Jewish Ludmir: The History and Tragedy of the Jewish Community of Volodymyr-Volynsky: A Regional History

Jewish Ludmir: The History and Tragedy of the Jewish Community of Volodymyr-Volynsky: A Regional History

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Volodymyr Muzychenko
Translated from the Ukrainian by Marta Daria Olynyk
With an introduction by Antony Polonsky

Series: Jews of Poland
ISBN: 9781618114129 (hardcover) / 9781618115188 (paper)
Pages: 378 pp.; 169 illus.
Publication Date: July 2015

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This volume is a brief history of the Jewish community of Volodymyr-Volynsky, going back to its first historical mentions. It explores Jewish settlement in the city, the kahal, and the role of the community in the Va’ad Arba Aratsot, and profiles several important historical figures, including Shelomoh of Karlin and Khane-Rokhl Werbermacher (the Maiden of Ludmir). It also considers the city’s synagogues and Jewish cemetery, and explores the twentieth-century history of the community, especially during the Holocaust. Drawing on survivor eyewitness testimonies, the author pays tribute to the town’s Righteous among the Nations and describes efforts to preserve the memory of its Jewish community, including the creation of the Piatydni memorial, and lists prominent Jews born in Volodymyr-Volynsky and natives of the city living abroad. This book will be of interest to historians of the Jewish communities and the Holocaust in Ukraine, as well as to the general reader.

Volodymyr Muzychenko was born in Sarny, Rivne Oblast, Ukraine in 1964. He trained in music and balalaika performance at the Rivne Music College and in Musical Conducting at the Rivne Institute of Culture.  After two years in the Soviet army, he married and in 1988 moved to Volodymyr Volynsky where his wife had been sent for post-college community service.  At a local music school, he has taught students and has written, arranged and conducted music. He has also been the leader of the small Jewish community. Fascinated by the centuries-long history of the local Jewish community, Muzychenko spent ten years researching in archives, collecting documents, and holding conversations with residents and former residents. 


[A] finely tuned scholarly work that mines Ukrainian and Russian archives for materials previously unavailable to American scholars.
— Rosie Rosenzweig, Resident Scholar, Brandeis University, Women's Studies Research Center for
Volodymyr Muzychenko . . . committed the last ten years of his life to gathering historical data on the Jews of his city and the region. His work is thus the first and fullest narrative to date about the Jews of Volodymyr-Volynsky. . . . The book is noteworthy for its balanced material and the author’s desire to avoid a purely lamentational type of exposition. Instead, he sought to show Jewish history as a variegated process marked by both tragic and distinguished pages.
— Vitalii Chernoivanenko, National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy (Kyiv, Ukraine)