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Teofipol is a town in the Khmelnytskyi district of the Khmelnytskyi region. In 2013, the population was 7686 people.

The Jews called this town Tshon.

Several short stories about the Jews of Teofipol before the Revolution can be found here.

During the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, Teofipol was part of the Volhynian Voivodeship, Kremenets Powiat. Teofipol was under the influence of the Kremenets kahal.
However, in 1758, a separate kahal was organized in Teofipol and Jews from surrounding villages were subordinated to it.
In 1765, there were 516 Jews in Teofipol and the surrounding villages.

Teofipol entrepreneurs list from Russian Empire Business Directories by 1913

Teofipol entrepreneurs list from Russian Empire Business Directories by 1913

In the Russian Empire, Teofipol was a town of the Starokostiantyniv district, Volyn province.

In 1897 the Jewish population of 2,914 comprised 65 percent of the total population.

There were (in 1910) a private Jewish boys’ school and a private Jewish girls’ school.

The main occupations of the Jewish population were tailors, shoemakers, and small traders. Before the start of World War I, 3800 Jews were living in the village.


With the start of the Russian Revolution in 1917, Jews no longer felt safe as the central authority weakened. In 1918, a local Jew named Gersh Lichtgurten was killed near the village.

On July 5, 1919, a pogrom was organized in the village by the 4th and 5th Tarashcha Soviet regiments and local peasants. As a result, 88 people were killed, 100 were wounded, 20 were maimed, and 65 women were raped. An epidemic of smallpox followed the pogrom, which claimed many lives. Most of the village’s industrial enterprises were destroyed. As a result of the pogroms, epidemics, and emigration, the Jewish population decreased by more than half and numbered 1450 people.

Old house in the center of Teofipol, 2022

Old house in the center of Teofipol, 2022

Between the wars

Under Soviets rule the town had a Jewish rural council and a Yiddish school.
In 1929 a kolkhoz was founded; in 1936 it had 94 families.

The synagogue was closed in 1934.

 In 1939 the Jews numbered 1,266, comprising 36.9 of the total population of the town.


Information about Holocaust in Teofipol was taken from Yad Vashem project website.

The Germans occupied Teofipol on July 6, 1941. A ghetto was established (on the outskirts of town), where Jews from the village of Shibeno and other nearby villages were also held. Ghetto was located in current Makarenka Street.

On January 21, 1942, about 500 Jewish men were shot to death by a German rural police unit. On the next day the remaining Jews of the ghetto – women, children, and old people – were taken to the same murder site and shot to death by the same Gendarmerie unit. According to a ChGK document 970 Jews were killed in this two-day murder operation.

Center of Teofipol, 2022

Center of Teofipol, 2022

Fifteen Jewish specialists – craftsmen and artisans, who had been kept alive when almost one thousand others were killed were housed in the ghetto with their families. On July 1942 they were taken to the forest near the town of Lyakhovtsy, where they were shot to death, along with Jews from Lyakhovtsy, Yampol, and Kornitsa.

Jewish population of Teofipol:
1765 – 516 Jews
1897 – 2,914 (57%)
1939 – 1266 (36%)

On January 21, 1942, on German orders, under the pretext that the local Jews had bombs and planned to destroy the Gendarmerie building, the adult male Jews of the town were collected in the ghetto. After a count had been taken, about 500 men were taken under guard to the local school building. They were made to strip to their underwear and then, under guard by Ukrainian auxiliary policemen, were taken in groups of 20-25 to a ditch located 4-5 kilometers south of the town, about 100 meters from the road leading from Teofipol to the town of Bazaliya. Upon their arrival, the victims, while lying on the ground face down, were forced to crawl to the edge of the pit, where they were shot to death in the back of the head by members of a Gendarmerie unit.

The next morning, January 22, over 800 women, children, and old people (along with the bodies of those who had been killed while hiding during the round up conducted in the ghetto) were loaded onto sleds and taken under guard by Ukrainian policemen to the same shooting site. A group of young women was taken on foot to the murder site. Near the ditch the victims were forced to strip naked and shot to death by the Gendarmerie unit and some Ukrainian policemen. Many children and nursing babies were thrown into the ditch alive. After the shooting the clothes of the victims were taken by cart to the school building and later sent to Germany.

After the murder operation the furniture that was in the Jewish houses was looted by Ukrainian residents to heat the [local] hospital and Gendarmerie buildings. During this time the Ukrainian policemen caught 5 Jewish women who had managed to hide during the shooting of January 22. They were handed over to the Gendarmerie men, who took them to the same ditch and shot them to death. On January 26, 1942, Ukrainian policemen, together with local peasants, covered the bodies of the victims in the ditch with earth.

Holocaust memorial in Teofipol. It was constructed in 1969:

Teofipol was liberated by the Red Army on March 5, 1944.

After the liberation of the village by Soviet troops, in June 1944, a trial was held for police officers who participated in the murder of Jews. As a result, the chief of local police, Pasychnyk, his deputy Ostapchuk, the deputy mayor Nagrebelny, the prison warden Franchuk, the police commandant Melnychuk, the German commissariat officers Danyliuk, the policeman Shpak, and the translator Nagrebelna were sentenced to death, and the policemen Tsybul and Yatsyuk were sentenced to 25 years in prison.

After the WWII

I could not find information about Jews from Teofipol after World War II, but based on the graves in the Jewish cemetery, around 50-100 people were living there.
One of the Jews who lived in the town after the war was Nikolai Yosifovich Kreppel. He worked as a history teacher in the school.

Jewish cemetery

The exact period of the cemetery’s establishment is unknown. The oldest tombstone dates to the late 19th century so it can be assumed the cemetery emerged during that period. It first appears on a Russian map from 1915 and, later, on a Polish map from 1939, but not as a Jewish cemetery. The cemetery is not marked on earlier maps from the 1880s. The site was fenced by ESJF in 2016.

View from the Jewish cemetery to Teofipol:

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