Prcyluki (Hungarian), Pryłuki (Polish), Прилуки (Ukrainian), Прилуки – Priluki (Russian)

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, town in Chernigov district, Ukraine.

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 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.

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.

During the civil war there were pogroms on October 23, 1917, June 4–14, 1919, and in September 1919.

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. I find few documents about this on web-site.

Big Synagogue in Priluki. Photo from

Big Synagogue in Priluki. Photo from

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%).

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.

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

here 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.

But 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.

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 inhabitans 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.

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:


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.

Photo of garve in Pliskunovka ravine in Soviet time. From Yad Vashem museum

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.

Pliskunovka ravine. 2012 year. Photo made after ceremony dedicated to 70th anniversary of ghetto massacre

The Jews of Priluki fenced off the murder site during the first years after the war. 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.


Grave stone erected in 2005 due to donation of Alex Feldman

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.”



Big Synagogue


Big Synagogue. Photo 2011

Synagogue was build in the end of XIX century and was closed in the 1927. Building became a club of jewish workmans. After the WWII a cinema was established there. Cinema was closed after new building was established for this purposes and know building of Big Synagogue is mouldering.





Building of Synagogue in Priluki

Synagogue was build in the end of XIX century and was closed in the 1961(?). Now it is musical school.







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).



School No. 4, the center of the Priluki ghetto, where local Jews lived from September 1941 to May 1942

Street near School No. 4 where ghetto was

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.

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, I have photocopy, so if you will have some question you can contact.

Old Jewish cemetery

Old Jewish cemetery. Spring 2011

The cemetery is located on the former outskirts of the town of Kvashyntsi in Partyzans’ka Street, near the bus stop marked «Hospital». 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.




8 Responses

  1. Leonard Markowitz 03.07.2012 at 12:39 #

    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. Michael Krieger 28.01.2013 at 23:36 #

    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.

  3. vibu_admin 13.01.2014 at 21:29 #

    Here you can find Vladimir Entin book about Priluki ghetto:

  4. Paul Bell 04.03.2014 at 05:42 #

    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. vibu_admin 06.03.2014 at 19:39 #

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

  6. Regina Levinskaya 13.03.2014 at 02:26 #

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

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