HISTORY OF RADOMYSHL

RADOMYSHL (until 1946 - Radomysl) is a town in the Zhitomir region of the Ukraine, located (latitude - 50o30'; longitude - 29o14') on the Teterev River 45 km northeast of Zhitomir and 94 km west of Kiev.

The town was first mentioned, as Michesk (or Myk-gorod), in the chronicles of 1150, which told about the victory of Prince Vladimir of Galich over Prince Izyaslav of Kiev. In 1362 it came under Lithuanian rule, and in 1390 it was referred to in a historical document as Mytsko. In 1569 it became part of the Polish Commonwealth, and from then it was called Radomysl. At the beginning of the 17th century Ukraine's first paper factory was established there. For a half a century the town was the residence of the metropolitan of the United Greek Church (1746-1795). With the partition of Poland in 1793, it was transferred to Russia, and became a district center of the Volhynia (1795) and then Kiev (1797-1925) gubernias.

The Jewish community of Radomyshl was established in the 18th century. In 1797 it numbered 1,424 (80% of the total population), in 1847, 2,734 and it increased to 7,502 (67%) in 1897. In 1910 Radomyshl had Talmud-Torah and five Jewish schools. Then the district of Radomyshl included the communities of Chernobyl (5,526), Korostyshev (4,160), Brusilov (3,575), Malin (2,547) and others. The entire region was influenced by the teaching of the Hasidic rabbis of Chernobyl. In the early 1900s Radomyshl had tanneries and flour mills, and exported timber, corn and mushrooms.

In the spring of 1919 bands of peasants of the hetman Sokolovski organized pogroms in the Jewish communities of Radomyshl and neighboring towns. Hundreds of Jews were massacred and many others fled to the big cities. Under the Soviet regime, Jewish community life stopped and the town declined. In 1926 there were 4,637 Jews in Radomyshl (making up 36% of the total population).

When the Nazis invaded Russia in 1941, all the Jews who remained in Radomyshl were exterminated. Six mass graves mark the murder of Jews in the vicinity. In May of 1945 Soviet authorities tried to complete the victims list of Radomyshl. Later, Jews were prohibited from gathering at the graves, since the militia claimed that for them to do so was to cause "a demonstration". Jews were also forbidden to erect a monument to the dead.

In 1970, the Jewish population was estimated at about 250. The population of Radomyshl in 1989 was about 16,800. Today Radomyshl has forestry businesses, machine building, flax processing, brickmaking, canning and furniture factories, a dairy, a bakery and a brewery. It has a regional museum and a natural science museum.

Radomyshl is the birthplace of Jacob Samuel Maragowsky, born in 1856, later called Zeidel Rovner, who was a cantor in Rovno and other European cities, and in the U.S. after 1914. Leib Alpert, the father of trumpeter Herb Alpert, was also born there.

There is another, much smaller Radomysl in the Volhynia gubernia, and a Radomysl Wielki in Poland.



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