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Boryspol is a historic city located in Kiev region,Ukraine, center of Boryspol district. The city’s estimated population is 60,102 (as of 2013).

Boryspol became a part of Russia Empire in 1667, in XIX – beginning of XX century it was shtetl of Pereyaslav Yezd of Poltava Gubernia.

Boryspil was first mentioned in the XI century as ‘Lta’, when the son of Prince Vladimir, Boris, died at the river Alta. It is presumed that the modern name appeared during the XVI century, in honor of Saint Boris.

It is not known exactly when the Jewish population arrived in the city, although we know that the community suffered during the Khmelnitsky pogroms of the XVI century.

Jewish population of Boryspol:
1897 – 1094 (12,2%)
1910 – 955 jews
1923 – 419 jews
1939 – 375 jews
1989 – 68
2010 ~ 40

As in most places in Poltava province, the Jewish community in Boryspil re-appeared in the XIX century. Jacob Rubin wrote that his grandfather, Moshe Bernstein, served with General F. Trepova during the Crimean War and in one battle saved his life. When the General resigned, he appointed his rescuer to administer his mansion in Boryspil. At Moshe’s request, the General received the Tsar’s permission for Jews to settle in Boryspil. Around 60 people came to the city from Ovruch and formed a community.

On June 12, 1881, anti-Jewish riots took place in the city and were suppressed by force.

According to “The Provisional Regulations” of 1882 (forbidding Jews from buying and owning land in rural areas), in 1882-1903 the Jews were restricted in Boryspol.

According to the census of 1897, the city’s total population was 8,953 inhabitants – among them 1,094 Jews.

Zalman Shimon Zelikman (1870-?) was the rabbi of Boryspil in 1905.

Boryspol in the beginning of XX cenruty

Boryspol in the beginning of XX cenruty

For many years, the community had a cheder and a synagogue and by the beginning of the XX century there were two synagogues and Jewish cemetery in the city. The Jews lived in close contact with the Christian population, and were mainly engaged in trade.


Record about official Boryspol Rabby in 1912

Record about official Boryspol Rabby in 1912

According to older residents, in the center of Boryspil there were rows of Jewish shops including a dry goods store owned by Berk Ryabiy, a leather shop owned by Niesel Vinnik, a sewing workshop owned by Itsk Rabinovich and a shop owned by Gershk Rayshkin. In the city museum there is a postcard of 1912 featuring the central street of Boryspil and showing these and other shops.

Civil War

In 1918 pogrom occurred in  Bortspol.

On 25 August, 1919 a Jewish delegation took part in a pompous meeting of the Volunteer Army detachments, followed by a pogrom, which lasted for four days and resulted in ten deaths.

Between the Wars

In 1920-30s the Jews of Boryspil fought unsuccessfully to have a mikvah opened.  In 1926 a Jewish agricultural colony named “October”(64 members),was founded in the Krivoy Roh region by the Jews from Boryspol.


The German army entered Boryspol on 23 September, 1941.

Most Jews were evacuated or joined the Red Army. However, there were also some Jews in Boryspol, fleeing German atrocities in Kyiv.

All remaining Jews were gathered in the square. Twenty Jewish males were commandeered to remove the bodies which were scattered all over the town after a terrible German artillery barrage before the occupation.

For nearly one month the Jews were removing dead bodies. After that they and their families were gathered at the top of the existing landing strip of the Boryspol airport, where they were shot and buried. They still lie there, there was no re-burial.

Iliya Kalmanovich Sapozhnikov from Boryspol. Hew was perished in WWII

Iliya Kalmanovich Sapozhnikov from Boryspol. Hew was perished in WWII

In autumn 1942 Boryspol became an administrative center of the Gebietskommissariat Boryspol of the Reichskommissariat, Ukraine.

In November – December 1941, 200 Jews, including the Jews from Boryspol and nearby villages, were murdered in the suburb of Boryspol (a silo pit on the collective farm called “Sickle and Hammer”). Ukrainian auxiliary police took part in the shooting.

Not far from Boryspol, on the way from Dudarkov to Bolshaya Staritsa,on 30 September, 1941, a group of 78 Jews (30 women, 18 men, 29 children) was set free by a partisan group under the command of Oranskiy Brovarskiy partisan squadron named after Volodymyr Lenin (the commander was H.N. Kuzmenko). The chairman of the collective farm “The Winner”, E.Y.Babych informed the squadron about the Jews being driven to the shooting. The liberated Jews joined the partisan squadron. In Staroe village in autumn 1941, two Jews were receiving medical treatment. They were able to join the Red Army.

Petr Yakovlevich Sapozhnikov from Boryspol. He was perished during WWII in Red Army

Petr Yakovlevich Sapozhnikov from Boryspol. He was perished during WWII in Red Army

In his book “Prisoner”, Aaron Schneier says that at the end of September, 1941, a hospital train was encircled in the Boryspol district, and a prisoners of war camp was established there. The camp grew to accommodate 6,000 people. It was staffed by about 400-500 doctors and nurses. One day about 300 wounded Jews were selected and shot, and two weeks later about 150 Jewish medics were gathered in the yard. The next day they were driven out and shot outside of Boryspol. On 10 October, 1941 the commandant of the POW camp in Boryspol surrendered 357 Jews, including 78 wounded, pointed out by the camp doctor, and on 14 October of the same year he surrendered 752 Jews. All of them were shot.

Boryspil was liberated on September 23, 1943.

During the two years of occupation, 497 residents of the Boryspil district were killed.

Below you can find 2 lists of Jewish victims: civilians and Boryspol Jews which were drafted  in Red Army.

After the WWII

After the War some Jewish family returned from evacuation. Also many Jews from another places od USSR emigrated to Boryspol due to rapid city growth and new opportunities.

On 13 April, 2011 the builders digging a gas pipe trench in Boryspol found the remains of the shot soldiers.

There were many civilians among them, women as well; many of them had their hands tied, many were wounded, and several were finished off with a bullet to the head.

Exhumation process

Exhumation process

It looked like a German filtration camp – there were communists, officers, and Jews in the trench. Others were driven to a concentration camp in Darnitsa.

Among the remains of 493 people, the following were identified: Bravner Hersh, Bortz Boris Mykhaylovich, Sholman Samuel Sazonovich, Grinshpun Myron Moiseevich, Pestunovich Judah Isayevich, Helman  Solomon Solomonovich, Sterin Zolman Grigorievich.  These remains were reburied with all due honors at the Knyshev cemetery.

In 1999 the Jewish population of Boryspol was about 40 people.

Head of local Jewish community is Mark Haimovich Videlgauz.



The cemetery is located at the corner of Vatutina Steet and Botanicheskoy Street. It was destroyed in the 1960’s and there is no longer any visible trace at this site.
There is no visible trace of the cemetery at this site, which is now used for residential purposes.

Last gravestone from demolished Boryspol Jewish cemetry

Last gravestone from demolished Boryspol Jewish cemetry

A memorial from 1907 from the destroyed Jewish cemetery can be found in the courtyard of the Boryspol History Museum.

Holocaust mass grave

Places of shootings:

– Boryspol – December 1941 – about 400 local activists (among them several Jews) were killed in the silo pit on the collective farm “Boryspolskiy”; after the war, a memorial was erected, marking the grave.

Monument on the mass grave near collective farm "Boryspolskiy"

Monument on the mass grave near collective farm “Boryspolskiy”

– Top of the landing strip of the Borispol airport
–  Ivankov village  – according to the “Book of Sorrow of Ukraine. Kyiv region “, vol.1, p.202, and the Ivankov museum director, Petro Fedorovich Zinchenko: on 20 September, 1941 outside the village the Nazis shot and buried almost 200 Jews in silo pit of a collective farm, they pulled out the Jews among the refugees, fleeing Kiev, and shot them. The place of atrocity is not marked, there is a private residence on the site.


Famous Jews from Boryspol

Abba Braslevskiy (1864 – ?) – a journalist (in Yiddish), from the middle 1880s  – In the United States, an editor of the newspaper “Yiddish Volkszeitung” and weekly. “Der Morgenstern”.

Yossef Zaritskiy (1891 – 1985, Israel) – a painter. Until 1914 he studied at the Kiyv Art College, then lived in Moscow. Since 1923, in Israel, where he was one of the founders of the first art exhibition (1923), a founder of the group  “The New Horizons”, significant for abstract lyrical trends in Israeli painting. The first Israeli artist who had a personal art exhibition in Amsterdam Museum (1959). The author of mountain landscapes, still lives (“Zichron Yaacov”cycles, 1939-40), “Iehiam” (kibbutz in northern Israel, 1954-55), “Amsterdam” (1954-55). National Artist of Israel (1959).

Yossef Zaritsky

Yossef Zaritsky

Raphail Semenovich Pavlovskiy (1924, Boryspol – 1990, Kharkov), Hero of the Soviet Union (1945). Dr. jurid. Sciences, professor. In the army from 1942, at the front from 1943. Battery commander, lieutenant Pavlovskiy was awarded the Hero of the Soviet Union for his courage in battle during the forcing of the Oder. In 1946 he retires as a major of reserve. In 1950 he graduated from the Kharkov Law School. He remained a lecturer there, was awarded the Ukraine Republic State Award (1981) and four medals.

Raphail Pavlovskiy

Raphail Pavlovskiy

Zakhariy Grigorievych Frenkel (Simeon Girshevich) (1869, Boryspol – 1970, Leningrad)-  a doctor, a politician and a public figure. An Academician of the Academy of Medical Sciences of the USSR (1945).

Zakhariy Frenkel

Zakhariy Frenkel



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