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Jews in Haisyn, Ukraine

Haisyn is a city in the Vinnytsia region of Ukraine. The settlement has been mentioned in historical documents since 1545. In 1600 it received city privileges. There is little information about the Jewish community before the 18th century. It is known that the Jews of Haisyn suffered during the Uprisings of Khmelnytsky and the Haidamaks.

The first statistical information is dated 1765. Then 150 people were assigned to the Haisyn Jewish community. Many of them lived in nearby settlements and villages. The city itself was home to 60 people who owned 18 houses.

According to the census of 1790, there were only 50 Jews in the town. Ten years later, 1.2 thousand Jews already lived in Haisyn. Researchers associate the sharp increase in the Jewish population with the policy of the Russian Empire, which introduced prohibitions on the residence of persons of the Jewish faith in villages.

Haisyn Jews were engaged in trade and crafts. So, according to the statistics of 1805, there were 20 merchants in the Haisyn district. They were all Jews. In 1827, out of seven guild merchants living in the city, six were Jews. By the 1850s, out of 316 Haisyn merchants, 271 were Jews, and out of 136 artisans, 76 were Jews.

By the 1860s, Jews owned 262 of the 691 houses in the city. The community owned a large synagogue built of stone and four prayer houses.

By the end of the 19th century, the proportion of Jews in the urban population reached 55%. According to the census of 1897, there were 5,100 Jews in Haisyn. It is interestin to know that according to the data of the same census, 4.3 thousand people called themselves Jews.

By the beginning of the 20th century, the Haisyn Jews owned a sugar factory, a brewery and a winery, a mill, a tobacco factory and a printing house.

In the twentieth century, the Jewish population of Haisyn was constantly decreasing. The first outflow of Jews from the city began after the pogroms of 1905. During the revolutionary events of 1917-1921, the Jews of Haisyn suffered from pogroms, which were staged by the Red Army, Petliurovtsy and numerous atamans. By 1924, the share of Jews in the local population had dropped to 36%.

In the 1920s, the city had a Jewish medical college, as well as a secondary school and several orphanages. By the 1930s, the Soviet government began to fight the religious and national life of the Jews. All Jewish educational institutions were abolished. The authorities demolished the Great Synagogue.

According to the 1939 pre-war census, Jews constituted 27.7% of the population. The Nazis occupied the city in July 1941. By the time of its liberation in 1944, about 20 Jews remained in it.