Pages Navigation Menu



Khodorkov a village in the Zhytomyr district,  Zhytomyr region. According to the 2001 census, the village had a population of 1,371.

In 1793, after second partition of Poland, Khodorkov became part of the Russian Empire.
In the 19th and early 20th centuries, it was a shtetl in the Skvira district, Kyiv province.

In 1787, 349 Jews were living in the shtetl.

Center of Khodorkov, 2021

Center of Khodorkov, 2021

In 1864, 1,421 Jews were living in the shtetl, comprising 43% of the population.
In 1900, 3,299 Jews lived in the Khodorkov volost (district), 15% of the population. Most of them lived in the shtetl of Khodorkov.

Administrative building of sugar factory, 2021

Administrative building of sugar factory, 2021

In 1887, a felt production facility in Khodorkov was owned by Gersh Simkovich Heylomsky.

At the beginning of the 20th century, there were about 100 shops in the shtetl.

Pond on the river Irpen in the center of Khodorkov

Pond on the river Irpen in the center of Khodorkov

One of the central enterprises in the shtetl was a sugar factory, which employed up to 900 people, many of whom were Jewish. From 1909 to 1915, the director and distributor of the factory was M.B. Galperin.

Khodorkov entrepreneurs list from Russian Empire Business Directories by 1913:

Jewish population of Khodorkov:
1787 – 349 Jews
1864 – 1421 (43%)
1897 — 3672 ( 53%)

In 1910, there was a Talmud Torah and three private Jewish schools (for boys and girls) in the shtetl.
At the beginning of World War I, there were eight synagogues, a Jewish hospital, a gymnasium, and a Jewish home for the elderly in the shtetl.
By the beginning of 1917, about 5,000 people were living in Khodorkov, with more than half being Jews. In addition, there were 200 shops, over a thousand Jewish homes in the shtetl, and six synagogues.


During the Civil War (1917-1920), Khodorkov ceased to exist as a Jewish shtetl due to numerous pogroms that forced Jews to flee to other places. 
With the onset of the Revolution, chaos and anarchy reigned in the shtetl.
The Kovalyovskiy gang carried out the first pogrom in the shtetl in the winter of 1919. They engaged in looting only, and there were no human casualties. Then, in the spring of 1919, the Ogorodnikov gang appeared, which killed 17 people and looted the entire shtetl.

Plan of the shtetl from archive documents:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

At the beginning of the power vacuum in the town, a Jewish self-defence force of 200 people was organized. It was armed with three machine guns and 200 rifles. For a long time, it successfully resisted local gangs. Finally, however, the Ukrainian Galician Army disarmed the self-defence force and it could no longer prevent the town’s destruction by local Ukrainian bands.

Center of the shtetl, 2021:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

In 1919, Ukrainian rebel detachments committed three bloody Jewish pogroms in Khodorkov on June 15, August, and October.

In the fall of 1919, the town was under the control of the Denikin army for six weeks. During this time, 150 Jews were killed, 40 Jewish women were raped, and several houses were burned down. In addition, the Denikin troops tortured Jews, demanding more and more ransom money. Many Jews were injured as Denikin’s soldiers mass slaughtered people with swords.

The bands of Mordalevich and Kovalevsky carried out the two most extensive pogroms on May and April 24, 1920. During one of them, the town centre was burned down, and Jews were driven into a local pond and shot. As a result of the fire, the town was utterly destroyed. The surviving Jewish population fled to Kyiv and Zhytomyr.

A Bolshevik partisan detachment operated in Khodorkov, commanded by Shamis, most likely a Jew.

More information about pogroms in Khodorkov can be found and

Results of pogroms in Khodorkov...

Results of pogroms in Khodorkov…

In 1922, a clinic was opened in the town, headed by Dr Eisenstadt.
In 1923, 3,838 people lived here, but the share of the Jewish population has yet to be discovered.

I could not find information about Jews in the town in the 1930s.

Pre-Revolution of the building of the school in Khodorkov:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

In the fall of 1941, the Nazis shot 22 people. The rest of the Jews were taken to the district centre and killed.

After the war, three Jewish families returned to the village. Some of their descendants live in Zhytomyr.

No Jews were living in the village in the 1990s.

During my visit to the town in the spring of 2021, I found a small monument in the deserted town centre, erected in memory of the destroyed Jewish community of Khodorkov. A QR code on the memorial led to a website that no longer existed. So I can assume that person who installed it has already died…

Famous Jews from Khodorkov

Naum Yevseyevich Oyslander (1893, Khodorkov – 1962, Moscow) was a Jewish poet, writer, critic, and literary scholar who wrote in Yiddish.

Mikhail Davidovich Baron (1894, Khodorkov – ?) was an anarchist who later became a Bolshevik and commander of Ukrainian communist insurgent formations. He was one of the founders of the Ukrainian Red Cossacks.


Online archive documents can be found here.

Jewish cemetery

According to residents’ memories, in the 1970s, Jews from Kyiv came and reburied the bodies of the Holocaust victims in the Jewish cemetery. Also, in the 1970s, people were hired, and they renewed the ditch around the Jewish cemetery.

Two mass graves of victims of the fascists and “White Guard bands” are located here.




Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: