Hgeocities.com/candlemaker_kaprov/Uman.htmlgeocities.com/candlemaker_kaprov/Uman.htmldelayedxzJÞMOKtext/htmlPMb.HFri, 10 Jun 2005 01:25:22 GMTMozilla/4.5 (compatible; HTTrack 3.0x; Windows 98)en, *zJM Uman
UMAN (Pol. Human), city in Kiev oblast, Ukraine; in Poland-Lithuania until 
the 1793 partition. In 1749 the Haidamacks massacred many Jews of Uman and 
burned part of the town. Count Potocki, the landlord of the city rebuilt it in 
1761, held fairs there, and otherwise stimulated its development. In 1768 
Haidamacks annihilated the Jews of Uman, together with the Jews from other 
places who had sought refuge there. On June 19, 1788, the peasant 
revolutionary, Maxim Zheleznyak, marched on Uman after he had butchered the 
Jews of Tetiyev. When the Cossack garrison and its commander, Ivan Gonta, went 
over to Zheleznyak (despite the sums of money he received from the Uman 
community and the promises he had made in return), the city fell to Zheleznyak, 
in spite of a courageous defense in which the Jews played an active role. The 
Jews then gathered in the synagogues, where they were led by Leib Shargorodski 
and Moses Menaker in an attempt to defend themselves, but they were destroyed 
by cannon fire. The remaining Jews in the city were subsequently killed. The 
massacre lasted three days and did not spare old men, women, or children. Gonta 
threatened death to all Christians who dared to shelter Jews. The number of 
Poles and Jews who were killed in the "massacre of Uman" is estimated to be 
20,000. The anniversary of the commencement of the massacre, Tammuz 5, 
hereforth known as the "Evil Decree of Uman," was observed as a fast and by a 
special prayer. Nahman of Bratslav settled in Uman and before his death there 
he said, "the souls of the martyrs (slaughtered by Gonta) await me." After his 
death in 1811 the Hasidim of Bratslav used to come to Uman in large numbers to 
prostrate themselves on his grave.

Uman had the reputation of being a city of klezmerim ("Jewish musicians"). The 
grandfather of the violinist Mischa Elman was a popular klezmer in the city, 
and the tunes of Uman were widely known. It was also known as one of the first 
centers of the Haskalah movement in the Ukraine. The leader of the movement was 
Chaim (Haikl) Hurwitz. In 1822 "a school based on Mendelssohnian principles" 
was established in Uman several years before the schools in Odessa and 
Kishinev. The founder was Zevi Dov (Hirsch Beer), the son of Chaim Hurwitz and 
a friend of the poet Jacob Eichenbaum; the school closed after a few years.


In 1842 there were 4,933 Jews in Uman; in 1897, 17,945 (59% of the total 
population), and in 1910, 28,267. During the Bolshevik Revolution the Jews of 
Uman endured great suffering. In the spring and summer of 1919 a number of 
troops passed through the city and perpetrated pogroms; there were 170 victims 
in the first pogrom and more than 90 in the subsequent one. This time the 
Christian inhabitants helped to hide the Jews. The Council for Public Peace, 
most of whose members were prominent Christians, with a minority of prominent 
Jews, saved the city from danger several times; in 1920, for example, it 
stopped the pogrom initiated by the troops of General A. Denikin. In 1926 there 
were 22,179 Jews (49.5% of the total population).

During World War II the Nazis exterminated the Jews of Uman. In 1959 there were 
2,200 Jews (5% of the total population). In the late 1960s the Jewish 
population was estimated at about 1,000. The last synagogue was closed by the 
authorities in the late 1950s, and the Jewish cemetery was badly neglected. A 
monument to the memory of 17,000 Jewish martyrs of the Nazis bears a Yiddish 
inscription. Jews still visit the tomb of NaHman of Bratslav.

[Baruch Shohetman]

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