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Boguslav, Ukraine

BOGUSLAV, city in Kiev district, Ukraine, that passed to Russia from Poland in 1793. Jews resided in Boguslav from the beginning of the 17th century and an imposing synagogue was built there soon after the community was founded. In 1620 they were restricted in leasing property because the burghers complained that Jews had taken over most of the houses and stores in the marketplace and were competing with the local traders. The Jews in Boguslav suffered during the *Haidamak revolts in the area. During the uprising of 1768 they fled from the city; their homes were destroyed and their property looted. Although 574 Jewish poll-tax payers in Boguslav are recorded in 1765, only 251 remained after 1768. The community developed after Boguslav became part of Russia in 1793. A Hebrew printing press was established there in 1820–21, and Jewish-owned enterprises included textile and tanning factories. Jews also engaged in handicrafts and dealt in grain and fruit. The Jewish population numbered 5,294 in 1847 and 7,445 in 1897 (65% of the total).

After World War I, the Jews in Boguslav suffered severely in the civil war. On May 13, 1919, they were attacked by gangs of marauding peasants that killed 20 Jews, and on August 27 *Denikin 's "white" army, which occupied the city, pillaged all the houses there, and massacred about 40 Jews. Subsequently, a Jewish self-defense force was formed in Boguslav (under the auspices of the Soviet government) which comprised the entire male population of about 1,000 citizens. It fought off the gangs and also took part in punitive actions in neighboring villages. Boguslav then became an asylum for thousands of Jewish refugees from the towns and villages of the surrounding areas. The self-defense force was disbanded in 1923. The Jewish population numbered 6,432 in 1926 (53% of the total) and dropped to 2,230 in 1939. In the 1930s the Jews were a majority in the local trade unions, and many were employed as factory workers and clerks in local industry. The Germans occupied Boguslav on July 26, 1941, murdering most of the Jews by the end of the year. Artisans required for work remained alive until they too were executed in July 1943.


A. Yaari, in: KS, 20 (1943/44), 45–48; M. Korot, in: Reshumot, 3 (1923), 140–57; A. Rosenthal, Ha-Haganah ha-Ivrit ba-Ir Boguslav (1929). ADD. BIBLIOGRAPHY: PK Ukarainah, S.V.

[Yehuda Slutsky /

Shmuel Spector (2nd ed.)]

Source: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.