|This site is
dedicated to the Jewish history of the town of Dzygivka,
now in Ukraine, formerly part of Podolia Guberniya of
the Russian Empire, and even earlier part of the Kingdom
|Entry sign in Ukrainian.
|Street "where Jews used to live."
|Cemetery, partly in use, mostly in decay.
Location: Ukraine, 48°22'N 28°20'E. Google Maps.
Other names: Dzygovka [Russian], Dzygowka [Polish].
Dzygivka or Dzyhivka is Ukrainian. [I chose Dzygivka because that is how my grandmother pronounced it. She would say, "Zegeefka, Podolia Guberniya".]
Nearest large city: Vinnitsa
Dzygivka was a typical shtetl. It is located on the Korytna River, which flows south to the Dniester River, which it joins at the village of Yampol. It is now part of Vinnitsa Province, but historically was in the region called Podolia, which has a rich Jewish history.
We have a document, translated from Russian, which gives a history of Jews in Dzygivka. The peak population was 1897, when 2,187 Jews were living there, one-third of the total population of 6,500. In 1889 there were three synagogues in operation, as well as a number of religious schools. There may one or two Jews remaining today.
The shtetl came into existence in the 1600's. In 1787 it was given the right to hold regular fairs by the Polish king. These fairs or market days attracted Jewish shop owners, traders and professionals, which made possible the meager existence of the Jewish community. Eventually there were mills, warehouses, a bank, and a hospital.
Dzygivka suffered through the formation of the Soviet Union and its nightmarish hardships in the 1920's and 1930's.
Soon after the onset of World War II with the German invasion of June 1941, the shtetl was turned into a ghetto by the Nazis and their Rumanian allies. It was not an outright killing camp, but death was prevalent from malnutrition and disease. See more detail in the Holocaust section.
Michael Maidenberg, the compiler of this website, visited the shtetl in 1996. His trip report, A Journey in Two Worlds, and a companion video record, Family History Face to Face, provide an account of what a once-thriving Jewish community had become. Please note that Dzygivka is not the sole focus of either work.
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