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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 (don’t confuse it with Old Priluka – town in Vinnitsa district, former shtetl).


A Jewish settlement in Priluki existed in the 16th century, and was destroyed in 1648 in connection with the Chmielnicki massacres.

The community was restored at the beginning of the 19th century. There were 2,007 Jews in Priluki in 1847, 5,722 (31% of the total population) in 1897.

In 1859 there were synagogue and one Jewish prayer house.

In 1879 official rabbi became Tsirel’son Leib Moiseevich (1859, Kozelec -1941, killed by nazi in Moldova).

Jews owned two tobacco factories, two lour mills, and small oil reineries. 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.

Priluki enterpreneurs list from Russian Empire Business Directories by 1903:


Civil War pogroms

During the civil war there were pogroms on October 23, 1917 and during a whole period of Denikin’s occupation in Summer-Autumn 1919.

Jewish theater in Summer park. Beginning og XX century

Jewish theater in Summer park. Beginning of XX century

In Chernigov Archiv stored petiotions of Priluki citizens submited in 1924 who suffered during pogroms. In these documents mentioned names, witnesses, listed killed and injured relatives and neighbors, stolen property. I checked all these documents and find next names of killed 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.

Tobacco factory of Rabinovich and Fratkin. Beginning og XX century

Tobacco factory of Rabinovich and Fratkin. Beginning og 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 weren’t included relatives of person’s who left Priluki between 1919 and 1924.

In 1910’s-1920’s in USA existed United Priluker Relief Landsmanschaft, which helped to Pruluki Jews in hard times during and after Civil War.


The Zionists remained active for a couple of years ater 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

He-Chaluts movement i Priluki. Photo by 1917

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

In Chernigov archiv stored very few documents about Zionist activity in region but most of them related to Priluki.
Due to these not numerous records Semen Grogorievich Belman (Head of Chernigov jewish community) find next names of Priluki dwellers:
– 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 the 1920s Yiddish was used officially in the court of law and in the local council. 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%).

Priluki handicraftsman at 1925. Photo from <a title="" href=""></a>

Priluki handicraftsman at 1925. Photo from

In November, 1928 Big Synagogue was closed by initiative of workers 2nd tabacco factory and used as workers’ club. Building of the mikva was nationalized in 1920’s and return in rent to Jews after it was fully decline.

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


Priluki was occupied by the Germans on September 18, 1941. Many Jews of Priluki 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.

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. 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

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 of 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 militaries…

You can download victims lists here and here (the lists are 95% identical).

Priluki was liberated by the Red Army on September 19, 1943.

After WWII

There were about 2,000 Jews in Priluki in 1959. The last remaining synagogue was closed down by the authorities in 1961 but Jews still gather for pray in few illegal minyans.

Jewish community was created again in the late 1980s. In the 1990s most Jews emigrated to Israel and the West.

Head of Jewish Priluki Community in 2003-2013 was Lipin Pavel Gershelevich. After his death in 2013 next Head of Community became Beis Irina Yakovlevna.

In June-July 2013 old Jewish Cemetery was vandalized. Up to 20 tombstones were brought down or destroyed. Local police promised to find criminals but haven’t done it…


Good source information about Priluki outside Ukraine can be a Mormon archivs in USA.

According to my positive experience of research in Chernigov archiv most valuable document about Priluki Jews in Chernigiv Archiv are 1502/1/13 and 14 – it is a list of Priluki Jewish families which was filling between 1889 and 1918 (new families members was adding and person which leave were strike out). If you find your familie here you will be able to get a description of 2-3 generations in one place. List of family heads you can download here.

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 ressetle in Priluki during one of the antisemitic campain of transfer Jews from rural area to citites. On 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 mersons 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.

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.



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.

  • Ygolniy Prayer House

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. The building was located on Sadovaya Str but the exact location and current state is unknown.

  • Big Choral Synagogue

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. 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.

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’s exact location and current state is unknown.

  • Fratkinskiy Prayer House

Building of Fratkinskaya Synagogue in Priluki. Now music school

The Fratkinskiy prayer house was a brick building which was constructed in 1872. Total space is 900 square meters. Because of the name, “Fratkinskiy” we can assume that it was the local bussinesman (add first name) Fratkin, the owner of the tobacco factory which made Pryluky famous, 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.

Address: Zemskaya Str., 11.

  • Vokzalniy Prayer House

Was situated on Pereyaslavskaya Str. In 1922 there were 15 Torah volumes. The exact location and history of the structure is unknown.

  • Kvashinskiy Prayer House

In 1922 it housed 24 Torah volumes. The exact location and history of the structure is unknown.

  • 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 1920’s were H.G.Krypnitskiy, Abraham Lifshits, Aleiner.

The exact location and current state of the structure is unknown but as I know most old building of tobacco factory were burned during WWII.

  • Prayer House Habad 

Any details are unknown.

Pliskunovka ravine

On May 20, 1942 the Jews living in 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.

Only old people, women, and children 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.

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.  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 onthe 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 theSecret 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

Ghetto was established for jewish people in the autumn 1941 in the building of school No.4 and street near it. All jews from ghetto was killed 20 May 1942 in Pliskunovka ravine.

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History of Priluki ghetto described in book of Vladimir Entin (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

The cemetery is located on the former outskirts of the town of Kvashyntsi in Partyzans’ka Street, near the bus stop marked «Hospital». Cemetery was founded in 1859. Estimated number of graves is 2600. The cemetery is partly fenced, trees have been planted around the perimeter but open to all. Jews from towns Linivitsa, Ladan (10 km away) , Gusynya and  Malaya Divits (10 km away) used this cemetery too. Cemetery was established in 1905.  Place of more old cemetery is unknown but it was exist. Last graves are dated by 1970-1980. Cemetery consist of 2 parts: more old and new. Graves of new part is belong to period 1930-1980 and jewish community try keep in order it. But old part totally covered by vegetation and tombstones can be seen only at winter and spring. I made many photos of old part of cemetery at early spring of 2011 but cant put them all in this article, so if you need them I can send them to you directly. According to testimony of Vladimir Entin Jews who died on Priluki ghetto were burried on this cemetery. Location of graves is unknown.

After 1974  jews used common cemeteries and jewish part of Noviy Pobut cemetery. In 2010 Jews were allowed to used this cemetery again but no new burilas appeared here.

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  1. Vitaly is to be congratulated upon his generation of the events and history of Priluki. The information is most valuable and I will ask his permission to attach this information to my website. Of course, attribution to Vitaly will be attached to him for this excellent work.

  2. Thanks so much for this great page. I have been looking for information about my Priluki ancestors (the Belikoff family) and this brings so much to life. I hope to someday be able to visit and see what information I can collect.

    • Hope you will be able to visit Priluki :)

      • I hope to visit Priluki some day!

  3. Here you can find Vladimir Entin book about Priluki ghetto:

  4. Thank you for this information.
    My father was Morris Belikoff who emigrated to the United States in the early 1900s. i may be related to Michael Krieger through one of my father’s sisters, perhaps Ida. Thank you again for your excellent work.

  5. List of the Priluki Jewish families heads (1891-1918):

  6. I have been looking for information on my father Anatoly and his sister Elena Levinskaya from Priluki. Maybe someone can help me find her.

  7. My grandfather, Herbert Marsh (Hyman Masnikoff) was from Priluki. thank you for sharing this informative and emotionally powerful information.

  8. Comment from HannaK (Kiryat Anavim archive)
    “Very nice website! Keep up the good work!
    About the pioneers from Preluki who had built Kibbutz Kiryat Anavim read here (Hebrew)

  9. Thank you for this page. I lived in Priluki from 2004-2006. I can’t find the village of “Pliskunovka” on google maps. do you know the location/coordinates Pliskunovka Yar?

  10. Exact location was marked on the map in the beginning of article

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