ZHMERINKA, city in Vinnitsa district, Ukraine. Before the 1917 Revolution it was a rural settlement in the province of Podolia. As it was an important railway junction (Kiev-Mogilev and Odessa-Lvov routes), a Jewish community developed there at the end of the 19th century. In 1897 there were 2,396 Jews (16.6% of the total population) in Zhmerinka. In 1903 it was excluded from the list of rural settlements where Jews were forbidden to reside. There were 5,186 Jews in the city (one-third of the total population) in 1926. During World War II Zhmerinka was incorporated into the Romanian occupation zone (*Transnistria). The Jews who had remained there and refugees from the surrounding district organized themselves into a community, and were joined by several hundreds of Jews who had been expelled from Romania. In June 1942 the Jews were concentrated within a ghetto, where they numbered 3,274. In March 1943 they were employed in forced labor at the railway station and in its vicinity. The Jews participated in the local partisan movement and in the battles for the liberation of the city in March 1944. In 1959 there were about 1,000 Jews (4% of the population) in Zhmerinka. Under the Soviet regime, the Jews gained notoriety for writing a letter to the newspaper Pravda in which they requested that the Russian authorities grant them permission to immigrate to Israel.
PK Romanyah, 1 (1970), 440–1.
Source: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.