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Luhin (Yiddish), Лугины – Luginy (Russian)

Luginy, an urban-type settlement (since 1967)is a district center in the Zhytomyr region.

In the XVII-XVIII centuries it was governed by the Kiev voivodeship as part of the Commonwealth, and since 1793 by the the Russian Empire. In the XIX – early XX centuries it was in the township of Luginy Ovruch uyezd, Volyn Gubernia.

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Jewish population of Luginy:
1847 – 1154 Jews
1897 – 1599 (64%)
1923 – 1709 Jews
1939 – 857 (37%)
1989 – 20 Jews
2017 – 2 Jews

In the early XVII century, there was a Jewish community in Luginy. In 1648, Jews escaped from Luginy, rescuing themselves from attacks by Cossack detachments of B. M. Khmelnitsky. In 1721, the Jewish community was reborn.

In 1867, there were two synagogues in Luginy. Basic occupations of the Jewish population were handicrafts, mainly sewing, shoemaking,and woodworking, and small trade.

In 1914, Jews owned the only drugstore, pharmacy warehouse, the only warehouse of kerosene. there were 71 shops including 37 grocery stores and 15 factories.

Luginy entrepreneurs list from Russian Empire Business Directories by 1913

Luginy entrepreneurs list from Russian Empire Business Directories by 1913

On January 2 1918, a pogrom in Luginy was committed by soldiers of the Russian army; a pogrom on January 8 1918 was prevented by the squads of Jewish self-defense.

In 1919, there was a pogrom in Luginy, arranged by parts of the Directory. Jewish houses were destroyed and 11 people were killed. Weinerman Todres was among those who were killed.

Between the Wars

In the 1920s, a Jewish collective farm (kolhoz) and a Jewish school were established in the town.

In 1925, natives of Luginy (ten Jewish families – 56 people) organized a Jewish collective farm “Emes”in Kherson district.

Market square of Luginy, 1924

Market square of Luginy, 1924

Since 1926, a Jewish national village council has been formed in the town.
In 1927, a Jewish elementary school was opened in Luginy where four teachers worked and 173 girls and boys were studying. In 1934, a seven-year school was opened on the basis of this school. Up to 300 Jewish children studied there. They were taught by four teachers. At that time, a building for the seven-year school was built. In 1937, the elementary school and the seven-year one were united. The building of the former Jewish school was destroyed in 2012.

Site of the Jewish school. Now it is in the yard of modern Luginy school

Site of the Jewish school. Now it is in the yard of modern Luginy school

Before the war there were two synagogues in Luginy. The largest (three-storied) was destroyed in 1939, and the second was burned down during the war.

Feldman family, Luginy 1930's. Photo provided by Anna Feldman

Feldman family, Luginy 1930’s. Photo provided by Anna Feldman

In 1939, 1,622 Jews lived in Luginy. It was 34.3 per cent from the whole population.In addition, 449 Jews lived in the district.


Luginy suffered heavy bombardment by German aviation on the first day of the war, June 22, 1941.

Luginy was occupied from the ninth of August 1941 till the first of January 1944.

The tenth police battalion of the first brigade of SS carried out the actions in Luginy. After the fire in barracks in August, “five communist saboteurs were eliminated” as it was said in the documents. Knowing who were called saboteurs at those times we can be completely sure that those were Jews. The next day Nazis announced that 65 Bolshevist Jews were shot.
On the 28th of August 1941, the first SS brigade killed 77 Jews on the road from Ignatpol to Malakhovka.

The first actions in the Luginy region were carried out on August 23-25, 1941 by the 10th SS Regiment, which eliminated 430 Jews.

In late August that first SS brigade “was cleaning” Luginy, Ovruch, and Slovechno districts. 138 Jews were killed. On August 29, 1941, 51 people were shot in Luginy.

In October 1941, about 1,700 Jews were killed.  According to other sources, 735 locals and 1,009 refugees had been shot by November 1941.
The main places of the shootings of the Jewish population in Luginy were the forest, the school and the Jewish cemetery.

Holocaust execution side in the yard of local school

Holocaust execution side in the yard of local school

With the beginning of the war, local Jew Fleigrand left for the Patrizan detachment, where he later was killed. His wife and four children were shot by Germans..

Before the war, two of Waldman brothers lived in the shtetl. One of them was engaged in the evacuation of livestock in 1941 and was killed in the village by a local resident named Bigun. After the war, the brother who had survived saw his brother who was killed in his dreams at night. He went to the village where the villagers told him this story and showed the grave. Waldman reburied his brother in the Jewish cemetery in Luginy.

The execution of Jews in Luhyny took place in the train station and the school barn, where Ukrainian communists were also shot. When the mass grave was opened in 1956 (local Jew Yankel-Gersh organized this), locals could identify the bodies of Jews, and they were buried in the Jewish cemetery, while Ukrainians were buried in the Ukrainian section.
Holocaust mass grave in Luginy Jewish cemetery:

Memorial plates on Holocaust mass grave:

The Jews were also shot in the neighboring villages. After the war, their remains were reburied in Luginy in a Jewish cemetery. According to the stories of the old-timers, an unknown fraternal grave is located in the village of Glukhov near the sand quarries. The inscription on one of three monuments to the victims of the genocide mentions those who were shot in the village of Chervona Voloka.

The residents of the village Bovsuny who were shot in Luginy:
Borokh Gerkovich Zabar with the family – five people,
Shmilik Borokhovich Zabar with the family – ten people,
Yankel Gershkovich Zabar with the family – two people,
Berko Revelevich Gutman with the family – five people,
Surka Berkovna Katsman with the family – three people.
These Jewish citizens were shot by policemen in a dung hole of the collective farm “Stalin’s constitution”

2,191 people were killed during the occupation in the Luginy district. There were 1,770 Jews among them.
The total number of victims in the Luginy during the years of occupation is 745 people, including 735 Jews.

Holocaust victims list was taken from local museum in 2017:

More names can be found on

In the village of Luhinky, a resident hid a Jewish woman, thus saving her life.
Unfortunately, no Jew in Luhyny survived the Holocaust during the occupation.

After the WWII

After the war, about 500 Jews returned to Luginy. Feldman, Gelman, Baytman (the head of the family was the head of the collective farm), Hannah Kesselman (teacher), Moisey Grinshpan (mother was a teacher and father was a photographer), Mendel (glazier) and many others were among those who returned to the shtetl.

After the war, Jews rented an apartment for prayers and used it as a synagogue. Those who went to pray included Shapiro, Grigory Kofman, Yankel-Gersh (surname unknown), Feldman, Lerman, Veksler, Trozman, Brightman and Shteingart. Gersh Wortman was an unofficial rabbi. He organized prayers, funerals, and knew Jewish traditions. He had a scroll of Torah. 
Matzo was regularly baked in the house of Yevgeny Zoloty or Eli Reitman.

One of the first Jews from the town who managed to leave the USSR was Valdman, who emigrated to Israel in 1972.

In 1952, local Jews reburied the Holocaust victims from the grave behind the school to the Jewish cemetery. They found the pharmacist – the passport and syringe were in the pocket, a woman holding a child. It was impossible to recognize their faces.

Few Jewish families in Luginy, 1950's-1960's

Few Jewish families in Luginy, 1950’s-1960’s

After the war, just like before the Revolution, the Jews lived in the center of the town, the Ukrainians lived by the river.

In the early 1960s, Luginy district was liquidated and many Jews moved to Korosten, Zhytomyr and Kiev.

Jewish family in Luginy after the WWII

Jewish family in Luginy after the WWII

After the catastrophe at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in 1986, Luginy appeared to be in a radioactive contamination zone. A large part of the residents left the town.

Since the late 1980s, the departure of the Jews to Israel has begun. The first who left were the families Weidmann and Steingart.

In 2014, there were three Jews in Luginy, but after the death of Sophia Kabanovskaya (1934-2014) there was only an elderly Jewish couple.


Family Aizman, last 2 Jews of Luginy, 2018

Family Aizman, last 2 Jews of Luginy, 2018

In 2019, Abraham Aizman died and his wife emmigrated to USA. 

No description available.

Famous Jews from Luginy

Hanan Abramovich Wainerman (1902, Luginy – 1979, Odessa), a poet; worked as a pupil of the painter, a decorator in the studio, in the 1920s, was a colonist in the agricultural colonies in Kherson region. In 1930-1932, he studied at the faculty of Odessa pedagogical Institute, graduated from the Odessa Agricultural Institute. He began his literature activity in 1925. in Odessa Jewish newspaper “Der Sesser Arbeiter”, then he was printed in some Jewish periodical editions. The main theme of Wainerman’s works was the life of Jewish villages, its inhabitants’s work. His book of poems “Af hersoner steppes” (“In the Kherson steppes”) is the most famous.

Hanan Abramovich Wainerman

Tsodek Tuzman (1908, Luginy – 1942, front), a poet, wrote in Yiddish.

Semen Ionovich Sherman (born in 1934), Russian academician.

Lev Rakhlis (born in 1936) is a children’s writer who lives in the United States.

Jewish cemetery




One Comment

  1. Hi, there is a picture of my uncle from the cemetery, can you help me get more information?

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