48°07' / 28°32'
Translation of Lyublin chapter from
Pinkas Hakehillot Romania
Published by Yad Vashem
Published in Jerusalem, 1980
This is a translation from: Pinkas Hakehillot: Encyclopedia of Jewish Communities,
Romania, Volume II,
pages 361-362, published by Yad Vashem, Jerusalem, 1980
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Translated by Ala Gamulka
Romanian and Russian Lublin
Up to the Beginning of World War One
The settlement was founded by the Russian government in 1842. The Jewish residents came from Kiev and Yekaterinoslav. The total area of the settlement was 234 Disiatins (1 Disiatin = 11 Dunams). Each settler had 3.77 Disiatins on average.
At first the settlement was based mainly on agriculture and many colonists worked the land by themselves without any farmhands. Very few families did not own any land.
By the end of the 19th century there were changes in the professional make-up of the population when it came to work and property. From the 1889 census we discover that agriculture in Lyublin developed more quickly than in other Jewish settlements in Bessarabia. The number of actual farmers was high. However, even here there was an influx of other Jews who did not work the land. These were craftsmen and merchants. There was tension between the colonists (the first residents who were farmers) and the Immigrants (craftsmen, merchants and others) who came later. In 1899 there were – in total- 97 families (556 people). Of these 68 families owned land while 29 (37%) had no land at all and had arrived from other villages in the area.
Each farmer had a small piece of land and it was difficult to earn a living on it. The Jews of Lyublin tried to find additional productive work. They leased land from their Christian neighbors. By the end of the 19th century the Jewish farmers leased 760 Disiatins from their neighbors. Eventually they also planted vineyards on 7.9 Disiatins. Thus 37 Jews were able to live off their vineyards.
The statistics of 1899 indicate that out of 226 Disiatins, 100 were used for agriculture and 90 served as common grazing fields for cattle. Additional income came from 90 heads of cattle and 160 sheep. Corn was grown on 29 Disiatins and wheat on 14 Disiatins. Horses were the most popular work animals. In the settlement there were 54 horses, i.e. one for every 187 Disiatins. On the other hand, 47.8% of all the families did not have any horses. By the end of the 19th century orchards and vineyards covered 71 Disiatins. Tobacco was also grown in Lyublin over 33 Disiatins.
Work methods remained primitive. The number of ploughs was low. In 1899 there were 4 ploughs i.e. one plough for every 50.9 Disiatins.
Towards the end of the 19th century Lyublin became a true craftsmen center. Many of the residents were tailors, shoemakers and other crafts. They either lived in the settlement or sold their products to the farmers in the area. They traveled from village to village and took part in country fairs.
In 1887 there were, in Lyublin, 30 Jewish craftsmen and 5 flour mill owners. The economic situation of the Jews was not stable. In 1901 there were 100 Jewish families. Of these, 40 families (208 people) registered for social assistance.
The well-known agronomist Akiva Ettinger visited the settlement and wrote the following: In Lyublin and Dumbraveni a type of Jewish farmer was consolidated. This is a small farmer who has mixed produce derived from 60-80 Dunams. The produce is mainly wheat and corn with some vegetable gardens, fruit trees and vineyards. There are 1 or 2 cows and 10-20 sheep in a pen shared by neighbors. The farmer and his family work their land as well as hire themselves out to work for others.
In 1910 a school for boys and girls was opened in Lyublin. We have no information on synagogues or clergy.
World War I and the subsequent change in regime had a detrimental influence on the growth of the settlement. The residents were hard-working, but indigent. After the war the settlement was almost completely destroyed. It was rebuilt with the help of the Joint. The Jews reconstructed their homes with an additional area for gardens. A school, a steam bath and other buildings were also erected.
We do not have any details about Lyublin during and after World War II as not even one Jew survived. It seems that their fate was the same as that of other Jews in Bessarabia – extermination, deportation to Transnistria and slow death from starvation and sickness.
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