official_name = Zhytomyr
native_name = Житомир
imagesize = 250px
image_caption = Kyivska (Kiev) street looking West toward St. Michael's Church. Photo early 1900s.
image_shield = Zhytomyr-COA.png
mapsize = 250px
map_caption = Map of Ukraine with Zhytomyr highlighted.
subdivision_type = Country
Ukraine Zhytomyr Oblast
established_title = Founded
established_date = 9th century
leader_name = Vira Sheludchenko
area_total_km2 = 65|area_land_km2 =
population_as_of = 2005
population_total = 277900|population_footnotes=
population_metro =| population_density_km2 = 4555|pushpin_
pushpin_map_caption =Location of Zhytomyr
latd=50 |latm=15 |lats=0 |latNS=N
longd=28 |longm=40 |longs=0 |longEW=E
elevation_m = 221
postal_code = 10000 — 10036
area_code = +380 412
website = [http://www.zhytomyr.net/ www.zhytomyr.net]
Zhytomyr ( _uk. Житомир ("Zhytomyr"), _ru. Житомир ("Zhitomir"), _pl. Żytomierz) is a historic
cityin the North of the western half of Ukraine. It is the administrative center of the Zhytomyr Oblast(province), as well as the administrative center of the surrounding Zhytomyr Rayon(district). Note that the city of Zhytomyr is not a part of the Zhytomyr rayon: the city itself is designated as its own separate rayon within the oblast; moreover Zhytomyr consists of two so-called "rayons in a city": the Bohunsky rayon and the Korolyovsky rayon (named in honour of Sergey Korolyov). Zhytomyr is located at around coord|50|16|N|28|40|E|, occupying an area of convert|65|km2|sqmi|abbr=on.
The current estimated population is 277,900 (as of 2005).
Zhytomyr is a major transportation hub. The city lies on a historic route linking the city of
Kievwith the west through Brest. Today it links Warsawwith Kiev, Minskwith Izmail, and several major cities of Ukraine. Zhytomyr was also the location of Ozerne, a key Cold Warstrategic aircraft base located convert|11|km|mi|abbr=on southeast of the city.
Important economic activities of Zhytomyr include lumber milling, food processing, granite quarrying, metalworking, and the manufacture of musical instruments. [cite web|url=http://www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1E1-Zhytomyr.html|title=Zythomyr on Encyclopedia.com]
Zhytomyr Oblast is the main center of the
Polish minority in Ukraine, and in the city itself there is a large Roman-CatholicPolish cemetery, founded in 1800. It is regarded as the third biggest Polish cemetery beyond borders of Poland, behind the Lychakivskiy Cemeteryin Lvivand Rossa Cemeteryin Vilnius.
Zhytomyr lies in a unique natural setting; all sides of the city are surrounded by ancient
forests through which flow the Teteriv, Kamyanka, Yaroshenka and Putiatynka rivers. The Teteriv river bounds Zhytomyr at the south(though, precisely speaking, there are also some small areas of Zhytomyr city territory at the southern bank of the river). The city is rich in parksand public squares.
Zhytomyr possesses mostly radial type of
streetnet with the centre at the main public square of the city named "Sobornyi Maidan" (or "Soborny Square", which means "Cathedral Square"). A building containing courts and some other institutions is located in the westof the square. Before 1991 this building contained Zhytomyr Oblast Committee of the Communist Party. Just behind the building (that is to the west of Soborny Square) a small park is located, containing a monumental stone with inscription telling that this is a place where Zhytomyr was founded. This historical centre of Zhytomyr is located in the southern part of the city. The main streets connecting Soborny Maidan with outskirts of Zhytomyr are Kyivska Street or KievStreet (going to northeast, to the train stationand also to the main bus stationof the city), Velyka Berdychivska Street (going to southeast), Czerniachowski Street (going to southwest, to beaches and a forest-type park near the river of Teteriv), and Peremohy Street (going to north).
The most known (but not long) street in the central part of Zhytomyr is Mykhaylivska one (named after
St. Michael's Church located at the northern end of the street). The street is located about 500 metres to the eastof Soborny Maydan and goes approximately from north to south connecting some points at the above mentioned Kyivska Street and Velyka Berdychivska one. Mykhailivska Street is pedestrianone: traffic is forbidden in it, with the exception of some slowly moving cars whose movement is necessary. The building of the Zhytomyr City Council is located at the southern end of Mykhailivska Street. If one crosses Velyka Berdychivska Street from the southern end of Mykhailivska Street, then one finds oneself at Korolyov Square containing the building of the Zhytomyr Oblast Council. Crossing Kyivska Street from the northern end of Mykhailivska Street, one can continue to go along Shchors Street being one else important large street of Zhytomyr (going to north).
The most known park of Zhytomyr is one named after
Yuriy Gagarin. The park is located in the south of the city, at the left (northern) bank of the Teteriv river. It is a former property of baronde Chaudoir.
Public city transport
Common kinds of
public transportshuttling within Zhytomyr are trolleybuses, buses, and minibuses. There are also trams, but on one route only. Earlier there were several tram routes in Zhytomyr, but all excepting one were canceled during a period of domination of the opinion that a tram is a bad kind of transport.
Trams began to shuttle in Zhytomyr in 1899. Thus Zhytomyr became the 5th city with trams within the territory of present-day
Ukraine. Trolleybuses appear in Zhytomyr in 1962.
farein Zhytomyr is 75 kopiykas (0.75 hryvnyas) for one passengerfor any distance.
Legend holds that Zhytomyr was established about 884 by Zhytomyr, prince of a Slavic tribe of
Drevlians. This date, 884, is cut in the large stone of the ice age times, standing on the hill where Zhytomyr was founded. The first records of the town date from 1240 when it was sacked by the Mongolhordes of Batu Khan.
In 1320 Zhytomyr was captured by the
Grand Duchy of Lithuaniaand received Magdeburg rightsin 1444. After the Union of Lublin(1569) the city was incorporated into the Crown of the Polish Kingdomand in 1667, following the Treaty of Andrusovo, it became the capital of the Kiev Voivodeship. In the Second Partition of Polandin 1793 it passed to Imperial Russiaand became the capital of the government of Volhynia. During a brief period of Ukrainian independence the city was for a few weeks in 1918 the national capital. From 1920 the city was under Sovietrule.
World War IIZhytomyr and the surrounding territory came for three years under Nazi German occupation and was Heinrich Himmler's Ukrainian headquarters. The Nazi regime in what they called the "Zhytomyr General District" became what Wendy Lower describes as "a laboratory for… Himmler's resettlement activists… the elimination of the Jews and German colonization of the East—transformed the landscape and devastated the population to an extent that was not experienced in other parts of Nazi-occupied Europe besides Poland. [While] … [u] ltimately, the exigencies of the war effort and mounting partisan warfare behind the lines prevented Nazi leaders from fully developing and realizing their colonial aims in Ukraine… In addition to the immediate destruction of all Jewish communities, Himmler insisted that the Ukrainian civilian population be brought to a 'minimum.'" Lower, 2005, introduction.]
From 1991, the city has been part of the independent republic of Ukraine.
The "Jewish Encyclopedia" (1901-1906) characterized it as "one of the oldest towns in European Russia," meaning the
Imperial Russiaof that time, and one of the "prominent towns" of Lithuaniain the middle of the 15th century."Zhitomir (Jitomir)" in "Jewish Encyclopedia" (1901-1906)]
Jews in Zhytomyr
Zhytomyr apparently had few
Jews at the time of the Khmelnytsky Uprising(1648), but by the time it became part of Russiain 1778, it had a large Jewish community, and was a center of the Hasidic movement. Jews formed nearly a third of the 1861 population (13,299 in 40,564); thirty years later they had somewhat outpaced the general growth of the city, with 24,062 Jews in a total population of 69,785. By 1891 there were three large synagogues and 46 smaller "batte ha-midrashot". The proportion of Jews was much lower in the surrounding district of Zhytomyr outside the city; at the turn of the century ("circa" 1900) there were 22,636 Jews in a total population of 281,378.
Imperial Russia, Zhytomyr held the same status as the official Jewish center of southern part of the Pale of Settlementas Vilniusheld in the north. The printing of Hebrew books was permitted only in these two cities during the monopoly of Hebrew printing from 1845 to 1862, and both of them were also chosen as the seats of the two rabbinical schools which were established by the government in 1848 in pursuance of its plans to force secular education on the Jews of Russia in accordance with the program of the Teutonized Russian Haskalahmovement. The rabbinical school of Zhytomyr was considered the more Jewish, or rather the less Russianized, of the two (" Ha-Meliẓ", 1868, No. 40, cited in "Jewish Encyclopedia"). Its first head master was Jacob Eichenbaum, who was succeeded by Hayyim Selig Slonimskiin 1862. The latter remained at the head of the school until it was closed (together with the one at Vilnius) in 1873 because of its failure to provide rabbis with a secular education who should be acceptable to the Jewish communities. Suchastover, Gottlober, Lerner, and Zweifelwere among the best-known teachers of the rabbinical school at Zhytomyr, while Abraham Goldfaden, Salomon Mandelkern, and Abraham Jacob Papernawere among the students who later became famous in the Jewish world.
The teachers' institutes which were substituted for the rabbinical schools were, in the words of the "Jewish Encyclopedia" "scarcely more satisfactory" (The "JE" refers to the teachers' institute at Zhytomyr as "probably the worst-managed Jewish institution in Russia of which there is any record", citing Prelooker, "Under the Czar and Queen Victoria," pp. 8-21,
London, 1895). It was closed in 1885, succeeded by a Talmud Torah, a "government school" for boys, a girls' school, and several private schools for both sexes that the "JE" describes as "admirable", with comparable praise for other Jewish institutions of Zhytomyr circa 1900.
While "never a center of rabbinical learning" ("JE") Zhytomyr boasted a few rabbis of some note: Rabbi Wolf (died 1800), author of the "Or ha-Meïr" (Koretz, 1795), a pupil of Bär of Meseritz and one of the leaders of early Hasidism, and Abraham Bär Mavruch, "rosh bet din" or acting rabbi of Zhytomyr in the first half of the nineteenth century and author of the "Bat 'Ayin" (Zhytomyr, 1850).
The Jewish community of Zhytomyr suffered a
pogrom May 7–8, 1905, with about 20 deaths in the city, and 10 more among a group of young Jews from nearby who were coming to assist the Jews of Zhytomyr; the section of the city known as "Podol" was devastated. Among the dead was Nicholas Blinov, a Christian student, who attempted to defend the Jews.
The Jewish community of the region was largely destroyed in
the Holocaust. In the four months beginning with Himmler's 25 July 1942orders, "all of Ukraine's shtetls and ghettos lay in ruins; tens of thousands of Jewish men, women, and children were brutally murdered by stationary and mobile SS-police units and indigenous auxiliaries."
Famous people from Zhytomyr
Ossip Bernstein, French chessplayer
Hayyim Nahman Bialik, Hebrew poet, born in Radi, Volhynia, educated in Zhytomyr
Tadeusz Borowski, Polish writer
Jarosław Dąbrowski, Polish-French Paris Communerevolutionary
Luis Filcer, Ukranian/Mexican painter
Samuel Freedman,Canadian judge, Manitoba Chief Justice
Yakov Gamarnik, Soviet Communist militant and military commander
Aharon David Gordon, Hebrew writer and thinker, founder of the spiritual Zionism, born at Troyaniv, near Zhytomyr, settled in Palestine.
Alexander Kipnis, German then US opera singer (bass)
Vladimir Korolenko, Ukrainianwriter.
Sergei Korolev, prominent rocket engineer and designer, the head of the Soviet space program
Boris Abramovich Kruglyak, Ukrainian historian
Boris Liatoshinski, Ukrainian composer
Keni Liptzin, Jewish actress in Yiddish theatre
Julian Movchan, Ukrainian writer/journalist
Leah Nickel, Israeli painter
Franciszek Niepokolczycki, Polish soldier
Oleh Olzhych, Ukrainian writer and nationalist militant
Mieczyslaw Pawlikowski, Polish actor
Sviatoslav Richter, Soviet pianist
David Borisovich Sterenberg, Russian painter
Vladimir Veksler, a Soviet physicist, pioneer of particle acceleratortechnology
Kazimierz Zagórski, (1883 Żytomierz – 1944 Leopoldville, Kongo)- Polish photographer active in central Africa 1924-44, author of the "L'Afrique qui disparait", former Colonel of the tsar Air Force.
Juliusz Zarębski, Polish composer
References and footnotes
* Wendy Lower, "Nazi Empire-Building and the Holocaust in Ukraine", 2005, University of North Carolina Press. ISBN 0-8078-2960-9. [http://uncpress.unc.edu/chapters/lower_nazi.html Introduction (online)] accessed 19 July 2006.
* [http://interesniy.zhitomir.ua interesniy.zhitomir.ua] - Blog about history of Zhytomyr ru icon
* [http://www.student.zt.ua student.zt.ua] - Student's forum of Zhytomyr
* [http://www.zhytomyr.net zhytomyr.net] - City portal uk icon
* [http://www.zhitomir.de zhitomir.de] - Zhytomyr photo gallery
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