Radyvyliv, Ukraine (OKS, GERTSBERG)

Radyvyliv (Radzivilov), Ukraine





Jewish Population:

In the late 1800s, the Jewish population reached 4,000. Its residents were Jewish (50%), Ukrainian (31%), and Polish (17%). Between World War I and the civil war between Ukrainian nationalists and Bolsheviks, the Jewish population declined to around 2,000. 

Family Members:

Sheyndil Gertzberg, 3xG-GMother (mother of Nekha (née Shkurnik) Oks)

B 1838 Radyvyliv; M

Chane Gisa Gertzberg, 4xG-GMother (mother of Sheyndil Gertzberg)

B 1816 Radyvyliv; M

Shimon Lejbovich Gertsberg, 4xG-GFather (father of Sheyndil Gertzberg)

B 1814 Kremenets; M ; D 1852 Radyvyliv

Lejb Shulimovich Gertsberg 5xG-GFather (father of Shimon Lejbovich Gertsberg)

B 1773 Radyvyliv

Shulim Gertsberg, 6xG-GFather (father of Lejb Shulimovich Gertsberg)

B ~1750 Radyvyliv

Khaim Oks, 4xG-GFather (father of Abram Oks and GFather of Shabsa Oks)

B 1808 Radyvyliv; M ; D b1873 Kremenets

Mendil Oks, 5xG-GFather (father of Khaim Oks)

B 1786 Radyvyliv

Khaim Oks, 6xG-GFather (father of Mendil Oks)

B ~1760 Rivne; M ; D b1808 Radyvyliv


In the 14th century, together with whole Volhynia, Radyvyliv was annexed by the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. Following the 1569 Union of Lublin, the town was transferred to the Kingdom of Poland, where it remained for over 200 years. As a result of the Partitions of Poland, Radziwllow, as it was called, became part of the Russian Empire.

The city of Radyvyliv was mentioned in writings and letters by writers Leo Tolstoy and Onore de Balzac, Lesya Ukrainka and Ulas Samchuk, Kozma Prutkov and Isaac Babel, and military commanders Mikhail Kutuzov and Myron Tarnavsky lived here.

Many Jews were associated either directly or indirectly with this stream of activity, making their living this way. In addition to the train station, there was also what was called the “small” border, with only a four–kilometer separation between Radzivilov and the Austrian border; and from there to Brody was another five kilometers. And so many Jews found they could earn a living there, too. Because the surrounding area was relatively small, travelers would engage in the free flow of trade, and this, too, was a good source of income.

Because our town was a border town until World War I, there was always a large border patrol, a patrol of Cossacks and regular army. Of course, their presence offered another source of income, as well as a sense of security for the Jewish merchants and their workers. So Radzivilov was a place of prosperity, peace, and culture.

The second reason for Radzivilov's importance was that the Radzivilov Jews benefited from the presence of a very wealthy man named Moshe–Mendil Ginzberg. He actually lived in Petersburg (Leningrad, today), but his aging mother lived in Radzivilov, and he was very attached to her. His brother Shmuel Mos and his family also lived in Radzivilov, as well as additional relatives. Ginzberg, or simply “Moshe–Mendil,” as they called him, would visit his family frequently, and his visits were considered festivals in Radzivilov. Although his mother, Rosye, of blessed memory, would frequently give charity with outstretched arms, and many families would exist exclusively on her charity, when Moshe–Mendil came to the town, the charity and aid were even greater. It is correct to say that Moshe–Mendil supported many families.

Therefore, the two circumstances described above were the reasons for the economic stability of the Jews of Radzivilov. But in this town, which was not very large, there were also important factories, such as a button factory, founded by the sons of Ginzberg's brothers; a chair factory owned by Zundel Zaks; two candle factories–one belonging to Goldgardt–Liberman and the other to Struyman–Brandvayn; and also a brewery.

It appears that this was a town with a very good economy. There were also beautiful houses, not only on the main street, Alifov Street, but also on the rest of the streets. There were beautiful boulevards with carriages in the current fashion. All this influenced the public spirit, and even humble Jews were not considered beggars.