Pryłuki (Polish), Прилуки (Ukrainian), Прилуки – Priluki (Russian), פרילוקי (Hebrew), פּריłוקי(Yiddish)
If your ancestors are Myasnikov from Priluki (or you have some information about them) – please contact me. It is possible that we are relatives
Priluki is a city in Chernigov district, Ukraine.
Priluki is a historic town located in Chernihiv region of northern Ukraine, center of Prilutskiy raion (not to be confused with Old Priluka – a village in Vinnitsa district, former shtetl). Priluki is located on the Udai River, a tributary of the Sula. The city’s estimated population is 61,600 (as of 2005).
Priluki first appears in historical record in 1085. The settlement was founded initially as border post during the time of Yaroslav Mudriy.
In 1569-1648 Priluki was a part of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth.
In the 17th century the Cossacks took part in the Khmelnytsky uprising. The fertile soil of the Udai basin proved itself attractive not only to marauders, but also to hard-working people fleeing from backbreaking toil. The number of inhabitants of Pryluky and adjacent villages grew considerably in the 17th century. One of the documents kept in the archives of Stockholm, Sweden stated that there were 800 chimneys, i.e. 800 houses, in Pryluky in 1632. Assuming that each house accommodated at least six persons, about 5,000 people lived in the city at that time.
In 1648, Hetman Bohdan Khmelnytsky introduced a new system of territorial-administrative division in Ukraine, having divided the country into regiments. Under this system the city of Pryluky became the military center of the Pryluky Regiment and Colonel Ivan Shkurat-Melnychenko was appointed its first commander.
In the 17 century Priluki was home to only a few Jewish families. This was probably a result of the decrees set by hetmans Ivan Skoropadskiy and Danila Apostol, which prohibited Jews to live in Left-bank Ukraine.
Priluki received Magdeburg rights only in 1783. It can be assumed that strong Jewish community emerged in Priluki around this time.
The current plan of the city was created in 1802 when all the old streets were connected to the city’s central thoroughfare. This main thoroughfare would be renamed several times, in the later imperial Russian era (Ulitsya Aleksandrovskaya), in the Soviet Period Ulitsya Lenina, and Vulitsya Kyiv’ska after Ukrainian independence.
Intense construction started after the great fire in 1831, which almost completely destroyed the old buildings.
Collection of city plans:
There were 2,007 Jews in Priluki in 1847, 5,722 (31% of the total population) in 1897.
In 1855 among Priluki Jews there were 124 merchants of the third guild and 690 of lower middle class citizens.
In 1859 there was a synagogue and a prayer house, in 1864 – 4 synagogues.
By the end of 19 century two private theatres existed in the city, called Jewish and Intim, which belonged to A.M.Bukler.
By 1869 there were 4 brick factories in Priluki. In the beginning of 20 century the factory was owned by Mariengof Beniamin Levinovich (the first brick factory on Algazina Str., 60), Smilyanskiy David-Itzhok Shlomovich used to own the second brick factory on Frynze Str., 42, not far from Dolgin’s mill, nowadays it is a residential built-up area, the brothers Shershevsky Neah-Israel and Yankel Izrailevich owned another brick factory on Kievskaya Str., 210; in 1910 the owners were Manilo Kopel Leibovich and Shershevskiy Yankel Izrailevich), Kapara Vladimir Andeevich (Kievskaya Str., 131).
City plan by 1859-1863
In 1901 Priluki’s Iosef Flaivech Liapidus was appointed the official rabbi, in 1908 this position was occupied by Leiba Movshev Tsirelson.
Leib Movshev Tsirelson
In 1901 and 1903 the official rabbi was Joseph P. Flavievich Lyapidus in 1907-09 – Leib Movshev Tsirelson, in 1911 – Zelman Geselovich Tsifrinovich.
Since 1910 spiritual rabbi was Abram Joshua Heschel-Zamsky (1875, Starodub -?).
Jews owned two tobacco factories, two flour mills, and two small oil refineries. Many Jewish tailors sewed ready-made garments, which were sold in fairs in faraway towns. Apart from hadarim there were schools for boys and girls, and from the beginning of the 20th century, there was a Hebrew-language school.
A Relief society to help to Frid’s Jewish male secondary school was created. During next 2 year it collected more than 2000 rubles.
Video from 1930’s where Tsirelson appeared on 2:06 :
Priluki enterpreneurs list from Russian Empire Business Directories by 1903:
Difficult economic and political conditions caused a huge wave of Jewish emigration to USA and other Western countries at the end of XIX – beginning of XX century. Immigrants from Priluki living in the USA created a relief society “Ershter Priluki”.
Due to hard ethnic and political restrictions, Jewish youth actively took part in the revolutionary movement. In the summer of 1903 local “Bund” activists organized artisan’s meeting in support of general strike in South Russia Empire. Branch of “Poale Zion” existed in Priluki in 1905.
The Business Directory of 1908 contains an entry for “Jewish relief society for help to poor Jews” and listed businessmen who were the members and providers: Abram Berk.Dolgin, Samuel Morduch. Dunaevsky secretary Yevsei Isr. Yasnogradsky, Sham. Benyam. Rabinovich, Mend. Zelman. Fratkin, merchant N. Ts.Zolotarev, Simon Isaac. Boumshteyn, Morduch Zayneymork Moses Uriev. Kogon, Berko Itsk.Suponitsky, Abraham Leib. Hirsch, Burko Morduch. Zapodinsky.
Most photo salons (3 from 5) belonged to Jews in 1908. Their owners were Y.V. Vinshteyn (Konotopskaya Str.), Solomon Leibov. Krasnopolskiy (Gimnazicheskaya Str.) and Evzer Ioselev. Rivkin.
The first commercial printing house in Priluki was founded in 1883 by Yankel Morduhovich Linkov on the market square. Next printing house was founded in 1904 by Aaron Yakovich Mirov in building on Kievskaya Str., 198a (building still exist). In 1908 they were the only two printing houses in Priluki.
In 1910 there existed 6 synagogues and Talmud Torah, 3 private Jewish female and one male secondary schools. In 1910, there were 1,206 Jewish houses
Before the Revolution 206 Priluki Jews and their family members were assigned to “Merchant” class and 20 were “Nobel” Priluki citizens.
The first Priluki telecommunication station was built in 1910 by Baron Ginsberg. The state station was built in 1912 only.
Shops on the market square. Pre Revolution photo.
In 1913, Jewish businessman Abraham Berkov Dolgin, built a 4-story mill near the railway station. It became the major trade point for corn in all of Priluki raion. The Mill was burned during WWII and finally destroyed in 1990.
Before the Revolution a Jewish Hospital existed in Priluki. The first time it was mentioned was in 1900. The construction of the hospital was funded by tobacco factory owner Benia Rabinovich.
7th grade of Priluki Female Gymnasium in day of education completion, April 6, 1913. First row (standing): Vcherashnya, Nikolaevskaya, Domontovich, Litvinenko, Kolchevskaya, Demchenko, Gordienko, Ignatenko Second row: Yaloshinskaya, Dobrovolsky, Levin, Hart, Laudenbach, Krivusha, Marshalova, Dovgan, Bezbakh, Fratkin, Chernina, Trojanskaya, Kryzhanovskaya, Lapshuk
The tobacco industry plays an important role in the economy of Priluki. Priluki’s tobacco factories have been around for over 150 years. Before WWII these factories were place of employment for hundreds Jewish workers. First tobacco factory was built in 1876. In ten years two more factories would be built.
The most famous tobacco factory in Priluki was founded by Benni Rabinovich and Zalman Fratkin in January 22, 1889 on the right bank of Udai river in the village Brodki (united with Priluki in ~ 1900). In 1903 there were 447 workers. Among them was my great-great grandfather Aizek Myasnikoff, who worked there his whole life.
In 1906 a synagogue was built for the factories Jewish workers.
Tobacco factory of Rabinovich and Fratkin. Beginning of XX century
Before the Revolution, the factory exported tobacco to Germany, Romania, China, Turkey and other countries. It was the biggest enterprise in Priluki. The factory became a joint stock company in 1916.
In 1920 the factory was nationalized and became Second State Tobacco factory. Till 1938 it was named in honor of Christian Rakovsky. Priluki tobacco factory was among the biggest in Ukraine.
PreRevolution photo of tobacco factory
During WWII equipment was evacuated, but the buildings were destroyed by retreating German troops. The factory was rebuilt after Priluki’s liberation.
Now the Priluki Tobacco company belongs to British Tobacco and is still the biggest and most prosperous enterprise in Priluki with the highest salaries and best conditions for employees. It produce 30% of all cigarettes in Ukraine.
Pre Revolution plan of tobacco factory. Photo from factory’s museum
2. Rozenberg’s tobacco factory was located in building which located on Pyshkina Str. 62a,b,v
Building of Rozenberg’s tobacco factory in 2015
3. Volodarskiy’s tobacco factory was located on Dragomanova Str. It burned in 1915.
A cotton factory was created on the same place in 1927 and used Volodarskiy’s building.
Address: Ivanivska Str., 68.
4. Tobacco factory “Rybolov” was created by Priluki jewish merchants E. Rozenberg and B. Dvorkin in 1886. In 1904 there were 29 workers. Factory was located in private building on Oleksandrovskaya Str. (now Kievskaya Str.). Now in this building locates knitting workshop of hosiery factory.
In 1920 tobacco factory “Rybolov” was nationalized and united with Second State Tobacco factory (former Rabynovich’s and Fratkin’s).
Members of “Souztabaksirye”. this organisation supplied tobacco to tobacco factories. Yankel-Shmul Meerovich Karasik (1885-1970) is sitting in the first row in the left corner. Priluki, 1930’s
In Business Directory by 1901 mentioned tobacco factory owned by Boris Galperin and brothers Fratkin’s but I haven’t found any additional information about the location and owners.
Civil War pogroms
The first Jewish pogrom happened in October 1917 (by whom?). A second pogrom was organized by Soliders of the Directoriate (Petlura) in December 1918.
Denikin’s army occupied Priluki from August 25, 1919 till December 1, 1919. This period marked the worst time for Priluki’s Jewish population during the Russian Civil War.
In Chernigov Archives houses petitions of Priluki citizens submitted in 1924 who suffered during pogroms. These documents mentioned names, witnesses, and provide lists of killed and injured relatives and neighbors, stolen property. I have checked all of these documents and found next names of the victims: Elimeishe Gulinskiy, Blinkin Veniamin, Mendel Berkovich Bruh (54 years old), Gleih Yankel Mendelevich (22 yeras old), Tantlevskiy Boris Aizikovich, Rachinskiy Motya Israilevich (20 years old), Minya Israilevna Kyznetsova and his 3 children 4 years old, 3 years old and 6 months old, Zolotnitskaya Gisya Avramovna.
Jewish theater in Summer park. Beginning of XX century
These citizens were injured: Haya Danilovna Gurevskaya, Rudavskaya Tana Beniaminovna (33 years old), Rivkin Yankel Nahmanovich (knocked eye), Haenko Vulf (62 years old), Zolotnitskiy Abraham Morduhovich (65 years old), Dunaevskaya Sarra Markovna (64 years old), Dunaevskiy Samuil Morduhovich (65 years old), Vcherashnya Sima (64 years old), Agranov Gershel (53 years old).
Of course in these 2 lists were not included the relatives of people who left Priluki between 1919 and 1924.
In October 1920 pogrom was organized by detachments of the Red Army.
In 1910’s-1920’s in USA existed United Priluker Relief Landsmanschaft, which helped Pruluki’s Jews in the hard times during and after Civil War.
The Zionists remained active for a couple of years after the October Revolution. In 1921 a pioneer group went to Palestine, where they were among the founders of the kibbutz Kiryat Anavim. Their names are Avraham (Ben-Nariya) Lichtroub, Zeta Goldstein, Yehuda Levyatov, Efraim (Ben-Hayim ) Leibnsohn, Sonya Gershonovitz and Shalom Kaushansky (official kibbutz web-site kiryatanavim.com)
He-Chaluts movement in Priluki. Photo by 1917
This photo was published in book “במאבק לגאולה” Tel-Aviv, 1956. People’s names on photo are (according numbers): 1 – Leibush Bieber, 2 – Sarah Belinkovich, 3 – Nachman Rayhenshteyn, 4 – Zita Goldstein – Levyatova, 5 – 6 – no names, 7 – Bella Izvozchikova, 8 – Yehuda Levyatov, 9 – Malka Pomeranian – Haklay, 10 – Joseph Dolgin, 11 – Ms. Drabkin, 12 – Shmaryahu Volovich, 13 – Jon Cohen – Goals, 14 – Abram Likhtarev (Ben Neria), 15 – Dr. Mordechai Feigelson (Giladi), 16 – Mina Izvozchikova – Tselnik (Yisraeli), 17 – Asriel Finkelstein, 18 – Ehevich
The Chernigov archive stores very few documents about Zionist activity in region, however most of them are related to Priluki.
Semen Grogorievich Belman (Head of Chernigov Jewish community) find in Archiv next names of Priluki Zionist:
– arrested in 1924 for counter-revolutionary activity
Isaak Abramovich Dolgin
Abraham-Yuda Zelmanovich Krupitskiy
– arrested in 1926 for keeping of zionist literature
Treister Iosif Tanovich
Borshevskiy Ineh Leibovich
– arrested in 1927 as a members of Gashomer Gatsair
Abraham Moiseevich Leibovskiy (born in 1909)
Isaak Efroimovich Gurevich (born in 1908)
Peisya Solomonovna Pinkovskaya (born in 1908)
Manya Grigorevna Tarnopolskaya (born in 1909)
Nyhym Morduhovich Levi (born in 1909)
Mila Udovich Grevneva (born in 1907)
After Civil War
In 1920’s Jewish life in Priluki and the whole Soviet Union changed significantly.
Due to the Korenization campaign https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Korenizatsiya Priluki’s, Piryatin’s and Yagotin’s Jews received the right to communicate with the authorities in Yiddish. A Yiddish court was established in Priluki.
A Jewish orphanage was established in the 1920’s. These were most children whose parents perished during pogroms in shtetls near Priluki like Piryatin, Lovitsa and Varva. These childrens’ testimonies are stored in the Chernigov State Archive.
In the 1920’s all big enterprises were nationalized. Among them were “Jewish” Tobacco Factory by Rabinovich and Fratkin, Volodarskiy’s tobacco factory, Shahin’s and Dolgin’s mills.
Before 1920, there were only 2 electrical generators in the city both of which belonged to Jewish enterpreters, Abraham Moiseevich Bukler (in intim theater), and Zolotarev (in cinema). Both genertors were nationalized in 1920.
In 1920, among 273 district’s deputies 2 represent “Paolei-Tzion” party.
In 1922 Jews were 22,6% of all laborers in Priluki and compose 1510 person.
In 1924/1925 Jews from Priluki organized 7 collective farms in Kherson District. App.600 people were resettled.
Some 65% of Priluki Jews worked as factory laborers and artisans, and about 165 were members of a Jewish kolkhoz named Nayer Shteyger (New way of life) . Jews numbered 9,001 (31.4% of the total population) in 1926, decreasing to 6,140 in 1939 (16.65%).
In November, 1927 the big Synagogue was closed by initiative of workers 2nd tabacco factory and was used as a workers’ club. Building of the mikva was nationalized in 1920’s and return in rent to Jews after it was fully decline.
Newspaper “Priluker Emes” published in Priluki in1927:
Priluki was occupied by the Germans on September 18, 1941. Many of Priluki’s Jews succeeded in leaving before the occupation started. The remaining Jews were ordered to wear a white armband with a yellow star and they were prohibited from going to the market and the cinema. They were recruited for forced labor, such as repairing roads, clearing demolished buildings, etc. On October 15, 1941 a murder operation that had several Jewish victims was carried out, probably by the German Secret Field Police unit no. 730.
Farewell letter of Lisa Shershevskaya (1927- 1942) who was killed during Prilku ghetto liquidation on May 20, 1942
A ghetto was established at the beginning of 1942 in the building of School #4 (build by merchant Shkuratov in 1912) and nearby streets . From January 1942 groups of 30-40 young healthy men were systematically taken from the ghetto and executed at an unknown location. Most of the Jews of Priluki were killed in a mass murder operation in May 1942.
Last letter of Eleonora Parmut (1926-1941) from Priluki Ghetto. It was found in 1990s during floor repairment.
Another mass murder was carried out by Germans in Priluki on September 10, 1942. The victims were Jews who had hidden or escaped from the previous killing operation.
Briskin and Entin – two survivors from Priluki ghetto near mass grave in Pliskunovka Ravine
Jews from Polova, Ladan, and Linovitsa of Priluki County and from Kharitonovka, Podol, Radkovka and Malaya Devitsa and other counties of the Chernigov District were murdered in Priluki. About 3,000 Jews were killed during German occupation. We know names only of 430 civilians and 316 soldiers
You can download victims lists here and here (the lists are 95% identical).
Priluki was liberated by the Red Army on September 19, 1943.
Many Jewish families return from evacuation in 1944-1945.
In the post-war period Jews play important role in economic and culture life of Priluki. For example Rabinovich David Fridelevich headed Cotton Factory for 21 year from 1944 till 1965.
There were about 2,000 Jews in Priluki in 1959.
After the War religious Jew gathered for pray in house of Magit on Gimnazicheskaya Str, 55 and in appartments of Lev Ofman on Kotlyarevskogo Str., 199J. Local police would persecute these meetings, especially on Major Jewish holidays.
Last shoihet in Priluki was Evelkin who died in 1960’s.
Jewish population of Priluki:
1825 – 316
1847 – 1007 jews
1897 – 5722 (30,8%)
1910 – 9355 jews
1920 – 9363 jews
1939 – 6140 (16,7%)
1959 ~ 2000 (4,6%)
1979 ~ 1100 (1,6%)
2001 – 185 jews
Jewish community was created again in the late 1980s when Leiderman Moses Gdalievich (1928-2000’s) organised “Society of Jewish culture”. Next Chairman was Leonid Klugman who emmigrated to Germany.
In the 1990s most Priluki’s Jews emigrated to Israel, Germany, and the USA. I can estimate the number who emigrated as between 1000-2000 people.
The Head of the Jewish Priluki Community in 2003-2013 was Lipin Pavel Gershelevich. After his death in 2013 the next Head of Community became Beis Irina Yakovlevna.
In June-July 2013 the old Jewish Cemetery was vandalized. Up to 20 tombstones were brought down or destroyed. Local police promised to find the criminals but haven’t done it…
The Priluki Archive was created in September 1921. During Nazi occupation it wasn’t evacuated and stay in city. Not many documents were lost during WWII. In 1995 the archives stored 1451 archival funds with thousands documents.
In January 2004 Priluki State Archive was united with Chernigov District’s Archive. All documents were moved to Chernigov. This was a real tragedy as most local historians have lost the chance to research Priluki’s history.
a Good source information about Priluki outside Ukraine Mormon archivs in USA.
According to my positive experience of research in Chernigov archive, the most valuable document about Priluki Jews in Chernigiv Archive are 1502/1/13 and 14 – it is a list of Priluki Jewish families which was filled sometime between 1889 and 1918. If you find your families here you will be able to get a description of 2-3 generations in one place. List of family heads you can download here. More detail about this uniq document you can read on Miriam Wainer website.
Most recent surnames which I came across (during check of family lists and birth records for few years) are: Karasik, Zolotnickiy, Myasnikov, London, Korhin, Pantelyat, Finkilshteyan, Levin, Kanevskiy, Lomonosov, Oleyner, Bentzionov, Zaslavskiy, Krypnickiy, Krjijanovskiy, Fratkin, Berkov.
Detalized information about available records in different Ukraine Archivs:
My sphere of interest is Myasnikoff family. They appear in Priluki in the middle of XIX century and comes from small hamlet Nezhirov near Malaya Devitsa village. I can assume that they were forced to resettle in Priluki during one of the anti-Semitic campaigns the required the transfer of Jews from rural areas to citites. On a map by 1863 such hamplet wasn’t mention so it dissapeared after Jew’s deportation. In the end of XIX century in Priluki lived 4 big Myasnikoff family in total number of more than 100 persons. According 1923 census in Priluki lived ~ 50 persons with Myasnikoff surname which was a result of huge emmigration in USA and different regions of Soviet Union. In Holocaust victims list mentioned only 5 Myasnikoff’s and 2 in list of perished warriors but obviously it isn’t full lists. Now in Priluki lives less than 10 descendants of Myasnikoff family.
Photo taken circa 1910 in Priluki. Family of Aizek (1875-1941) and Minya Myasnikov (?-1941).
Childrens: Rahil (1898-1970), Rivka-Beila (1901-1986), Boris (1905-1941), Manya (?-1941), Raya (1911-1980). Only 3 members survived in Holocaust.
Jewish surname Myasnikoff also appears in East Belarus so I can assume that they came from Gomel region in the middle-end of XVIII century. In that time Jews became appear in Chernigov region after Khmelnitskiy massacre and Ukrainian Civil War of second part XVII century.
Karasik and Makarevitch families
I have find these photos in archiv of Iliya Levitas. They were moved to archiv by Mark Karasik in 2000’s with small descriptions.
Mera Abram-Itskovna Makarevich (1893-1966). The photo was taken during the prom night at gymnazium.
Masha Makarevich in 1920, sister of Mera Makarevich, photo taken in Priluki
Yankel-Shmul Karasik (on the right) with mother Dvosya, two sisters. Mother died in evacuation in
Chelyabinsk during WWII.Older syster was killed during Civil War pogrom and younger was murdered during the Holocaust.
Mark’s Karasik grandmother’s sister with granddaughter Anna. Anna was killed during political
repressions in the Soviet Union in the 1930’s.
Yankel-Shmul Meerovich Karasik (1885-1970)
Abraham-Itsko Israilevich Makarevich, father of Mera Abram-Itskovna Makarevich (1893-1966), grandfather
of Mark Karasik who presented set of these photos in archiv of Iliya Levitas. Abraham Makarevitch died before the WWII.
Sister of Mera Makarevich – Masha with husband Aaron. Both haven’t evacuated and were killed during the Holocaust.Photo was taken in 1933.
Israil Karasik, died at a young age before the WWII. All the other people were erased from the photo. I
can assume that they were exterminated during political repressions in the Soviet Union in the 1930’s
Niece of Yankel-Shmul’s Karasik. She was perished during the Holocaust.
Sisters of the Yankel-Shmul Karasik, prerevolution photo taken in Priluki. Both disappeared during the WWII.
Sisters of the Yankel-Shmul Karasik, prerevolution photo taken in Priluki
Dvosya, mother of Yankel-Shmul Karasik. Photo supposely taken in Priluki in the end of XIX century
Systers and brothers of Yankel-Shmul Karasik in 1906, Priluki. Five another brothers and sisters aren’t present on this photo.
Brothers of Mera Abram-Itskovna Makarevich. Both were killed in action during WWII. Name of one of them was Vladimir.
Brother of Mera Makarevich with wife. Both were killed during the Holocaust
Brother of Yankel-Shmul Karasik with family. Brother was killed in action during WWII, wife and daughter were killed by Nazi,1939
Nieses of Yankel-Shmul Karasik 1934 Priluki
Rahel Karasik and her brother
Yankel-Shmul’s Karasik sister with husband. This man was perished during WWII.Odessa, 1935
Famous Jews from Priluki
Mogilevskiy Wolf Leyzerovych (1886-1943) – Ukrainian painter.
David Aronovich Gutman or Dmitriy Arkadievich Shmidt (1891, Priluki -1937) – Soviet general, leader of RSDRP branch in Priluki before revolution, Priluki commandant in 1918. David was shooted by Petlura troops but survived. He made very succefull military career in Red Army. David Aronovich Gutman was arrested in 1936 and executed in 1937 during Great Terror.
Isay Yakovlevich Hurhin (1887, Priluki -1925, New York) – Ukrainian and Soviet Jewish politican and diplomat, deputy of “Jewish” minister in Central Rada.
Boris Evseevich Malkin (1908, Priluki – 1972, Minsk) – Belarusian Soviet theater painter.
Michael Lazarevic Hershanowitsch (1924-2013) – Soviet and Russian oncologist
Alexander Ezer (Yevzerov) (1894, Priluki –1973, Jerusalem ) was a Zionist activist and a leading developer of commerce, tourism and industry in the pre-state Yishuv and newly established State of Israel.
Bezalel London (1900,Priluki -1971), is an Israel actor, known for Spuren (1972), Zot Hi Ha’aretz (1936) and Ha-Etmol Shel Maher (1964). He emmigrated from Soviet Union in 1925.
Mark Sterling (1895, Pryluki – 1976, Paris) was a French painter.
Irving Chernev (1900, Priluk – 1981) was a chess player and prolific Russian-American chess author. He was born in Pryluky and emigrated to the United States in 1920
Yechiel Galperin (1880, Priluki- 1942, Tel Aviv), is a teacher, supporter of the introduction of Hebrew as a main language of children’s pre-school education in Warsaw, Odessa and Tel Aviv.
William Edlin (1878, Priluki–1947, New York),was born in Priluki ia in 1878 and was brought to the US at the age of 12.He initially resided in California where he attended the University of California and Stanford University. At the age of 22, he edited the Havermill (Mass.) Social Democrat and cooperated with the socialist administration of the city. He then went to New York and became: editor of The Jewish Daily Forward, 1902-1903, editor of the Cap Maker’s Journal, 1902-1905 and drama and music editor of the Jewish Morning Journal, 1904-1913.
In 1915, Mr. Edlin became city editor of The Day newspaper and editor-in-chief of that publication from 1916 to 1925. After four years of independent writing, he returned to The Day newspaper as editor-in-chief. He later became national president of the Workman’s Circle, president of the New York Foreign Film Critics and president of the Yiddish Writers Union. In 1907, Mr. Edlin published, World Famous Operas, in Yiddish. He married Pauline Zlotzovsky in 1912 and they had a daughter, Charmain.
David Aronovich Rozov (1902-1941, Kuibyshev), deputy minister of Trade of the USSR, was arrested in 1940 and executed in 1941 together with his wife and 18 hight rank military officers and officials.
Meer Abramovich Slavin (1898-1981), hight rank military doctor, Major-General of Medical Service.
Gregory Lvovich Tiraspolskiy (1871-1947), Ph.D. in Tomsk Polytechnic University, emmigrated from Russia in 1920.
Ilya Evseevich Flys (1910-1964, Leningrad), famous soviet chemist.
Michael Wilensky (1880 – ?), famous USA actor.
Until age eight he learned in a cheder, later working for a tobacco manufacturer. His first acquaintance with the theatre came via “Tsushteln” [rekvizit] in a Ukrainian troupe in which he acted on the same stage, where Wilensky’s family lived.
In 1892 he immigrated to America and sold newspapers here, later working in a shelkes factory, becoming a “Sabbath visitor” of the Yiddish theatre, founding together with Abe Kogut the “Young Star Dramatic Club”, where he was the secretary. When Leon Mandeltort performed in the Goldfaden club in “Naye be, naye me”, W. was the prompter, and later he performed with Mandeltort across the province as a prompter and role-writer.
Later Wilensky was stage manager with Kessler, debuting in the role of “Lawyer” in Kobrin’s “East Side Ghetto”, and since that time has been active as the stage manager and actor with the popular troupes of New York. From 1912-15 Wilensky was stage manager and also performed in episodic roles on the English stage. In 1920 he was a partner with the director of the Lyric Theatre. In 1923 he was stage manager with the English actor Warfield.
In the Variety period, Wilensky worked and performed sketches in the Yiddish variety theatres.
Before Revolution in Priluki existed 4 private Jewish secondary schools: 2 Levin’s, Hazanov’s and female Frid’s.
Jewish library existed in Priluki till 1920. In Bussines book for 1901 I find mention of these library. It belonged to Beilin Gersh Abramovich..
After the Revolution in Priluki were created 4 Jewish Schools: three 7-years and one 4-year.
Jewish school №5 was created from Russian school in 1923 and named in honor of October Revolution. Junior pupils used Yiddish used as an educationl language first 3 years. Next classes used Russian. School directors in different years were Goldin Lev Abramovich, Zaks (name is unknow) and Novikov Boris Iosipovich. During first year there were 11 teachers.
Number of the pupils in different yers: 194 in 1923, 229 in 1924, 307 in 1926, 255 in 1927.
Jewish school №5 was transfered to Russian in 1938. Since 1925 school was located in the building on the central city’s squere. It was burned by Germans in 1943.
Jewish school №8 was created on the basis of private gymnasium of Novogrudskiy in 1918. There studied 250 Jewish children in 5 classes. School located in building of Bukler’s theatre on Pereyaslavskaya Str.(destroyed in 1980’s) and existed for cost of pupil’s payments.
Since 1919 Hebrew as a language of education was prohibited in USSR and school became use Russian.
In 1920 school was nationalised. In 1921 there worked 19 teachers. School director was Bashmachnikov Iliya Solomonovich.
Number of the pupils in different yers: 250 in 1918, 280 in 1921, 216 in 1922, 245 in 1923, 266 in 1924.
In 1922 teachers were Demkov S.M., Zaslavskaya B.I., Kiselova M.P., Koiles Y.G., Krasin A.A., Krasina E.V., Mogilevskiy V.L., Preis A.E., Shkoropad O.P., Novikova S.B., Zapadinska G.I.
In 1924 and 1925 school’s directors were Slavina Sarra Iosifovna and Grishko Vasyl Pilipovich.Jewish school №8 was closed in July 24, 1925 due to emergency state of the school’s building.
Jewish labor school was created in 1920 and was located in the building of Kislih’s secondary school (buildins still exist on Vokzalnaya Str., 35). Among 15 teachers were Nahman Gold and Frederika Iosifovna Lyapidys.
Number of the pupils in different yers: 317 in 1920, 224 in 1924.
In 1922 there was created first brunch of “Young Spartacus” in Priluki. In next year they were renamed in Pioneers. Main organisator became Isaak Bruk (1908-1985), head of the first detachment was Krasin (son of history teacher).
Bruk family in 1960’s, Kiev. Isaak Bruk (1908-1985) with son Vitaliy (1935-2005) and grandson Meir. Isaak survived in Nazi concentration camp during WWII and lived in Kiev. His grandson Meir (b.1964) is a Rabbi in Brooklyn.
In 1923 school was moved to building of former Barskiy hotel on Vokzalnaya Str.(ruined during WWII). It was renamed to Politechnick school named in honor of 1 May.In 1931 school was aasigned to local electrical station where children practice in different specialities. Pupils often helped to workers of Jewish collective farm “Noviy pobut”. Aftre the WWII school wasn’t renovated.
Jewish collective farm “Noviy Pobut”
Jewish collective farm was organised in 1925. First members where 12 poor Jews.
In 1930 collective farm consist of 200 families and 650 members which owned 445 acrs, 58 horses, 177 sheeps, 5 cows and one tractor. Jewish artisans joined this farm too. Due to them were created different workshops – mill, smithy, shoe’s and others.
In 1930’s “Noviy Pobut” was a biggest collective farm in Priluki region. In the beginning of 1930’s member’s get a land in outskirts of Priluki and create a small village “Noviy Pobut” (see map above). There were 20 houses.
In 1960’s last inhabitans were resettled in Priluki and on the place of village was created city cemetery. Collective farm’s office was located in house on the front of Brick factory №2 on Frunze Str.
According to many documents and facts we can concluded that before and after Revolution most of the Priluki Jews lived in the central part of the city between current Kkotlyarevskogo and Ivanovskaya streets.
Panorama of former Priluki jewish quartal with ruin of Choral synagogue (1) and building of Ygolniy Prayer House (2)
House of tobacco factory owner Zelman N. Fratkin located in Kievskaya Str., 156. Between 1947 and 2000 there was located city library. House of another merchant from this clan located on Kievskaya Str., 265.
Building of the Heyder now is a surgical department of the Municipal Hospital.
Building of Municipal Cultur House was started to build for cost of merchant Brodskiy and owner of brick factory Shtonda but was stopped due to Brodskiy bankruptcy. It was completed only in 1930’s.
Fratkin’s house (owner of tobacco factory) is located in Kievskaya Str., 273. After WWII and till 2003 there was located children’s library.
Modern dental clinic is located in former Topolskiy’s inn by address Kievskaya Str., 162
Kogan and Malkin mill was located on the territory of building located on Kievskaya Str., 80.
Building on Vokzalnaya Str., 57 belonged to mill owner Dolgin. Now it is a telecommunication center.
Building of Priluki Сity Council was build by Jewish merchant Zolotarev in the second half of XIX century. Before Revolution it was rented out to Noble Assembly. During WWII building was burned and rebuild in 1943-1951.
Zolotarev’s building now and 100 years ago
Zolotarev’s building in 1960’s
In this small story of Priluki Jewish community I must mention a owner of soap factory – Frid Berko Failovich. His house still existing on the corner of Pereyaslavskaya and Kievskaya Streets.
In 1895 in Pereyaslavskaya Str., 13 (on the front of the modern Culture House Abraham Moiseevich Bukler constructed building for Intim theatre (300 seats). In different times it was used for theatres, Jewish school (after 1918) and Bread factory (after WWII). Building was destroyed in the second half of XX century.
In Chernigov Archiv store documents about transfer of Synagogues buildings from state property to religious communities which took place in 1922. There is listed all synagogue’s property which was signed by communitie members. Due to this documents we know that in 1922 there were 9 synagogues. In 2000’s Pavel Grigorevich Lipin create a list of 5 existing buildings which used a synagogues in the beginning of XX century. I identified only 3 out of them. Names and another details of synagogues located in 2 other buildings are unknown.
A wooden building which was constructed in the 1870’s. The overall space of the structure was 240 square meters. In 1922 there it housed 21 Torah volumes. Among the parishioners in 1920’s there I.Khazan, R. Agranov, Sverdlov, A. Nyhman and others. Now the building is used as a dwelling house.
Address: Sadovaya Str., 35.
- The Kravetskiy Prayer House
A wooden building which was constructed in 1880. In 1923 it housed 57 Torah volumes. Among the parishioners of the 1920’s were G.Samoilovich, Iosel Rivkin, H. Evelkin, M.Katsnelson, Izko Kapitulskiy, Boruh Berkov Krypnitskiy, Zalman Haimov Gurevich, S. Karasik.
According to Bussines Directories by 1899, 1901 next persons headed Kravetskiy Prayer House:
Scholar – bourgeois Mordyh Udkovich Krypitskiy, Moses Beniamonivich Bukler; treasurer – merchant Moses Wolfovich Eidelman (lived in private house on Trehsvyatitskaya Str.) Israel Berkovich Zolotnickiy, head – merchant Abraham Moiseevich Dolgin (lived in private house on Sobornaya Str.), Moses Wolfovich Eidelman
The building was located on Sadovaya Str but the exact location and current state is unknown.
Synagogue was built in 1861 on the place of more older wooden synagogue or prayer house. The total space of the structure was 2000 square meters. The building became used by members of Jewish workman’s circle. Synagogue was closed down in the 1927 and transformed in Worker’s Club. There were existed small theatre which play in Yiddish. In 1945 it was converted into a cinema. In 1954 building was reconstructed when was destroyed big beautiful synagogue’s dome. The Cinema was closed in 1990. After this, the city began to convert the building into a storage space for materials from the local museum. The roof and the dome of the synagogue were disassembled and the building currently remains in this state.
In 1922 the Choral synagogue housed 57 Torah volumes. Among the parishioners in 1920’s were M.Katz, Boris Soloveichik, Abraham Gurevich, E.I.Sverdlov.
Beginning of XX century
Cinema in synagoga building at 1950’s
Beginning of 1990’s
Protocol from 1927 about creation worker’s club in synagogue building
According to Bussines Directories by 1899, 1901 next persons headed Choral Syanagogue:
Scholar – bourgeois Moses Beniaminovich Bukler (lived in private house on Gimnazicheskaya Str.); treasurer – merchant Israel Berkov Zolotnickiy (lived in private house on Sobornaya Str.), head – merchant Elya Ioselevich Rozenberg (lived in private house on Sobornaya Str.)
From 1908 Bussines Directory:
Scholar – bourgeois Berkov Izkov Syponitskiy ; treasurer – merchant Zelman Shmyilov Rahlenko, head – merchant Elya Gdalevich Rozenberg (lived in private house on Sobornaya Str.)
Address: Sadovaya Str., 36 (before 1896 it was Synagogue Str.).
- Prayer House “Khaya-Odom” on Val
The building was of Wooden construction (overlaid with brick) and was completed in the year 1885. In 1922 it housed 12 Torah volumes. Among the parishioners in 1920’s were A,.Grinberg, M.Levandovskiy, S.Urovskiy. According to prayer’s house name it was located not far from Big Choral Synagogue in the center of Priluki. It was located on Trehsvyatitelskaya Str. (now it is Gogolya Str). But it’s exact location and current state is unknown.
According to Bussines Directories by 1899, 1901 next persons headed Prayer House “Khaya-Odom”:
Scholar – bourgeois Aaron Berkovich Rozov (lived in private house on Halahanoskaya Str.); treasurer – bourgeois Ehil Shaevich Sverdlov, head – merchant Sryl-Ber Leibovich Rivkin
Building of Fratkinskaya Synagogue in Priluki. Now a music school
The Fratkinskiy prayer house was a brick building which was constructed in 1872. Because of it’s name, “Fratkinskiy” we can assume that it was the local bussinesman (add first name) Fratkin, the owner of the tobacco factor, who donated the money for the construction of this synagogue. The Fratkinskiy prayer house currently functions as a music school (from 1966). In 1922 the prayer house housed 35 Torah volumes. Among parishioners in 1920’s were M.Rott, Simha Ginzburg, Merinson.
According to Bussines Directories by 1899, 1901 next persons headed Fratkinskiy prayer house:
Scholar – merchant Berko Faivishev Frid (lived in private house on Alexandrovskaya Str., now it is Kievskaya Str.), treasurer and head David Notovich Kisin (lived in private house on Pereyaslavskaya Str.),
Address: Zemskaya Str., 11.
Was situated on Pereyaslavskaya Str. In 1922 there were 15 Torah volumes. The exact location and history of the structure is unknown.
In 1922 it housed 24 Torah volumes. The exact location and history of the structure is unknown.
According to Bussines Directories by 1899, 1901 next persons headed Kvashinskiy Prayer House:
Scholar – merchant Moses Urievich Kagan (lived in private house on Alexandrovskaya Str., now it is Kievskaya Str.); treasurer – Osher Abramovich Nemkovskiy (lived in private house on Alexandrovskaya Str., now it is Kievskaya Str.), head – Yankel Moiseevich Slonimskiy (lived in private house on Alexandrovskaya Str., now it is Kievskaya Str.), Iosel Gershovich Dvorkin (lived in private house on Alexandrovskaya Str., now it is Kievskaya Str.)
- Prayer House “Moishev-Sheiynim”
This synagogue was established in 1906, on the territory of the Rabinovich & Fratkin Tobacco factory on Konotopskaya Str. in a 2-room building. One can be assume that it was built for the workers of the Tabaco plant who were primarily of Jewish decent. Among the parishioners in the 1920’s were H.G.Krypnitskiy, Abraham Lifshits, Aleiner.
The exact location and current state of the structure is unknown. Most of the old building was burned during WWII.
Any details are unknown.
- Other prayer houses in Priluki district
On May 20, 1942 the inhabitants of the Priluki ghetto were ordered to assemble at the bridge over the Pliskunovka River, ostensibly to be settled in a new area. Most Jewish men had already been shot to death before that date.
Ravine in 1944/1945
Mass grave in Soviet period
First memorial table
Monument erected in 2005 due to donation of Alex Feldman
Pliskunovka ravine. 2012 year. Photo made after ceremony dedicated to 70th anniversary of ghetto massacre
Pavel Lipin on ceremony in 2013. He died on October 24, 2013
Irina Yakovlevna Beis on commemoration ceremony in 2014
Only women, children, and the elderly remained. All those who arrived were taken to a ravine near the bridge on the way to the village of Pliskunovka. They were lined up in rows and shot. The number of victims amounted to 1,290, including some Jews from neighboring villages who were shot together with about 1,150 Jews from Priluki itself. The killings were carried out by a detachment of Sonderkommando Plath of the SD under the command of the head of the Kremenchug security police, Karl Julius Plath. The German field gendarmerie, local Ukrainian police, and a Cossack unit participated in the mass killing of Jews. The adults who had to take off their clothes, were beaten and then shot. The children were shot or buried alive.
The grave was fenced off and flowers were planted in June 1944 by Jews who returned from evacuation and Red Army. In 1948 all graves in ravine were united in one.
First attempt to construct the monument for cost of Jewish community in late 1940’s failed because local authorities forbid this.
Video from Pliskunovka ravine, 2000’s:
In 1967 local Holocaust survivors Leonid Briskin and Vladimir Entin placed (without official permission) a cast-iron tombstone in the Pliskunovka ravine, at the mass murder site of local Jews. It had an ethnically neutral inscription in Russian that said: “Here lie buried victims of fascism who were shot by Hitler’s soldiers during the occupation of Priluki in the years 1941-1943. May their memories be preserved for eternity.” Later, the policy of the authorities changed and a marble tombstone with an inscription identical to the earlier one was erected by officials replaced the previous one.
In addition to the original monument in 2005 a marble gravestone was placed at the mass murder site of the Jews from Priluki and Priluki County on the bottom of the Pliskunovka Ravine on the eastern outskirts of the town. The inscription in Ukrainian and Hebrew on the stone reads: “In this place on May 20, 1942 1,290 Jews were executed by the fascist invaders during the occupation.”
About 1,500 Jews were murdered at the racetrack in Priluki, close to the local prison, together with non-Jewish locals, at different time between 1941 and 1943. Jews were systematically arrested by Germans in small groups, imprisoned in the Priluki prison, and then shot at the racetrack. In the winter of 1942 a group of 100 Jewish men from the ghetto.
Monument to civil people killed near Priluki prison during the WWII
The murder was apparently carried out between October 1941 and February 1942 by the German Secret Field Police unit no. 730 and from February 1942 — by the Secret Field Police unit no. 721. Before being shot the Jews were forced to take off their clothes. Some of them, including many children, were buried alive. Many Jews from Priluki County were murdered at the racetrack in Priluki: documents report the killing of Jews from Ladan (at least 15 Jews were shot on May 20, 1941), Linovitsa (at least 6 Jews were shot on March 1, 1943), and Polova (at least 2 Jews were shot on March 1, 1943). Some Jews from the Chernigov District were also murdered at the racetrack: documents report the killing of Jews from Radkovka in Malaya Devitsa County (at least 3 Jews, who were arrested in 1943 and sent to the Priluki prison) and Malaya Devitsa (at least 1 Jew, who was arrested on February 25, 1943 and sent to the Priluki prison).
Monument was erected in May 7, 1978 (architect V.G. Shtolko and sculptor V.P. Lutsak).
Ghetto during WWII
A ghetto was established for Jewish people in the autumn 1941 in the building of school No.4 and street near it. All jews from the ghetto were killed 20 May 1942 in Pliskunovka ravine.
History of Priluki ghetto is described Vladimir Entin’s book (ed.), Iosif Zeev ben Dov from Priluki (Jerusalem, 2006). There are only 2-3 paper copys of this book in Ukraine but you can download it here.
Old Jewish cemetery
According to census date, we can assume that the Jewish cemetery appeared in Priluki in the beginning of XIX century. It wasn’t marked on city plan by 1802 and appeared only by the publication of the 1859 city plan. Also, it was mentioned on the plans of 1863 and 1888. It was located on the western outskirts of the city, near the road to Rudivka village (see map above), between road to Nezhin and Udai river. The first Priluki Jewish cemetery was closed in the end of XIX century. I have not been able to find any information about exact years when it was demolished. But Sheptovitskiy Lev Mihailovich (1921-2000’s) said that he remembers the oldest cemetery on the bank of Udai river. So we can assume that it existed till WWII.
The cemetery is located on the former outskirts of the town of Kvashyntsi in Partyzans’ka Street, near the bus stop marked «Hospital». The estimated number of graves is 2600. The cemetery is partly fenced in. Trees have been planted around the perimeter but it is open to all. Jews from the towns of Linivitsa, Ladan (10 km away) , Gusynya and Malaya Divits (10 km away) also utilized this cemetery. The cemetery was established in 1905 when Jews collected money and purchased land for this purposes.
Schmull Mackler (1886-1990), a former resident of Priluki, who left that shtetl in 1907 mentioned about this in his memours:
At that time, the town was growing quickly. The Jewish population grew so fast that, at one point, it was necessary to buy more land for a cemetery. Everyone in the town donated something toward the building of the cemetery.
The last graves are dated between 1970-1980. The cemetery consists of 2 parts: the older section and new section. The graves of the new section belong to period date from the mid to late 20th century. The local Jewish community has persisted to keep up maintenance on this newer section.
The older section is completely covered by vegetation and is in a state of ruin, with the tombstones being visible only in the winter and spring. I have taken many pictures of old section of the cemetery. However, I can’t fit them all in this article, so if you need them I can send them to you directly. According to the testimony of Vladimir Entin Jews who died on Priluki ghetto were buried on this cemetery. However, the location of the graves is unknown.
In the cemetery are buried many members of Priluki’s most prominent Jewish families: Krupytsky, Rabinovich, Krasnopolskyi, Zorahovychiv, Zolotarev and Bukler, Fratkinyh and Dolgin.
After 1974 Jews used common cemeteries and thee Jewish part of Noviy Pobut cemetery. In 2010 Jews were allowed to use this cemetery again but no new burilas appeared here.