Репки – Repki (Russian), Ріпки (Ukrainian)
Repki is a historic town located in the Chernihiv region of northern Ukraine and the center of Repki district. The city’s estimated population is 7,458 (as of 2011).
Before the Revolution Repky was a mestechko of Gorodnta Uezd, Chernigov guberniya.
Jewish population of Repki:
1897 – 3049 (91,3%)
1939 – 79
2014 – 1
In 1873, there was a synagogue in Ripky. According to the 1897 census, the total population stood at 3,336, including 3,049 Jews.
The business directory of 1903 lists few names of Jewish entrepreneurs in Repky:
Grocery stores: Aleksandrov Hatsk. Gersh., Glukhovskiy Israil Avram.
Haberdashery: Zhezmer Mih. Zalm.
In 1905, pogroms took place in the town following the Manifesto of October 18.
The town Rabbi in the beginning of XX century was Shneur-Zalman Schneerson (? – 1928).
In 1912, a Jewish loans and savings society operated. In 1914, Jews owned both groceries, all three specialist stores and four drapery shops in Ripky.
There were a number of pogroms during the Civil War.
In 1919, 150 Jews were killed and in February 1921, there was a wave of pogroms and organized by Ataman Galaka’s gangs when most of the Jewish population was eliminated.
Atrocities of these tragic events described in book of local historian Anatoliy Zhiglovskiy “Galakovshina:Myths and Reality”. You can download it here or here(in Russian).
Another pogrom took place after units of S.N.Bulak-Balakhovich’s troops entered Ripky, during which 102 Jews were killed.
The biggest pogrom that occurred in Galaka happened on February 13, 1921. Around 200 Jews were killed. There are a some episodes:
– At Repki the criminals applied all kinds of torturous methods. The elderly were stabbed with bayonets, cut to pieces, choked and strangled, jewelry was torn from bodies. For the younger victims the progromists applied especially gruesome methods.
– In at least one instance, a husband was tied to a chair, while the fiends raped his wife in front of him. This happened to mothers and fathers as well as they were forced to watch the systematic rape and murder of their daughters.
– By the order of the Galaka were brought a few buckets of kerosene from Jewish store. Galakovtsy with bared swords stood in a circle, then led Jewish blacksmiths. The Blacksmiths were doused with kerosene and burnt alive. The Galakovtsy (progromists) whistled and laughed tingling their swords until they fell do. The Galaka with his closest associates, gave short instructions and happily laughed enjoying the spectacle.
As a result of the pogroms, the Jewish population – once the majority of the town – had been reduced to just 26% of the total population by 1923.
Metal obelisk on the railway station Gornostaevka. There were killed Jews of Dobryanka.
Before the war, according to the 1939 census, 450 Jews lived in Repky district, mostly in Dobryanka, Radulov and Repki (79 persons).
Till August 30, 1941 the whole district’s territory was occupied by German troops. Establishing a new order, the occupants began to exterminate the Jewish population. The first mass killing happened in October 23, 1941 on railway station Gornostaevka, where 20 people were killed. Next massacre was here in November 13, 1941 when 20 Jews were killed.
In November 1941 15 Jews from Radul village of Repky district were murdered.
Through November and December the Germans carried out the systematic extremination of individual Jewish families living in the outskirts of Repky. In November 1941 and January 1942, there were mass killings of Poddobryanka Jews.
Grave in the center of Repki. Rremains of killed Jews were reburied here after the war.
According to eyewitnesses in 15 Jews were killed in Radulov, 30 in Repky, 40 in Gornostaevka and 204 in Dobryanka. The death toll for all of Repky district amounted to 295 Jews.
In total we know the names of 285 Jews: 177 from Dobryanka, 34 from Gornostaevka and 46 Jews from other settlements. Included in this number are Jewish Soldiers of the Red Army. All 4 lists you can find here (in Russian).
Monuments were erected at the mass killing sites in Gornostaevka and Poddobryanka. We are still unsure of the location of the Radulov site.
Repky was liberated by Red Army in September 26, 1943.
As of 2014, only 1 Jew resides in Repky district.
Famous Jews from Repki
Arkady Yakovlevich Leikin (1936-2005), soviet historian.
In Chernigov State Archiv store next Repky’s records:
Fond/Opis/Delo: 679/10/1244,1252 – birth records for 1875-1876;1879-1883
Fond/Opis/Delo: 679/10/1246 – death records for 1875
Holocaust victims grave
Jews of Repky were killed in January 1942. After the war their remains were reburied in the central city.
Monument in the center of Repki