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Dnepropetrovsk Yizkor Book (Memory Book for Ekaterinoslav, Ukraine)

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C. During the days of Tsar Alexander the Third. page 24

(Special thanks to Pnina and Yehuda Mathov for this translation!)
(Note: Footnotes to sources have not yet been translated.)

When Alexander III arrived to power, riots against the Jews began in the South of Russia in 1881.

Those riots didn't touch Yekaterinoslav during that year. But an intent of disturbs occurred in 1882, but due to the efforts taken by the government they were stopped at the very beginnings [19].

The riots on the areas around, and the refugees who arrived from the affected areas, caused, of course, sorrow and fear, in the Jewish community. Money was collected then for the help of the victims, and was given to them [20].

The agitation against the Yekaterinoslav Jews did not cease, and flourished in sectors which were easily agitated, those were workers, proletariat, in large quantities, who were in town, from different areas of Russia, contracted for the construction of the railroad and the bridge over the Dnieper river.

The Pogroms started in July 20th 1883 (by the Julian Calendar), during a religious procession and alleged incident between a Jewish shop keeper and a Christian youth. Rumors began that the boy was killed by the Jew, and immediately, those workers who assisted the procession, with other citizens who joined them, assaulted the Jewish shops and stalls, and later the Jewish houses and apartments in different town streets with the intention to destroy and loot them.

The police was incapable of stopping the riots, and the army was not in town, arriving only by the evening and starting activity to stop the disorders, which continued till next morning, and only at the end of the second day, after the use of fire weapons and some of the rioters killed [some 15] and some injured, the turmoil was stopped.

We must note that the Christian treated their Jewish neighbors with extreme indifference, and only very few came to help the victims of the hooligans, and gave some shelter to the persecuted.
That shameful attitude was even published by the general Russian press.

Terror caught the Jewish population of Yekaterinoslav and many abandoned the town, some of them, temporarily. A big quantity of property was stolen, principally from the already poor. No Jew was killed, but many were injured.
The synagogue at Kazatzia street was completely demolished [22].

The (Jewish) Assistance Committee published that 657 families with a total of 2,870 souls asked for help, the majority middle class merchants and artisans.

The destruction caused was estimated into 600,000 rubles [22]. 350 houses were robbed and destroyed.

- - - - -

Very quickly the Committee for the Assistance of the victims was organized, lead by Y. Brodesky, and the first contributions were collected on the spot.
Funds coming from other places arrived later, in total 17,000 rubles were gathered.
The local Council, voted for another 500 rubles for those in need [23]. This help was, then, minimal and didn't even cover the necessities of the victims. A number of families abandoned the town completely and emigrated to North America. Some instead intended to migrate to Eretz Israel.
Thanks to the affords of the Government, slowly the ambient was quieted and the everyday life, and the economic activity, returned to normality and together with that the community live.


The eighties and nineties from the last century [XIX note of translator} , the days of Tsar Alexander the Third the reactionary, brought with them new limitations and persecutions on Russian Jewry. Yekaterinoslav Jews suffered from those restrictions, from the growing of anti-Semitism, and the negative government approach. Although this situation, they continue to take part in the economic development of the town, which became an important center for the commerce and industry of the area. With the push caused by the construction of the railroad in the year 1884, which linked the area with Krivoy Rog, the center of iron mining, with also stone charcoal {? must be another word for mineral coal} layers. In addition to the commerce with grain and timber which was developed and quickly grew, the Jews took part also in industry, specially in the food branch, and they were the owners of big flour mills, subproduction of wood, tobacco factories, printing shops, textiles, candies factories, and mineral water, etc.

There were Jewish important owners of real estate. Jews were doctors, lawyers, accountants, and clerks in many shops. Many of them were tailors, others working with glass, tin, painters and locksmiths and backers.
Workers worked in tobacco factories and timber sawing plants, "balegules" (owners of horse driven carts), transporting specialty timber logs from the port to the sawing places. [24].
The Jewish community in town grew more and more, especially with the absorption of Jews who were deported from Moscow and Rostow on the Don, when those towns excluded them. [25]. Not a few of them moved to the central streets, and so the Jewish population in Yekaterinoslav grew to more than 20,000.

The increasing of the Jewish community, the anti-Semitism which grew alongside, the nationalist spirit that spread all over, the young intellectuals who moved closer to the people, all of these were the reason for a strong public activity in plenty of different grounds. The local institutions were expanded like the local Hospital [26]. An special and larger building was erected for the Talmud Torah [27]. The activity of the Society "Maskil el dal" started in 1889 [28], centralizing every relief activity to the many needed. A Ladies Committee was created to help students in the Talmud Torah and other schools where poor families children used to study.

The limitation, ("numerus clausus") imposed upon Jewish students to join general schools, together with a continuously growing intention of education for children, spurred the establishment of many private Jewish schools for boys and for girls, when some of them granted also professional education [29]
The public approached those institutions with respect, and many times materially helped, especially paying the education fees for poor pupils

New Unions and Associations were created for help and assistance, for instance, during 1888, was created the Jewish Clerks Union for shops and commerce which developed during the next years important help activities [30].

In 1893, the Jewish Teachers and Pupils Union was created[31].

In 1898 was created the Association for the help of the Needy, which took on the important task to support the city poor, who were many. A group of women was organized to collect monies from door to door for the needs of the whole society

There were benefactors that, with their contributions, made possible the building or maintenance of entire institutions. We still posses the names of the activists who donated their time and energy, such as: M. Dolnik [dalet vav lamed nun iud kuf] M. Karpas [caf reish pei samech], -Tiberovsky [tet bet reish vav bet samech kuf iud], - M. Maydansky [ mem iud iud dalet nun samech kuf iud], - Y. Stanislavsk [ samech tet alef nun iud samach lamed bet samach kuf iud] and the ladies: Tiberovsky, - Yampolsky [iud mem pei vav lamed samech kuf iud] , - Vitlin [ vav iud tet iud nun] .- Karpas, Nemirovsky [ nun mem iud reish vav bet samach kuf iud ],- Stein [ shin tet iud iud nun] and others as well. [33]

[Translator note: due to the immense value for genealogist of this article, the Hebrew letters for the spelling of each Surname have been included.]

The Russian Government noticed how internal Jewish affairs were conducted and by order they decided that the administration of the Central Synagogue will take under her prerogatives all the Jewish organizations as: the Hospital, Talmud Torah, the synagogue, help to the poor, the cemetery, and so on. And by a request of the Great Synagogue directors, representatives from those institutions, were added to them, to constitute the direction of the Jewish Community.

(End of this translation)

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