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Domanevka is an urban-type village, a district centre in the Nikolayev region. It was established in the early XIX century. In the XIX to early-XX centuries, it was a shtetl in the Ananyev Uyezd district of the Kherson gubernia.

When we visited Domanevka in the summer of 2018, we were unable to collect any meaningful information about local Jews. There were no Jews in the town, and local Ukrainians could tell us very little. We were shown only the remains of a New Jewish cemetery on the “Jewish mountain”. It was so overgrown by the forest that it would have been impossible to find without help.

However, in the winter 2019, I came across a novel by Valery Varzatsky, in which he described Jews of post-war Domanievka in detail. Much of this article is based on information gathered from that novel.

I didn’t find information about Jews of Domanevka in XVIII-XIX centuries 🙁

Former Jewish shop in the center of Domanevka, 2018

Former Jewish shop in the center of Domanevka, 2018

There is very little information about pre-war Jews of Domanevka. However, it is known that before the revolution of 1917, Mikhl Polonsky was a rabbi in the shtetl.

Furthermore, a 1913 document in the Nikolayev Archive lists the most prosperous inhabitants of Domanevka: Valer, Golduber, Granik, Granovsky, Kaushansky, Kogan, Kremenchansky, Kremer, Lenchik, Mogilevsky, Poliak, Feldman.

Jewish population of Domanevka:
1897 — 903 (78%)
1923 – 889 Jews
1939 — 369 Jews
2018 – 0

Though I am sure that Jewish pogroms happened during the Civil War, I didn’t find any information about them.

Antoly Vladyka, an honoured doctor of Ukraine, described describes Domanevka of the 1930’s in this way: “Before the war Domanevka was a typical Jewish shtetl with a synagogue, a street of shops, and a web of tiny flats in Jewish one-storey houses covered with tin. People used to keep all Jewish traditions.

The synagogue was closed in the 1930’s. A Jewish school was in operation until the war began.

Approximate location of the synagogue in Domanevka, 2018

Approximate location of the synagogue in Domanevka, 2018

Before the war Sander Kalinovich Shoykhet was a district head in Domanevka. He led the last train of party members, Soviet workers, and Jews who were able to evacuate Domanevka.

In 1939, 369 Jews lived in Domanevka; 543 lived in the whole Domanevka district.

As of 1930, there were five Jewish collective farms (1,249 people) in the district.


Domanevka was occupied by the German-Romanian troops in the summer 1941. On September 1, 1941 it became part of Transnistria. Soon afterward, a concentration camp for Jews was established there .
In the fall of 1941, the Jews who were still in the region , as well as some of the Jews of the Krivoye Ozero district, Jews from Peschanka (Vinnitsa Region ), and several thousand Jews from Bessarabia (including 160 Jews from Kishinev) were held in Domanevka. In January 1942, several thousand Jews from Odessa were deported to Domanevka, followed later by several hundred more. Many of the Jews was settled in the clubhouse, synagogue, and two half-destroyed stables on the outskirts of Domanevka.

In December 1941, about 600 Jews from Domanevka and Odessa were shot, at the site of a present-day stadium. Shootings also took place in January and February 1942. Many prisoners who were not executed in this way died of typhus and dysentery. The only way to survive was trading clothes for bread and a few spoonfuls of soup.

As at September 1, 1943, roughly 150 Jews lived in Domanevka, including 120 Jews from Bessarabia. According to some information, 20,000 Jews died in Domanevka during the occupation and 18,000 more during January and February 1942. In 1994, on the initiative of B. Gidalevich, a monument was erected to commemorate these Holocaust victims.

All Jews who didn’t manage to evacuate in time were gathered in the synagogue and set on fire. The ruins of that huge stone building, with its two-storey gallery and no roof, were still standing until the 1950’s.

In the spring of 1944, Sander Kalinovich served in the division that would enter Domanevka, since he was the last pre-war chairman of the district’s executive committee . He was the first civil representative of the Soviet power within the district after its liberation from German occupation . He did a great deal of work to help re-establish peacetime life in the town.

There is a memorial board on the cinema building. Tens of thousands of Jews passed that building as they were being led to their death by shooting during the occupation.

According to Lo-Tishkah project, there is a Holocaust mass grave in northern outskirts of the village, near the new Orthodox cemetery, in front of the forest. There is a memorial at the site

After the WWII

After the war, the head of the village council was its pre-war head, Sander Shoykhet.

Road to Domnevka, 2018

More than 50 Jews returned to their former town. Here is an incomplete list of them taken from the novel of Valery Varzatsky:

• Lidiya Yakovlevna Puzyrevskaya (born in 1915)
• Sofiya Vladimirovna Urman (1930 – 2012)
• Meytus, who worked as a house painter (surname unknown)
• The Roshets family, whose head, Iosif Abramovich Roshets, worked as a cinema mechanic
• The Grinberg family, whose head, Semen Yakovlevich, was a chief engineer of the collective farm named after Kotovsky, before subsequently moving to the USA
• The Polonsky family
• Anatoly Ilkovich Sheyd, a head of the Domanevka district consumer union
• The Roytshteyn family. Fania Royshteyn worked as a hairdresser, Mania Gershkovna Roytshteyn (1918 – 1993) worked as a secretary to the district prosecutor as well as being successful in reading cards for divination
• Yosia Khazan with his wife Asia
• The Mogilevsky’s family. Isahak Yutkovich worked as a school teacher, and his son Yury Isahakovich Mogilevsky (1948 – 2016) worked was a welder
• Igor Bobivsky (1939 – 1979), who worked as a dentist
• Mikhail Adamovsky, the head of the “Procurement Office ,” with his wife Polina
• Boris Yutkovich Mogilevsky, a head of an egg farm , with his wife Liuba
• Mikhail Perednik, who was disabled
• The Kovakchuk family
• The Shoykhet family
• Basia Modnaya, who lived in one house with “Baba ” Fira and “Baba ” Sonia (surnames unknown)
• Anna Savelyevna Varshavskaya, who worked as a teacher of the German language, with her husband Iosif Davidovich
• Mikhail Matveyevich Foynleyb, who worked as a household manager of the local hospital, with his wife Mira Tsalovna, who worked as a bookkeeper of a veterinary hospital
• Tsala Kremenchutskaya, who worked in the district consumer union
• Leonid Peltsmakher
• Likht, a journalist (surname unknown)
• Portnoy, a blacksmith (surname unknown)
• Monia Rozin, Dodik Peltsmakher, with friends Ida and Lelia Gaydukevich. They all lived in the same area at the intersection of Paster and Pionerskaya treets
• The Rapoport family. father Leonid Zelmanovich (1930 – 1999), who worked as a PE teacher, with mother Nadezhda Trofimovna (1937 – 1987), and sons Grisha and Sasha
• The Urman and Frenklakh families. Senia Frenklakh, the son, was a director of the branch of the “Yuzhanka” factory in Domanevka
• Yefim Aronovich Bezborodko (1897 – 1974), a butcher, with his wife Mariya and their two children
• Nikolay Iosifovich Brontveyn (1928 – 2010), a mechanic
• Yampolsky, who worked as a chief engineer of the machine tractor station, with wife Maya Davidovna, who worked as a pediatrician in Domanevka
• Tsolyk (surname unknown), who worked at the post-office

In 2018, there were no Jews in Domanevka…

Righteous Among the Nations in Domanevka

Praskovya Boyko. She rescued a Jewish boy from the ghetto concentration camp, where he was being held in the basement of a converted cinema building.

Iosif Prokofyevich Boychenko (1905 – 1982), Anna Ivanovna Boychenko (1907 – 1992). They hid a Jewish man through the entire duration of the occupation.
Nina Ivanovna Gnatiuk. She saved four Jews from two different families: Betia Shtarkman with her son Senia, and Liza Borukh with her nephew Fima.

Olga Pavlovna Diordiyeva. She saved an indeterminate number of Jews.

Nikolay Ivanovich Leleko (1896 – 1942), Yekaterina Yevseyevna Leleko (1900 – 1973). They lived at 82 Lenin street. Nikolay Ivanovich was a head of the collective farm before the war. At the request of former collective farmers, he became a head of an agricultural enterprise established by occupation authorities. He managed to obtain permission to use Jews from the ghetto as workers in his enterprise. Thus, he saved many Jews from starvation. Among those he saved was David Zusievich Starodinsky. Nikolay Ivanovich died of typhus infection in 1942 . After being widowed, his wife, Yekaterina Yevseyevna saved Roza Bialik and her sister Tania, along with her children who lived in Odessa at 6 Kostetskaya Street after the war.

Grigory Mikhaylovich Mamchur (1895 – 1983). He hid Grigory Tsirulnik from Bendera people. During the 1990’s, Tsirulnik visited Domanevka. Grigory Mikhaylovich’s granddaughter, Valentina Vladimirovna, said that when he found the house where he had been hidden for three years, he cried and kissed the ground.

Anastasiya Konstantinovna Tsekhotskaya. She saved a woman with a child. Her younger son, Vasily Yakovlevich Tsekhotsky, says that the woman visited in the 1950’s.

Vladimir Dmitriyevich Vlasiuk shared a story with us, which he heard from a Domanevka citizen When the Jews were being led to where they would be shot, they passed a bakery situated between buildings 82 and 84 on Lenin Street. Two bakery workers managed to pull a boy out of the crowd of those who were being led to die . They hid the boy in a sack of flour. Later, the boy became a leading official in Moscow, and he invited the woman who saved him to one of his jubilees.

Jewish cemetery

There are only 7 graves here.



One Comment

  1. Thank you.
    Thank you memories of good people in this little town.

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