Jews in Ukraine
... And to them will I give in my house and within my walls a memorial and a name that shall not be cut off ...
In the middle of the thirteenth century, Poland was divided into several fiefdoms. After the Mongol invasion, many of the city lay in ruins, the fields are not processed. To revive the country, the princes began to invite the Germans, and the Germans came together and Jews from persecution in Central Europe, the new land, where they were promised privileges. From German and Jewish colonists gradually formed in the patriarchal Poland Third Estate, along with the former two - landowners and peasants. Polish prince gave the Germans a full self-government in the cities, and thus there was a kind of medieval German city on the Polish soil, where a number of Christian philistinism appeared and autonomous Jewish community.
At the end of the 18th century as a result of the three sections of the Commonwealth part of its territory, which for centuries Jews lived, he joined the Russian Empire. The Jewish community of the empire according to the census in 1897 the number reached to 5.200.000 people. In 1791, when Catherine the Great had established the Pale of Settlement, which defines the territory, beyond which Jews were forbidden residence. It includes the former Polish lands, the southern regions of Ukraine and Crimea. It Pale largely predetermined the formation of shtetl - small towns, the main percentage of the population that was Jewish.
After the establishment of Soviet power, Jewish life was virtually wiped out, the aim of the Bolsheviks was to dissolve the Jewish people in the bulk of the Soviet population. During this period closed synagogues and Jewish schools, on the other hand - the Jews have the opportunity to leave the village, to build a career. Shtetl began to decline.
In August 1939, it was signed the famous "Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact". It included a secret protocol that defines the sphere of influence of the USSR and Germany in Eastern Europe. After the Second World War and the division of Poland to the Soviet Union withdrew Western Ukraine and Western Belarus, Bessarabia became a major part of the Moldavian Soviet Socialist Republic, and Northern Bukovina with the northern and southern parts of Bessarabia were annexed to Soviet Ukraine. In these areas, there were about 1,750,000 Jews and about 300,000 refugees from the western and central Poland, occupied by Germany. On the eve of the German invasion of the Soviet Union was the largest Jewish community in the world. On the territory of Ukraine (in modern borders) lived about 2.7 million. Jews. According to the Jewish community of Ukraine held (in mid-1941), first in Europe and second in the world.
Murder of the Jews began with the first days of the war, and continued throughout the period of occupation. Their result was the destruction of more than 1.5 million. Jews, not including Jewish soldiers who died in captivity because of the Jews, and the Jews who were evacuated at the beginning of the war in the North Caucasus, where they were caught and killed the Germans in 1942. The total the number of Jews in Ukraine perished during the Holocaust - not less than 1.6 million. people.
The vast majority of Jews were killed in the territory of Ukraine in fact, more than 22% (about 340 thousand.) Removed and destroyed in Poland - specialized in the Belzec death camp, Auschwitz, Sobibor, Majdanek.
In Eastern Galicia Jews were killed in two years, in Volyn, Podolia, on the Right-Bank Ukraine - and a half years in the South and the Left-Bank Ukraine - almost six months. Of those who remained here during the occupation, survived no more than 2% - 3%.
During the Holocaust, it was destroyed unique culture of Jewish settlements, which for centuries formed on the territory of Poland and Ukraine. The aim of our project - to prevent this culture and its people disappear forever from history of the country which was his birthplace, and from the memory of the world ...