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Zlatopol

Zlatopol

Zlatopol is a settlement in the former Kiev guberniya. In 1959, Zlatopol was incorporated into Novomirgorod in the Kirovograd region.

In the XIX – early XX centuries, it was a shtetl belonging to the Chigirin uyezd, Kiev guberniya.

In the late XVIII century, Jews began to settle in Zlatopol. By 1787, the town belonged to the noble Polish Liubomirskiy family. Ksaveriy Liubomirsky stimulated the development of Zlatopol. He used to hold fairs there, and gave credit to Jewish merchants.

Center of the Zlatopol on the postcards, beginning of XX century

Center of the Zlatopol on the postcards, beginning of XX century

In the late XVIII – early XIX centuries Hasidish tzaddik Arie-Leib from Shpola (Shpoler Zeide) lived in Zlatopol.

In 1800, Rebbe Nakhman from Bratslav settled there. However, in 1802, the tsaddik’s wife died of consumption. He buried her in the Zlatopol Jewish cemetery and moved away.

Zlatopol entrepreneurs list from Russian Empire Business Directories by 1913

Zlatopol entrepreneurs list from Russian Empire Business Directories by 1913

2 more lists

Zlatopol entrepreneurs list from Russian Empire Business Directories by 1913. Part 2

Zlatopol entrepreneurs list from Russian Empire Business Directories by 1913. Part 2

Zlatopol entrepreneurs list from Russian Empire Business Directories by 1913. Part 3

Zlatopol entrepreneurs list from Russian Empire Business Directories by 1913. Part 3

In the mid-XIX century, a lot of Jewish merchants moved from Novomirgorod to Zlatopol. Children of rich Jews studied in a noble, four-grade school which opened in 1845. In 1864, there were 29 Jewish merchants of the third guild in Zlatopol.
In 1834, a local priest complained about Jewish stalls. To his opinion, they were located too close to the church. So, he asked the authorities to “take them away”.

Members of the wealthy Brodskiy family, which had roots in Zlatopol, donated money for the construction and maintenance of a Jewish hospital, a poorhouse and a “gymnasium” (high school).

Torah crown from Zlatopol, Museum of Historical treasures in Kiev. Photo by The Center for Jewish Art

Torah crown from Zlatopol, Museum of Historical treasures in Kiev. Photo by The Center for Jewish Art

In 1876, the Jews of Zlatopol owned several tobacco factories.

Jewish population of Zlatopol:
1847 — 2668
1864 — 5480
1897 — 6373 (78,5%)
1926 — 3863
1939 — 1047
2017 ~ 10

In 1880, Movsha Shapiro (1850-?) became the rabbi of Zlatopol; in the 1890’s, Azar (Oyzer) Abramovich Struyansky; in the first decade of the XX century, Gilel Poysik (b. 1888 in Zlatopol, d. 1953 in Tel-Aviv), son of Eliyahu Poisik.
In 1865, there were five synagogues and a Jewish hospital in Zlatopol.

In 1894, there was one synagogue and seven prayer houses in the town. Local Jews appealed to the Governor of Kiev to open another prayer house in the house of the local Jewish Zlatopol resident, Reznikov.
The appeal was signed by Meyer Khomutovsky, Gdal Rod, Berko Zheleznyak, Bentsion Khomutovsky, Moshko Barsky, Mordko Barsky, Mordko-Leib Rozin, Duvid Vinokur, Chaim Vinogradskiy, Iosif Linetskiy, Chaim Trakhnegut, Shimon Bogoslovskiy, Joseph Brodskiy, Leib Reznikov, Benya Inkusted, Chaim Polyakov, Duvid Zabarskiy, Gershko Zabarskiy, Chaim-Meyer Baksnir, Leiba Brailovskiy, Shlema-Mordko Brailovskiy, Volko Uteriannyy, Anshel Khodarovskiy, Usher Baranovskiy, Duvid Uchitel, Borukh Kaptsanov, Avrum-Shlema Reznitskiy, and Moshko Sokolovskiy.

In 1897, the town’s 6,373 Jews comprised 78.5 percent of the total population.

Former Brodskiy gymnasia in Zlatopol. It was a school during a Soviet time. School was relocated in new building in 1990's.

Former Brodskiy gymnasia in Zlatopol. It was a school during a Soviet time. School was relocated in new building in 1990’s.

In 1904, a branch of the Bund Organization was formed in Zlatopol.

In 1909, there were two private Jewish technical schools for women and a Jewish hospital, and a bookstore owned by M.L. Aronovskaya. In the 1910’s, a Jewish charititable society was organized in Zlatopol. In 1912, a Jewish loan-savings community was formed there.

Former Rabbi's house

Former Rabbi’s house

In early 1919, the troops of the Directory carried out a pogrom that lasted seven days in Zlatopol.

Over 150 Jews (one source gives the figure of 177, another – 153) Jews were killed in a pogrom carried out in early May 1919 by peasants from villages in the surroudning area. As a result of the pogrom and a famine three years later, the Jewish population in Zlatopol declined.

More detail description of pogroms from the book The slaughter of the Jews in the Ukraine in 1919 by Elias Heifetz

As a result, most Jewish houses and shops were looted and burnt.
In the early 1920’s, a Jewish self-defense organization was established in the town. It consisted of 30 people.
In 1918, the cheder was closed in Zlatopol. In 1924, there was a rabbi in Zlatopol, who also served as the shochet. After the synagogue and mikvah were partially destroyed, the community of Zlatopol asked J.I.Shneyerson to give money to mend the mikvah.

There was a synagogue on this site. It was destroyed during the WWII

There was a synagogue on this site. It was destroyed during the WWII

In 1926, the Jewish population of Zlatopol was 3,863 people (61.7% of the total population).
A Yiddish school was established in the town. It was located next to the former Brodsky’s gymnasium.

In the 1930’s, there was a Jewish artisanal artel. In 1932, it consisted of 60 members; in 1935, there were 30 members

Zlatopol pioneers, 1924. Photo stores in local museum

Zlatopol pioneers, 1924. Photo stores in local museum

In 1939 Zlatopol became the county center of Kirovograd District. Its Jewish population of 1,047 comprised 26 percent of the total population.

Holocaust

Zlatopol was occupied by the German troops on August 1, 1941. Some Jews managed to evacuate to the East. However, those men who were liable for military duty were called up or joined the army voluntarily. Approximately 75% of Zlatopol’s prewar Jewish population remained under occupation. In the summer and autumn of 1941, the German military commandant’s office administered Zlatopol. It formed a village council and auxiliary Ukrainian police unit that consisted of local non-Jewish residents of Zlatopol. The latter took an active part in all anti-Jewish actions.

 

Soon after the occupation, the German military commandant ordered the marking of the Jews. They were obliged to wear a band on their sleeve. The Jews were also assigned to various kinds of heavy labor such as repairing roads, buildings, and so on.

In autumn 1941, a ghetto was formed in the building of the former local orphanage. Jews were prohibited from leaving the ghetto and were not allowed to buy products from the Ukrainians. As a result, a famine began in the ghetto.

Former Jewish ghetto during WWII. Now it is asylum

Former Jewish ghetto during WWII. Now it is asylum

In November 1941, the first action was held in the ghetto: the Ukrainian police killed 174 Jews in a basement with gas. During the second action on February 2, 1942, the Nikolajew Gebeitskommissar ordered the Ukrainian police to kill 202 Jews with chloropicrin gas. During the third action in May 1942, 183 Jews were killed. In total, over these three actions, 559 Jews were killed. In June 1942, German gendarmes captured and shot 14 Jews who had been hiding in the forest near the village.

Holocaust mass grave in Eastern outskirts of Zlatopol

Holocaust mass grave in Eastern outskirts of Zlatopol

In June 1942, 240 Jews remained in the ghetto. On September 30, 1942, about 100 Jews were shot in a well near the village of Maslovo. Several young Jews tried to attack the Germans as they were being transported from the ghetto to the site of the shooting. They injured the enemy lightly with iron pieces. Afterwards, the Jews were thrown alive into the well. A guard stood beside it for three days and did not help those who were dying. The well was deep, but the water was only at a depth of 25 meters. After this action, only artisans and their families remained in the ghetto. There were at least 83 of them. On July 17, 1942, a group of prisoners attempted to escape from a labor camp near Zlatopol. 14 people were captured and executed. In total, between 1941 and 1943, more than 800 Jews were killed in Zlatopol.

Zlatopol was liberated by the Red Army on March 11, 1944.

In the ghetto, the Mogilevskiy family, including Leika Volkovna Mogilevskaya (1887 -1965), who was pregnant, and her two children, Fima and Vilia. The father of the family had been called up to the Red Army. While in the ghetto, Mogilevskaya gave birth to her third son, Grigory, and left the ghetto before one of the actions. They managed to cross the German-Soviet front and survived. Now Grigory Mogilevskiy is a doctor and lives in Canada.

Monument on the site of the well where unknown number of Jews were thrown alive

Monument on the site of the well where unknown number of Jews were thrown alive

After the war, five Jewish soldiers (Israel Naftulovich Vekselman, Kanevsky) who had served at the front returned to Zlatopol and reburied the remains of those who had been shot in Grushevy Yar at a Jewish cemetery.

Holocaust mass grave in Zlatopol Jewish cemetery

Holocaust mass grave in Zlatopol Jewish cemetery

After the WWII

Approximately 50 Jewish families returned to Zlatopol after the war from the evacuation and the Red Army. They included the Pilyavskys (who later left for Dnepr), the Shinders, Shusterman, Zelinsky, Mogilevskiys, Rieger, Bergelson, Maryanovsky, Spivak, Nemirovsky, Telyatnikov, Sokolovskiy, Vekselman, Nudelman, Bakhmutskaya, Cupershtei were among them. For some time after the war, an informal minyan gathered in local Jewish homes.

PreRevolution former Jewish shop in the center of Zlatopol

PreRevolution former Jewish shop in the center of Zlatopol

PreRevolution buildings in Zlatopol:

In the 1990’s, no official Jewish community was organized in Zlatopol.
At that time, Busya Izrailevna Nemirovskaya (1923 – 2013) organized all Jewish events and holidays unofficially.

In 2017, there were living around 10 fully assimilited Jews…

Destroyed Star of David on ruins of Jewish Hospital in Zlatopol

Destroyed Star of David on ruins of Jewish Hospital in Zlatopol

Famous Jews from Zlatopol

Chaim Atar (Apteker) (1902, Zlatopol – 1953, Israel), painter. Since 1922, resided in Erets Israel. Founded the kibbutz Ein Harod. He produced more than 100 sketches, including the sketches of fighters of Gagan.

Aron Izrailevich Gaister (1899, Zlatopol. – 1937, Moscow), economist, Doctor of Economics. Arrested and shot in 1937.

Leonid Moiseyevich Golber (1909, Zlatopol -?), Pathophysiologist and endocrinologist.

Eliyahu Poisik (1859, Zlatopol – 1932, Zorivka), rabbi. 1881-1888, rabbi of Mikhailovka (Kiev Gubernia); 1888-1915 rabbi of Olgopol (Podolsk Gubernia); 1915-1932 – rabbi of Zorivka. One of the leading rabbinical authorities in the Russian Empire in the late XIX – early XX centuries.

Gilel Poisik (1888, Zlatopol – 1953, Tel-Aviv), rabbi, son of Eliego POISIK. Since approximately 1910, was a rabbi in Zlatopol. In 1921-1935, lived in Romania as a rabbi in Marculesti and in Tatarbunary (Bessarabia). Since 1935 – lived in Israel.

Boris Tomashevskiy (1868, Zlatopol – 1939, New York), actor, director, playwright, activist. The son of actor and playwright Pinchas Tomashevsky (1842-1914). Received a traditional Jewish religional education. Since 1881, lived in the USA.

Solomon Markovich Chromchenko (1907, Zlatopol – 2002), singer (tenor), teacher.

Jewish cemetery

Old part of the cemetery was destroyed by locals in XX century. There are only few PreWWII tombstones.

After the war, five Jewish soldiers (Israel Naftulovich Vekselman, Kanevsky) who had served at the front returned to Zlatopol and reburied the remains of those who had been shot in Grushevy Yar at a Jewish cemetery. This grave locates near the enterance.

After the war, guardhouse was built at the cemetery for Nunik, the guard. Now it use as a storage.

In 2012, a new fence was built around the local Jewish cemetery, funded by local businessman Nemirovskiy.

In 2017, Meilakh Sheykhet from Lviv found the location of the ohel of a rabbi Duvidl Twersky at the cemetery by using German aerial photography from the WWII era.

Grave of Duvidl Tverskiy

Grave of Duvidl Tverskiy

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