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History of Krystynopol

The city was part of the Polish Kingdom in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth since its foundation in 1692 until 1772, when it was incorporated into the Habsburg Empire. During the interwar period, it belonged the Second Polish Republic, and between 1945 and 1951 was part of the Polish People's Republic. It passed from Poland to the Ukrainian SSR after the territorial exchange in 1951 and had its name changed to Chervonohrad.

In May 1685, the Crown hetman and Krakow Voivode Feliks Kazimierz Potocki purchased land along the Bug River. In 1692, he founded a city on the lands of the village "Novyi Dvir" (literally "New Garden", Polish: Nowy Dwor) and named it "Krystynopol" after his wife Krystyna Lubomirska (the suffix "-pol" derives from Greek "polis"). Potocki made the city his family center. He died here on September 22, 1702. His grandson Franciszek Salezy Potocki built a palace and in 1763 founded a monastery of Basilians (barocco church of Saint George; prior to 1946 - a place of miracles with wondrous icon of the Mother of God). The Church of the Holy Spirit (built in the 1750s).

In the 19th century, the "Apostolus Christinopolitanus" and famous chronicle from 1763-1779 were kept in the city. The Catholic order of Myrrh-Bearing Sisters was founded by Fr. Yulian Datsii in 1910, with the purpose of gathering funds to build a home for orphans and the poor. The first members of the congregation vowed to build two buildings: one for the people and one for the congregation. In 1913 the first convent arose, where 15 sisters lived.

Among the landmarks of the city is Count Potocki's palace, constructed by the order of Feliks Kazimierz Potocki after 1692.

On August 1, 1990, Chervonohrad became the first city in the whole Soviet Union, where a monument to Communist leader Vladimir Lenin was removed.

Before WW IKrystynopolSokolGaliciaAustrian Empire
Between the WarsKrystynopolSokolLwowPoland
After WW IIKrystynopol  USSR
TodayChervonograd LvivUkraine

History of Jews in Krystynopol

The shtetl Krystynopol was predominantly Jewish for most of the town's history. Today there is barely a trace of the original town. Although information regarding Krystynopol's history is scant, here is the story of the rise and fall of this community:

The noble family of Potocki from Krakow, Poland, owned vast amounts of land in the region. In May 1685, Feliks Kazimierz Potocki (1630-1702) bought land in the village of Nowy Dwor (New Garden). In 1692, he founded Krystynopol on this land and made the town his home. He named the town after his wife, Princess Krystyna Lubomirska (1640-1699).

Franciszek Salezy PotockiLater, Feliks Potocki's grandson, Franciszek Salezy Potocki (1700-1772) built a large palace there.

Jewish settlers arrived soon after Potocki founded Krystynopol. The earliest Jewish community existed around 1740. In 1765, there were 759 Jewish taxpayers [2]. By 1880, there were 2,747 Jews, comprising 78 percent of the total population. The predominant Jewish business was grain trading, and Belz Hasidism dominated Jewish life.

The 1900 census counted 2,651 Jewish residents, 75 percent of the total population of 3,522. The census revealed these additional statistics:

  • Area in hectares = 1,060 (equivalent to 2,610 acres)
  • Number of men = 1,728
  • Number of women = 1,794
  • Number of houses = 408
  • Number of factories = 1
  • Number of horses = 57
  • Number of cattle = 135
  • Number of sheep = 1
  • Number of pigs = 218

During World War I, Cossack attacks, mass expulsions and the decline of grain trade caused the Jewish population to drop to 2,086 (74 percent of the total population of 2,809). Zionist organizations gained popularity.

Many Krystynopol Jews settled in New York City, founding several organizations (landmanshaftn) to aid fellow immigrants.

Published eight years after the conclusion of World War I, the 1926/7 Poland business directory counted five synagogues in Krystynopol. Businesses in the town included a cement factory, mills and tanneries. The 1930 directory additionally noted sawmills and the production of chemical products.

In 1939, most Krystynopol Jews were expelled by the Germans and left with the Soviet forces. They crossed the Bug River to be in Soviet-controlled Sokal and Witkow Nowy. In the summer of 1940, many of these Jews were exiled to Siberia. In September 1942, remaining Krystynopol Jews were deported to the death camp in Belzec. The Jewish cemetery, founded in the 1700s, was destroyed during that time.

Krystynopol became a part of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic. Its name was changed to Chervonograd in 1953. Coal mining began in the 1950s and Chervonograd's population grew rapidly, from 12,000 in 1959, to 83,600 in 2000.

Krystynopol Jews in New York City

This is a list of Krystynopol-related landsmanshaftn incorporated in Manhattan, 1848 to 1920:

Name of LandsmanshaftnYear of Incorporation
Krystenopoler Sick and Benevolent Association1896
Krystynopolo and Austria Congregation of the City of New York1896
Independent First Krystynopoler Sick and Benevolent Association1902
First Krystynopoler Young Men's Benevolent Association1906
First Krystynopoler Young Men's and Young Ladies Benevolent Society1908
Krystonopoler Congregation of New York1911
Progressive Krystynopoler Young Men's Benevolent Society1912

Founded in 1896, the synagogue Cristonopoler Congregation Brith Isaac was at 90 Columbia Street, Lower East Side Manhattan. In 1919, its spiritual leader was Rabbi Aaron Hafner, its president was Issac Axelrod and its secretary was Leib Lustig. The congregation had 100 members and the services were in Hebrew.

The First Krystenopoler Sick and Benevolent Association maintained an area at the Montefiore Cemetery in Queens, New York (block 83, gate 89/W), where there is a memorial to Krystynopol.

The following New York cemeteries have sections maintained by Krystynopol landsmanshaftn:

Montefiore Cemetery
121-83 Springfield Boulevard
Springfield Gardens, Queens, NY 11412
Block 83, gate 89/W

Mt. Zion Cemetery
59-63 54th Avenue
Maspeth, NY 11378
Path 7 left, gate 5

Mt. Hebron Cemetery
130-04 Horace Harding Expressway
Flushing, NY 11367
Block 4, path 1

Wellwood Cemetery
Wellwood Avenue
Farmingdale, NY 11735
Block 60, section 3

The Jewish Cemetery in Krystynopol

According to the International Jewish Cemetery Project, the Krystynopol Jewish cemetery is located at the center of Chervonograd on Shevs'ka Street. The original size of the cemetery was 1.5 hectares. At the time of the survey in 1995, 0.15 hectares remained, surrounded by housing. No grave markers exist.

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