Cherkas'ka Oblast, Ukraine

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Historical Sketch

The city of Uman, founded in the seventeenth century as a defensive fort against the Tatars,
is located along the Umanka river. From the sixteenth to the nineteenth centuries, control
of the town changed hands a number of times between Polish and Ukrainian authorities.
Despite these changes, Uman became an
important economic center in the region.

Jews were living in Uman at the time of the anti-Polish Haidamak insurrection of 1749;
many of these Jews were killed and their
property stolen.

Within a decade, approximately four-hundred
fifty Jews came to repopulate Uman. However, subsequent Haidamak rebellions, particularly
that of 1768, caused great trauma to the Jewish community.

The 1768 uprising decimated the Jews of Uman – it's estimated that several thousand Jews and
Poles were brutally murdered.

The 1768 massacre is commemorated by fasting
on the fifth of Tammuz (July-August).

Rebbe Nachman of Breslov, who died in 1810,

spent his last months in Uman, where
he is buried among the victims of the 1768 massacre.

Hasidic Jews still make annual pilgrimages to the Rebbe's grave on Rosh Hashana.
For more about Rebbe Nachman, see Rebbe.

The Bolshevik Revolution morphed into the Russian Civil War of 1919-1921 and the
Jews, caught between the protagonists, again became victims of vicious pogroms.
In Uman, the Jewish residents were killed primarily by the Cossacks led by Symon

In 1941, the Wehrmacht surrounded Soviet troops near Uman; needless-to-say, the
Nazis won the Battle of Uman. Some time after the battle, the Germans set about
murdering the entire Jewish population of Uman – estimated to be 17,000 men,
women, and children – and burying them
in a mass grave.

To emphasize their hatred, the Nazis and their minions destroyed the Uman cemetery,
where both the victims of the 1768 massacre
and Rebbe Nachman are buried.

One can learn more about
Uman's History by clicking
on the following link:
Uman History.

There are additional links
in the
Links section.

  • Last Modified: 04-13-2012

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