Bar City GateBar, City Gate

Bar is a town in Vinnitsa Oblast, Ukraine. Bar passed to Russia at the second partition of Poland in 1793, and from 1796 to the 1917 Russian Revolution was a district capital in the province (government) of Podolia. The Bar community was one of the oldest in the Ukraine. Jews are first mentioned there in 1542. By an agreement concluded in 1556 with the citizens of Bar, the Jews were permitted to own buildings and had the same rights and duties as the other residents; they were permitted to visit other towns in the district for business purposes but were forbidden to provide lodging for Jewish visitors in the city. The agreement was formally ratified the same year by the Polish king Sigismund II.

Jews began to settle in Bar in the first half of the sixteenth century, making the community one of the oldest in Ukraine. A small trade outpost named Row, in the 16th century, Polish Queen Bona Sforza founded a fortress above the river. In 1540, Polish King Sigismund I the Old granted city rights to the nearby town. After 1922 the city was part of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic, and since 1991 in independent Ukraine.  Located on the Rov River in the Vinnytsia Oblast (province) of western Ukraine, Bar is the administrative center of Barskyi Raion and part of the historic region of Podolia. 1900 Jewish population: 5,773. Located now in Horodok Raion, west of L'viv and in the Podolia Province 1890 - 1925 on the Rov River in the Vinnytsia Oblast (province) of central Ukraine. administrative center of the Bar Raion (district) and part of the historic region of Podolia. The 2005 estimated population was 17,200. 2013 population was about 16,442 [August 2009]

The community grew during the second half of the 16th and the first half of the 17th century, and Jews from Bar engaged in trade in places as far away as Moldavia. According to a contemporary chronicler, the Bar community in 1648 numbered some 600 Jewish families, "men of wealth and standing." During the Chmielnicki uprising in that year, many of the Jews in Bar were massacred. There was a further slaughter of the Jewish inhabitants by Cossacks and Tatars in 1651. There were 17 houses (out of 107) in Jewish ownership in Bar in 1565, 23 in 1570–71, and approximately 20 in 1661. In 1717, authorization to erect a synagogue in Bar was granted by the bishop. After 1793, under Russian rule, the community also developed. The Jewish population numbered 4,442 in 1847, 5,773 in 1897 (58% of the total), and 10,450 (46%) in 1910. Between 1910 and World War I, Jews opened factories based on agricultural products, such as sugar, linen, tobacco, and vodka. They owned most of the shops in town, and the only pharmacy and were the majority of artisans. Twenty Jews in Bar lost their lives during a pogrom in the summer of 1919.

Religious and communal life came to an end with the establishment of the Soviet government. In the 1920s some 300 families lived from workmanship, 28 were clerks and workers, 150 heads of families worked in agriculture, some of them in a Jewish farm cooperative. The Jewish population totaled 5,270 in 1926 (55%) and 3,869 (total population – 9406) in 1939. In the 1930s 1,000 worked in various factories and 400 in industrial cooperatives; 53 families were members of a Jewish kolkhoz. The Germans occupied Bar on July 16, 1941.On December 20, 1941, three ghettos surrounded by barbed-wire fences were established in the town (one was for artisans and their families), and a Judenrat and Jewish Order Service were appointed. Two of the ghettos eventually merged. Inhabitants suffered from starvation and overcrowding. The Germans provided no food; the only provisions available to residents were those obtained through barter and smuggling. The Jews were conscripted for forced labor in manufacture, agriculture and road repair. In the autumn of 1941, Jews from neighboring localities (including Balki) were brought to Bar along with deportees from Bukovina; most were artisans. In August 1942, rumors of an impending operation spread through one of the ghettos. Several dozen families who believed the rumors fled to Romanian-controlled Kopaigorod and survived. Most of the ghettos’ residents were murdered on August 20–21, 1942. In early September 1942, eighty young Jews from Murovannye Kurilovtsy were brought via the ghetto to the railroad station to unload coal; the ghetto was liquidated a short time later. Its residents were transported to a labor camp at Letichev, where most perished. On October 15, some 2,000 Jews from the second ghetto were shot dead. A number of Jews in the ghetto entrusted their children to Christians, but they did not all survive.

In 1993 there were 199 Jews living there.



Bar, Vinnytsia Oblast

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BarStella at the murder site next to the Garmaki Road

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