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[Page 269]

Berezovo

(Berezovo, Ukraine)

48°18' 23°29'

Hungarian: Berezna
Ruthenian: Berezovo

Translated by Jerrold Landau

It is a village in the district of Chust, about 21 kilometers northeast of the city of Chust, on the Torun–Chust road. All of its residents were Ruthenian.

 

Population

Year Jews Total
Population
1768 ? ––
1830 96 771
1880 236 ––
1910 –– 2,207
1921 –– 2,163
1930 348 2,525
1941 –– 3,238

 

Jews are mentioned in Berezovo for the first time in the census of Jews of 1768. Two families are listed. There is the family of the Jew Izik, who had a five member family and paid lease fees of 140 florin annually, a large sum in the context of those days. The census data does not list his business, but there is no doubt that he earned an unusually large sum of money relative to the Jews of Maramures of that era. It is possible that he was under the protection of the central government of Austria–Hungary, for there was a large palace in the village, which served as the dwelling for the royal family during the hunting season. The princes of the court, accompanied by a large entourage, resided in that castle when they returned from their hunting journeys in the expanse of Maramures. If that was the case, Izik may have been the provider and administrator of the castle. The second Jew, named Berko, paid only 12 florin of lease fees annually, a lower than average sum for the Jews of Maramures during the 18th century. His family numbered two persons – a husband and a wife.

Apparently, there was already a set prayer quorum [minyan] in Berezovo at the end of the 18th century. This village attracted the Jews of the area. In 1830, already close to 100 Jews lived there. We have a list of names from 1832, in which the name of 18 family heads of Berezovo are listed, numbering 71 individuals. This document is found in handwritten form in the government archives in Budapest, and has been photocopied by the University of Tel Aviv (Mahler collection). The following heads of families are listed there (the number of family members in parentheses): Izik Hoffman (9), Michael Mendelovitch (6), Zelig Lebovitch (5), Yidel Zita (?), Noach Berkovitch (4), Elia Aronovitch (4), Shimon Itzkovitch (5), Berko Shmilovitch (3), Jakobovitch (4), Moshko Cherniak (4), Louis Feiga (1), Yosha Itzkovitch (2), Meir Itzkovitch (3), Leiba Itzkovitch (4), Zisman Shmilovitch (4), Itzko Shmilovitch (2), Yosha Neiman (3).

At the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century, we find the names of the following Jews, collected from several books published between the years 5645–5666 (1885–1906), in which they were registered as subscribers: Reb Meir Adler the son of Reb Zeev Tzvi, Reb Yosef Shimonovitch, Reb Yechiel Tzvi Noyevitch, Reb David Noyevitch, Reb Yair Moskovitch, Reb Yehuda Dov Davidovitch, Reb Meir Chaim, Reb Leizer Adler, Reb Shmuel Shimonovitch, Reb Meir Chaimovitch, Reb David Tzvi Kahana, Reb Yosef Binyamin Noyovitch, Reb Noach Adler, Reb Yehoshua the son of Ephraim, Reb Meir Farkas, Reb Yisrael Moskovitch, Reb Shmuel Moshe Moskovitch, Rev Dov Berl Gezovitch, Reb David Adler, Reb Zeev Tzvi Adler.

Rabbi Nachman Rotner, a great scholar and fearer of Heaven, the son of Rabbi Shmuel Moshe

[Page 270]

Rotner and the son–in–law of Reb Meir Weiss, he rabbinical judge of Tetch, served as shochet and rabbi between the two world wars. Rabbi Nachman was a man of influence, and was revered greatly by the people of the settlement. There were two synagogue, a mikva, and two cheders in the village (see entry on Kolodna).

Rabbi David Noyovitch served as the rabbi of the community for a long period of time. He was wealthy, a scholar, and a man of benevolent deeds. Reb Yair Moskovitch, a scholar, Reb Leizer Adler, and Reb Meir Adler, a scholar, were among the residents of the community.

Reb Chaim Ber Foigl the tailor was a simple man who earned his livelihood from the toil of his hands. He satisfied himself with little and distributed his hard earned money to charity. He was a great supporter of the Admor of Nadworna in Chust. He distributed firewood to the poor people in the winter. Most of the Jews were Hassidim of Zidichow and Spinka. The lads studied in Yeshivas in upper Hungary. In the latter years, the youth were also organized in the nationalist movements. Most of them studied in Yeshivot.

Unfortunately, we were unable to interview any native of Berezova, and hence we have no details at all about the internal life of the Jews of the village between the two world wars. From five very short testimonies given by survivors of the Death Camps in Germany, we learn that some of the Jews of Berezovo had already been deported to Poland in 1941, and were murdered near Kaminiec Podolski. At the end of April 1944, all of the Jews of Berezovo were brought to the Iza Ghetto (see entry). According to the description of one of the women, “the gendarmes entered the Jewish homes without even giving them time to pack their necessities, and were taken to the Iza Ghetto. We walked the distance of seven kilometers in the pouring rain and the mud, with young children and babies in our hands. The journey was frightful. The gendarmes were very cruel. We were taken from the ghetto on occasion for labor, mostly on the Sabbath, intentionally.” They were taken to the Chust railway station from the Iza Ghetto, from where they were deported to Auschwitz.

Today, there are no Jews in Berezovo.

 

Bibliography

Magyar–Zsido Okleveltar, vol. XVI, Budapest, 1976, P. 104.
Testimony from Yad Vashem: 015/263; 015/724; 015/1345; 015/1346/015/1716.

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