The Growth and Destruction
of the Community of Uscilug

(Ustilug, Ukraine)


Translation of
Kehilat Ustila be-vinyana u-ve-hurbana

Published by the JewishGen Press
part of Yizkor Books Project of JewishGen, Inc.

Editor of Original Yizkor Book: Aryeh Avinadav
Project Coordinator: Mitch Fahrer
Layout and Name Indexing: Jonathan Wind
Cover Design: Rachel Kolokoff Hopper
Reproduction of Photographs: Sondra Ettlinger
Hard Cover, 8.5” by 11”, 312 pages with original photographs

Available from JewishGen for $33.00



The Jewish residents of Ustilug lived in peace for many generations, raising their children to continue their forefathers' traditions. Igor Stravinsky, the famed composer of “The Firebird” and “The Rite of Spring”, maintained a country estate for many years in Ustilug where he worked on a number of his compositions. Stravinsky himself described Ustilug in his book, “Expositions and Developments” as a mistyechko, “a little place”, out of Isaac Babel or Chagall, the coziest and most affectionate community imaginable".

World War I however, and the aftereffects of the war, were terribly destructive to the Jewish community of Ustilug, whose fortunes plummeted. As a result, many were forced to move away. But over time the situation improved and the town thrived, until by 1935, Ustilug's mostly Jewish population had reached approximately 4000. There were two libraries, one for Hebrew and one for Yiddish, a number of wood mills, several craftsmen, cattle dealers, an orphanage, an expanded Jewish school, and 12 shuls, one for each of the Tribes of Israel.

And then on the morning of June 22, 1941, everything changed. On that day, the Germans bombarded Ustilug heavily as war broke out between the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany. By October of that same year, 900 residents had been killed, and by September 1942, all of the Jews of Ustilug were gone.

This book is a memorial to the people and the town of Ustilug written by former residents who either escaped or left before the war began.

This Yizkor Book serves as a memorial to all the victims of the Shoah from Ustilug.


Ustilug, Ukraine is located at 5052' N, 2409' E


Alternate names of the Town:

Ustyluh [Ukr], Ustilug [Rus], Uściług [Pol], Ustila [Yid], Ustiluh, Austile, Ostila, Ustilla, Oustiloug


Nearby Jewish Communities:

Horodło, Poland 5 miles WNW Lukov 25 miles NNE
Volodymyr Volynskyy 8 miles E Milyanovichi 25 miles NNE
Hrubieszów, Poland 11 miles WSW Grabowiec, Poland 26 miles W
Kryłów, Poland 13 miles SSW Lyuboml 26 miles NNW
Skryhiczyn, Poland 14 miles NW Tyszowce, Poland 26 miles SW
Dubienka, Poland 17 miles NW Kupychiv 26 miles ENE
Dolsk 20 miles NNE Wojsławice, Poland 26 miles W
Pavlivka 22 miles SE Sokal 27 miles SSE
Uchanie, Poland 23 miles W Kiselin 29 miles E
Turiysk 23 miles NE Łaszczów, Poland 29 miles SW
Lokachi 24 miles ESE Tartakiv 30 miles SSE
Varyazh 24 miles S Sielec, Poland 30 miles WNW
Ozyutichi 25 miles E Ozeryany 30 miles ENE
  Świerże, Poland 30 miles NW


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