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a tributary of the West Bug River. It's currently located in Ukraine’s Volyn oblast, but was previously
part of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania (in 1319), Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, Russian Empire
(1795), and Polish republic (1921-1939). Thus, it has gone through many border changes over its
history. Ludmir has been an important regional center of Volhynia since the 10th Century. First
mentioned in 1171, the Jewish community of Ludmir was led during the last third of the 13th century
by Rabbi Yitsḥak ben Mosheh, author of Or zaru'a, and Rabbi Manoaḥ ben Ya‘akov. Russian chronicles
mention Jews participating in the funeral of Prince Vladimir Vasil’kovich in 1289, and archaeologists
have uncovered Jewish tombstones from the 14th century. In 1570, the Jews (who had returned to
Ludmir after expulsion from Lithuania), together with the Christians, were exempted from paying trade
duties, apart from those on salt and beeswax. Jews leased the right to collect taxes and engaged in
trade and crafts, mainly in shoemaking and leather processing. Ludmir was represented on regional
and national Jewish councils by, among others, Rabbi Yom Tov Lipmann Heller (rabbi from 1634 to 1643).
The Jewish quarter of Ludmir developed in the northeast part of the town, along the defensive rampart.
On the eve of the Khmel’nyts’kyi uprising, approximately 1,000 Jews lived in 159 homes in Ludmir.
During the uprising, Cossacks murdered or took into captivity many of the local Jews. By the end of
1649, there were only 39 Jewish homes in the town. From 1653, the community’s leaders once again
began taking part in Jewish regional administration, and in 1679 and 1699 the Polish-Lithuanian kings
awarded one leader of regional and crown Jewish committees, Efrayim Fishel of Ludmir, the status
of royal servant. By 1662, there were 318 Jews living in the town, and the 1765 census recorded 1,327
Jews in 159 houses. When the founder of the Karliner Hasidic dynasty, Rabbi Shelomoh ha-Levi
(murdered in 1792), settled in Ludmir in 1786, the town became an important Hasidic center. The
"Maiden of Ludmir," Chana Ruchla Werbermacher (1806?-1888), a local woman known for her
righteousness and wisdom, also became a popular Hasidic leader. After she moved to Jerusalem in
1861, her bet midrash was occupied by the Rakhmistrov Hasidim.
The Jewish population of Ludmir grew due to its status as a trade and crafts center located close to the
border. Some 1,849 Jews were registered in the city in 1799; they rose to 3,930 in 1847; and they
reached 5,869 (about 60% of the population) in 1897. At the end of the 19th and the beginning of the
20th century, permanent charitable and medical institutions were established. After 1910, a secular
school for Jews and a yeshiva functioned, in addition to Talmud Torahs. Ludmir suffered heavy
damage during World War I. In 1918, however, the town was defended from pogroms by a people’s
militia, organized by the Austrian occupation forces and joined by about 200 Jews. During the 1920s
and 1930s, Zionist organizations were the most active among the Jewish political parties. Tarbut,
Beis Yakov, and ORT schools operated. Jewish periodicals were also published. In 1937, there were
11,554 Jews in Ludmir which comprised about 40% of the city's total population.
According to Yad Vashem, the Germans killed 15,000 Jews from the city of Wlodzimierz near the village
of Piatydni, 12 kilometers west of the city, between September 1 and 3, 1942. On November 13, 1942,
the Germans killed another 2,500 Jews from Wlodzimierz near Piatydni. In September 1942 Germans
and local policemen shot to death 3,000 Jews at the airport in Piatydni near Uscilug.
Nord 365 was a Nazi concentration camp for Red Army officers located on the outskirts of Ludmir.
At this locale, 56,000 POWs were shot. In November, 1941, 600 Jewish officers were herded into
a shed, not permitted to eat or drink for days, and then shot at this location. An additional 100
Jewish POWs were executed on December 6, 1941 at this same location.
Among the murderers responsible for the destruction of the Jewish population of Ludmir are:
Friedrich Wilhelm Westerheide (Born March 17, 1908), his secretary Johanna Zelle, nee Altvater
(Born August 24, 1919 in Minden), Heinrich Schone, Dr. Greinwald, Dr. Rolf Carl Hecker (Born
June 6, 1910 in Leipzig), Gebietsfuhrer Eduard Grigat (Born October 9, 1897), V. Krause,
Wilhelm Braune, Willibald Faust (Born April 16, 1883), Gerhard Pockrandt (Born October 3, 1910),
Albrecht Boryszewski (Born June 1, 1895 in Bingen), Hermann Erichsen (Born December 29, 1906),
Hans Hobert (Born February 14, 1911), Heinz Biesold (Born June 5, 1911 in Kassel), Walter Entrich,
Simno Kloster, Adolf Einhorn, E. Kumming, N. Zaichuk, I. Leskovsky, S. Maksymuk, T. Sokhatsky,
a German gendarmerie post staffed by Germans (between 12 and 18) and Ukrainian policemen
(~100) in Ludmir, an SD (Sicherheitsdienst) unit from Rivne, a group of gendarmes from Lutsk headed
by Buh, the Hauptmanschaftsfuhrer of the gendarmerie, the local gendarmerie, the Ukrainian police
force, the 103rd Ukranian Police Battalion based in Matseiv (Lukiv), Turii district. A witness saw J. Zelle
ripping a baby from its mother's arms, holding it by the legs, and smashing its head against a building.
About 140 Jews returned to the city after it was liberated by the Soviets on July 22, 1944. These Jews
mostly left Ludmir and went to Israel, the U.S., or elsewhere. In the 1980s, about 70 Jews lived in the
city, but by 1999 there were no more than 30 Jews remaining. In 1989, a memorial was erected at
the site where 18,000 Jews had been murdered, on the road to Ustylug, near the village of Piatydny.
Please review the site content below. Zachor - We Remember the victims of Ludmir.
[English version of the Volodymyr Volynskyy Yizkor Book]
Remembering the Victims of the Piatidin Pogrom
Click to subscribe to Volynsky
The Great Synagogue, before it was destroyed.
Market day in Vladimir Volynskiy (Wlodzimierz), pre-war.
Nazis in the Volhynia District who carried out the attacks on the Jewish population.
- Book: Jewish Ludmir: A Regional History by V. Muzychenko
Majdan Tatarski Ghetto Victims (Lublin) from Vladimir Volynsky:
(source: Brama Grodzka - Teatr NN)
Holocaust Survivors of Vladimir Volynskiy:
Pola Netel Borestein (went to Australia)
Dora Bork (Borg)
Lejb Dichter (went to Shanghai)
Helena Einhorn Goldapel
Esther Szmargowicz Kac
Moshe Laks (went to Sweden)
Szejwa Laks (went to Sweden)
Wigdor Laks (went to Sweden)
Jankiel Laks (went to Sweden)
Pinchas Laks (went to Sweden)
Mania Goldapel Lejfer
Bella Goldapel Rosenberg
Elias Stern (went to El Salvador)
Szanya Goldapel Szjantop
Estera Szek (went to Sweden)
Manya Wilenczyk Gun
Hanna Zelaznik (went to Sweden)
Remember Your Family:
- The DNA Shoah Project: Connecting Descendants
- Central Judaica Database - Museum of History of Polish Jews
- Grandchildren of Holocaust Survivors on Facebook
- Guide to the YIVO Archives
- Holocaust News/Events from Generations of the Shoah Int'l
- Holocaust Survivors and Victims Database
- JewishGen Family Finder
- JewishGen Holocaust Database
- JRI-Poland: Search for Your Family
- Museum of History of Polish Jews Introduction
- Yad Vashem: Search for Your Family
- Yad Vashem: Submit Names of Your Family Members
- Yad Vashem Requests Photos of Shoah Survivors and Families
U.S.: Aaron, firstname.lastname@example.org