtetl, an old one and a newer one, established years later.

Part of the Torah scroll from Golovanevsk in the museum of Khaschevatoye's school

Part of the Torah scroll from Golovanevsk in the museum of Khaschevatoye’s school

Jews from Gayvoron were also buried in the new cemetery. The gates of the cemetery were built in the 1980’s by Yuzik Klimenko, who lives in Germany now. This is the list of graves in the cemetery: Faynberg, Shuster, Tsugman, Master, Ziskin, Kuperman, Senik, Zhidkov, Shuster, Tarakanov, Milman, Shpiler, Shaposhnik, Burundik, Zugman, Korkhman, Grechanik, Denevitser, Goykhman, Vinokur, Sorokin, Vikniansky, Grechanik, Denevitser, Kerzhner, Lumer.

Former "Jewish beach" on the bank of Southern Bug River, 2018

Former “Jewish beach” on the bank of Southern Bug River, 2018

Famous Jews from

Leonid Izrailevich Solgutovsky (1925-2002) was a World War II veteran, an historian, an organizer of a local museum, and the author of five books about the history of the village.

Leonid Solgutovsky with wife Alexandra Solomonovna

Leonid Solgutovsky with wife Alexandra Solomonovna

Gedal Davidovich Kosoy (1903, Khaschevatoye – 1991, Vinnitsa) was a writer.

Itsik Lvovich Bronfman (1913, Khaschevatoye – 1978, Khabarovsk) was a poet.

Itsik Bronfman

Itsik Bronfman

Khaim Gershkovich Melamud (1907, Khaschuvatoye – 1993, Saratov) was a writer.

Khaim Melamud

Khaim Melamud

 

Idel Yakovlevich Khayt (1914 – 1942) defended the legendary “Pavlov’s house”, killed in action during the battle of Stalingrad.

Idel Khayt

Idel Khayt

Old Jewish cemetery

The old cemetery stopped being used before the Revolution. Later, a collective farm’s garden was established there, and you can still find as many as ten graves among the trees. In 2011, funds donated by Brad Teplitsky from the USA were used to clean the territory of the old cemetery and to erect a small monument. However, it has again become overgrown.

New Jewish cemetery

Gates to New Jewish cemetery

Gates to New Jewish cemetery

First Holocaust memorial

First Holocaust memorial

Holocaust memorial in Khaschevatoye

Holocaust memorial in Khaschevatoye

Holocaust memorial in Khaschevatoye

Holocaust memorial in Khaschevatoye

 

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