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Любашівка(Ukrainian), Любашевка(Russian)

Liubashevka is an urban-type settlement, a district centre in the Odessa region of Ukraine. In the 19th to early-20th centuries, it was a village in the Ananyev Uyezd of the Kherson gubernia.

Unfortunately, I didn’t find much information about Liubashevka Jews’ life before WWII. In 2018, we visited the former shtetl during our summer expedition and didn’t find Jews there. Most information for this article was provided by a local teacher Valeriy Bondarenko (see video below).

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Unfortunately, I didn’t find much information about Jew of Liubashevka before WWII.

The settlement was founded in the late 18th century. It is known that 180 Jews (26%) of the total population) lived there in 1868. Since 1895, the Liubashevka  rabbi was Shmuel-Zeev Shekhter (1875–?). In 1914, the only drugstore in the town belonged to a Jew.

During In the Civil War period of 1917 – 1920 many rival armies passed through the town. In 1919 a Volunteer White  Army unit wreaked a pogrom and havoc, some Jews escaping to the neighboring village Ivanovka.

In 1939, 671 Jews lived in Liubashevka itself, while 1,021 Jews lived in the whole district.

On June 22, 1941 Nazi Germany and its allies attacked the Soviet Union. Moisey Shmulevich Pustylnik (1910 – 1945, killed in action) was in charge of the evacuation of Jews from Liubashevka however 50-60 Jewish families failed to escape.

Moisey Shmulevich Pustylnik

Moisey Shmulevich Pustylnik

In July 1941, the town was occupied by the Germans. A ghetto was established In September 1941.

The following Nazi actions took place to terrorize the local Jewish population:

· more than 350 local Jews were shot in Liubashevka
· approximately 100 people in the village of Gvozdavka
· approximately 100 people in the village of Yasenovo

Holocaust memorial in Gvozdavka

Holocaust memorial in Gvozdavka

In the vicinity of Gvozdavka, 20 km away from Liubashevka, the Nazis organized a concentration camp in November 1941. Jews from Bessarabia, Odessa and Zhitomir regions were driven there, along with Jews. About 5,000 inmates died there: 2,772 Jews were executed and 2,000 died of starvation and diseases.

 Below is a short list (from a Russian archive) of a few Jews murdered in Gvozdavka:

The Extraordinary State Commission carried out excavations in the area of Gvozdavka village. These excavations revealed 2,208 decomposed bodies buried in a 40 metre long anti-tank ditch The mass murder took place in the winter of 1941 –1942.

Up to our time, people would discover unknown and unmarked mass graves of Holocaust victims in Gvozdavka area.

Information of a Holocaust’s research carried out by the local school students can be found here.

During the war, the synagogue in the center of Liubashevka was destroyed.

After the war a few Jewish families came back to Liubashevka. In 1979, about 20 Jews still lived here. Some enterprises were run by Jews: e.g., Gershkovich was director of a food factory, Koyfman was in charge of a diner, Kunkel was director of a workshop. The local museum organizer was also Jewish, though we couldn’t find his name.

Fomer center of shtetl Luibashevka

Fomer center of shtetl Luibashevka

In old times Jews used to live mainly in the center of the shtetl. Several inns and pre-1917 houses had survived till the 1970s, when the centre of Liubashevka was reconstructed and a new council building was erected.

Jewish population of Liubashevka:
1868 – 180 Jews (26%
1939 – 671 Jews
1950’s ~ 20-30 Jews
2018 – 0

In 2013, the last elderly Jew left Liubashevka for Izmail (a city in southern Ukraine) to live with his children.

The local Jewish cemetery was in use till the late 1980s when the former Liubashevka Jews started to relocate their dead relatives to Israeli cemeteries.
In 2018 we were told about, Esther Levina, a native of Liubashevka, who lived in Israel. We were hopeful that she could tell us a great deal about pre-war Jews of the shtetl, but we were unable to get in touch with her.

Holocaust mass grave

Probably, around 350 local Jews were murdered in this place.
In 2018, we didn’t visit this place. I found only this Lo-Tishhach’s information.

Jewish cemetery

Pre-WWII part of the cemetry was destroyed and only few graves are left intact here.

Monument was installed here in 2020:

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Panorama of Liubashevka Jewish cemetery, 2018

Panorama of Liubashevka Jewish cemetery, 2018

List of the PostWWII graves, compiled by Valeriy Bondarenko
Пустильник Кива Моисеевна 1891-1972рр.
Громадский Борис Моисеевич 1870-1962рр.
Зеленер Йойна Лейбович 1902-1976рр.
Мучник П.Н. 1947,25 лет
Блянк Сара Петровна 1899-1983рр
Бессарабник Самаил Давидович 1893-1966рр.
Краснер Михаил Аврамович 1924-1963рр.
Ивницкая Э.Л. 1910-1963
Недмець 1905-1954рр.
Саможин Ольга Кивовна 1988-1952рр.
Громадская Лидия Семеновна 1875-1956рр.
Мостовецкая София Моисеевна 1875-1956рр.
Аравкина Татьяна Аврамовна 27.01.61р.
Гершунович Анна Моисеевна 1915-1968рр.
Кушнир Анна Завелевна 1902-1971рр.
Курлянчук Сарра Марковна 1890-1970рр.
Кноп Раиса Михайловна 1925-1972рр.
Эстер Брайтман 1866-1959рр.
Резников Лэйб Моисеевич 1877-1961рр.
Балановский Рафаил Григорьевич 1916-1958рр.
Щогам А.Х. 1896-1949рр.
Сонис Григорий Борисович 1902-1947рр.
Словесник М.Ш. 1892-1946рр.
Валченбаин Борис М. 1908-1962рр.
Цигельман Даниил Исакович 1909-1974рр.
Николай Герасимович 1911-1976рр.
Шихман Соня Давидовна 1893-1973рр.
Мясковская Фаина Аизиковна 1929-1976рр.
Мясковский Михаил Мендемевич 1923-1980рр.
Клейман Сарра Львовна 1890-1974рр.
Клейман Григорий Моисеевич 1892-1985рр.
Короткая Сарра Абрамовна 1898-1981рр.
Кац Хоя-Фейга Михалевна 1886-1974рр.
Борик Израиль Самойлович 1904-1975рр.
Вайсман Двойра Мировна 1895-1974рр.
Гонис Иссак Борисович 1907-1965рр.




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