The most desolated spot in Southwestern Ukraine, once named “Cossack Ukraine”, first mentioned in Polish archive documents in 1552. Here, on the riverside of Rosen, settled those who fled from persecution, from big German cities and who were given permission by the Polish King to settle in the Polish Kingdom (Rzheca Pospolity). In 1795 this place, already named Pliskov, was mentioned in documents of Tszarist Russia. The name “Pliskov” originates from the bird that lived in the woods around Pliskov. Before the October 1917 Revolution there were three synagogues, a bath house by the riverside, a cemetery, two drug stores, two wayside inns, four smithies, four peeling mills, three water mills and a steam mill, two barber shop, a diner, many stores inside the shopping center “Torgovica” and many workshops in Pliskov. Once a week a big market was arranged at the Market Place, where peasants were selling their goods and buying the goods that the Jewish shop owners and craftsmen were selling. The majority of the Jewish population of Pliskov had the following occupations:
There were 220 houses in Pliskov, in which, according to the first census conducted in 1892, lived 1,320 Jews. The houses were different. Wealthy families lived in good quality brick houses with tin roofs. Poorer families lived in thatched roofed houses. Pliskov was famous for its mineral spring named “Brover”. In the wintertime it did not freeze, and in the summertime, even during the hottest days, water did not disappear and was always cold. All year round the water-carrier delivered water from this spring to the customers who paid a small fee for the service. This is how the people of Pliskov lived – they worked, celebrated weddings, buried their dead, and Holidays and Shabbat went to Synagogue. Out came the Prayerbooks, Tallit, Tefillin, their long frocked coats, peaked hats from under which, came out the long curled peyases. On Friday night Pliskov became quiet, its streets and alleys became deserted. In every home there was a meal cooked especially for Shabbat or a Yom Tov. Saturdays, after the synagogue, were spent at home, but after Shabbat people strolled down through the shopping center. That is how life passed for more than 300 years in this small town (Shtetl). However, there were dark days and times for the Jewish population of Pliskov and surrounding shtetls, such as Pogrebishche, Lipovets, Shpicentsy, Zhivotovo, Dashev and Tetiev. Pogroms, assaults, persecution and murders of Jews took place from the days when these towns came into being and until their complete disappearance after World War II (1939-1945). Khmelnickiy’s Cossacks (1648-1654), Gaydamaks (robbers) (1736-1768) persecuted Jews. There was a pogrom in Pliskov organized by the Ukrainians at the marker in 1914. The more bloody and destructive progroms took place during the Revolutiob and Civil War (1917-1921). There were pogroms organized by Petlura’s and Denikin’s gangs. Poles and other gangs participated in the pogroms and massacre of Jews in 1918-1919 organized by detachments of Red Army soldiers. In the summer of 1920 Red Cossacks of Budenniy Army also robbed Jews. One Red Cossack, yelling “Bourgeois”, tore off Berl Bershadsky’s frock-coat and beat him with a whip. All of these pogroms, robberies and murders forced many Jews to seek refuge in the United States.
Until 1929 there were private businesses in Pliskov, but in 1930 they were confiscated and all craftsmen were forced to work in Artels, In 1926 all Jewish schools (Cheders) were closed and study of the Torah and the Hebrew language were prohibited. The only school were teaching was conducted in Yiddush was closed in 1936. Before 1930 many of the wealthier families had already moved to the big cities such as Kiev, Moscow, Leningrad, Kharkov and others. In that way they were able to escape deportation to Siberia as “enemies of the Soviet power and exploiters of the working class”. On July 22, 1941 Pliskov was occupied by the German Army. All Jews of Pliskov stayed in town. This was the biggest fault of the Stalin regime. Before the war, when the treaty with Hitler was concluded, the newspapers and radio discontinued all the reports on how fascists treat the Jews. This is the main reason the Pliskov Jews stayed in town, scared and waiting to see how the fascists treated the Jews. A German Fric Nudel was the Commandant of Pliskov, he appointed an Ukrainian named Ivanko to be Head of Pliskov. Ivanko made a public announcement that all Jews of Pliskov will be deprived of all their rights and personal property, and every Ukrainian may take possession of that property except for hold, platinum, silver and other valuables which will pass on to Germany. Fric Nudel formed a Ukrainian Police Force. The chief of police was a known criminal named Chirsky, who still lives in Australia, he escaped from Pliskov in 1944. On October 22, 1941 Head of Gendarmery Shuster, his assistant Kinkel, officers Benkel and Kushner, together with Fric Nudel EXECUTED ALL OF PLISKOV’S JEWS. Together with the German fascists, the Ukrainian police took an active part in this massacre. Many Jews who fought in the Soviet Army were killed in battle, and those who survived did not return to Pliskov. Now, the Jewish town of Pliskov doesn’t exist, but there is a village named Pliskov. Those who survived the Holocaust of 1941-1945 have moved to many countries. Jews of Pliskov now live in Israel, Australia, USA, Germany, and the Czech Republic.
The Ukraine is the place, where during many hundreds of years local Ukrainians, Poles and Russians have persecuted Jews, organized pogroms, robberies and used violence against the Jews. It had happened before Bogdan Khmelnitskiy’s times and after them. If before 1918 Hews seldom repulsed pogrom-makers, during the Civil War 1918-1921 self-defense detachments (Hagana), successfully repelled assaults of small gangs. Moshe-Ben-David Belensky, the brothers Chizick and other residents of Pliskov took an active part in Hagana. These small groups were not able to put up much resistance to large gangs, NO Jews could escape from fascists because of Stalin’s policy toward Jews. Knowing how fascists treated the Jews, the bloody tyrant Stalin did nothing to organize evacuation of the Ukrainian Jews to the East. Accomplishing his bloody plan against Jews, Hitler realized that Stalin was not against this ‘Final Solution’. Both tyrants should be held fully responsible for the Holocaust.
February 25, 1998
FAMILIES OF PLISKOV
BERSHADSKY, BEREL One son Mutsec, three daughters Beyla, Rayzel and Brucha. Melamed and Shamus in Synagogue. Barber and marriage broker.
DECHTYAR, REFUEL Wife Rayzel, three daughters, two sons. Yakov Leyzer is his brother. Before 1917 he lived in USA, he came back to the Ukraine in 1920. Killed Polish soldiers during the 1920’s. Coachmaker.
BERGER, SHOLOMO Wheat Broker.
BERSHADSKY Three brothers and families. Smiths.
BABINSKY, MOTEL and family. Owned a small provision shop.
BRODSKY, SHLOYMA and family. Capmaker.
BELINSKY, MOSHE Butcher.
COHEN, YANKEL wife and daughter Leya. Without fixed employment.
CHAIM-PERETS and family. Rofe – Doctor.
CHIZICK, WOLF and family. Large forest dealer.
CUROLAP, HERSHEL and family. Tradesman with meal.
COTLYAR, MOTEL and family. Dealer.
CAPLUN, AYZICK and family. Tailor.
CAYNER, ELKUNE and family. Smith.
GRINBERG and family. Large merchant.
GOLDMAN, YANKEL and family. Manufacturing shop.
GOLICK and family. Stabler for strangers horses and newcomers. Smith.
GUSACK, NUCHEM and family. Barber and hairdresser.
GARMIDER, LEYBI and family. Dealer with sons Avrum and Moshe. Josif-Shlomo moved to the USA. His wife Sima and daughters Klara and Zisl stayed in Pliskov with the Chinkes family. Dealers.
KOTOFSKY, KALMAN and family. Tenant in a Water Mill.
KANTOR, CHAIM-YANKEL and family. Ran the groats and oil mill.
KUSHNIERSKY, DAVID and family. Before 1930 holder oil mill. After 1930 hairdresser.
LOSHACK, PEYSYA and family. Horsedriver.
LERNER, ELY and family. Egg auctioneer.
LUKASHEVSKY, BERCHICK and family. Cordmaker.
MALITSKY and family. Capmaker.
OFSHTAYN and family. Shopkeeper.
ORATOVSKY, LIEYB and family, wife Beyla Bershadskaya, six daughters and two sons. Coachmaker.
POLONSKY, ISHUA and family. Smith.
POZHARNY, SHMIEL and family. Fisherman.
ROSINSKY, MOSHE and family. Carpenter.
ROSINSKY, NUCHEM and family. Cooper.
SPIVACK, SHULEM and family. Grain dealer.
SMOLYANSKY, HERSHEL and family. Tinsmith (slater).
STEPANSKY (pseudonym KUTONTY) and family. Melamed.
SHMILRIN, AZRIL and family. Dealer.
SHINDLER, SIMCHA and family. Dealer.
STARIKOFSKY, SHLOMO and family. Tenant at a water mill.
SHORR, HERSHEL and son Eshua, and family. Holder the Great Supply (provision shop).
SHEYNKER, SHIMON and family. Holder manufacture shop.
SLIPOY, ZISL and family. Horsedriver (cabman).
SHTAYN, WOLF and family. Pharmacist.
TALALAY, AVRUM and family. Egg auctioneer.
TRAYNOF, YOSEL and family. Butcher.
SMOLAR, HERSHEL and family. Holder foreign (stranger) for horses.
WERNER, SHLOMO and family. Holder provision shop.
WERNICK, HERSHEL and LEIB and family. Holder alcohol shop, and horse auctioneer.
WEXLER, URN and family. Butcher.
WEXLER, YANKEL LEYZERS and family. Dyer.
WEXLER, URN and family. Oil mill.
ZADKORETSKY, BENYA and family. Dealer.
ZHITOMIRSKY, DUBID and four sons, and family. Shoemakers.
ZACK, USHER and family. Dealer.
BEZUL and family. Capmaker.
PANICH, CHAIM and family. Pliskov Chief Rabbi.
MEDOVAR, ELI and family. Dealer, holder oil mill.
KULIK, ZEHARIA and his wife Sure-Duvidkes, three sons in USA: Meir Rosen, Moshe Rosen, Josef Rosen? One son in Pliskov Shouya Kulik. Three daughters in Pliskov Golda Lubarskaya, Kuka Tokar and Etel Sirota? A tailor and shoemaker. Worked a full week in the village. Chernyavka with the daughter Golda, and came back to Pliskov for Shabbos. A very devout Jew.