Go Back Home
Click below to view the pages for each family
Display/Hide All
 Chaiken Family of Nezhin
 Chazanov Family of Nezhin
 Fine Family of Bialystok
 Geffen Family of Vilkomir
 Goldberg Family of Jablonka
 Katz/Hollander Family
 Zavelsky Family of Glukhov
Click here to learn more about the candy factory
Click Here to read about our visit to Glukhov in 1995 and to see photographs of present day Glukhov

"Glukhov was the birthplace of my grandfather, Solomon Sovel, (Zalman Zavelsky) and his brothers."

Glukhov was the ancestral home of the Zavelsky family. The town where Eliezar and Moishe Zavelsky were born.

1993 was the 1,000 - year anniversary of Glukhov. The town is located in the Chernigov province of the Ukraine and is about a five hour drive from Kiev. The population in 1926 was 16,000. After W.W.II the population was 2,551. The Russian spelling of the name is Glukhov. Today, the town is also known by the name of Hlukhiv, the Ukrainian spelling.

Early History

At first a territory, Glukhov came into being in 993. Located in a wooded and swampy area it received it's name, Glukhov, because it means "deaf", hard to reach or out of the way. The name Glukhov can be found in the "Russian Chronicle" in 1152. At that time it was not a town, but a village. After what was called "The Black Plague" in 1352, there was nothing written about the town for 250 years.

As a result of a Russian victory over Lithuania in 1503, Glukhov was consolidated into Russia. However, after the peace treaty with Poland it again became a part of that country. In 1686 Glukhov became a part of Ukraine after a long and bloody war with the Ukrainian Liberation Army.

Between 1700 and 1721 Glukhov became the center of the war between Russia and Sweden and was occupied by Russians. By the year 1782 most of Ukraine, including Glukhov, became a part of Russia. During that period, Glukhov started to grow and became one of the biggest trade centers of occupied Ukraine.

In 1803 the reconstruction of Glukhov began. The town map plan was completely changed. When the reconstruction of Glukhov began many Jewish people settled in the town. It was at this time that the Zavelsky family first came to Glukhov.

Many houses and small businesses were demolished during the reconstruction. The wooden monastery was rebuilt, the fort walls were torn down and trading plazas and boulevards were built. Glukhov changed from a small town and became one of the trade centers of Russia. In 1850 about 10,000 people of different religions lived in the town. There were 218 shops, 14 wineries, 2 hotels, 11 rental houses, 5 small factories, 22 concrete houses, 1103 wooden houses. In 1867 a concrete temple was built next to the Kiev gates.

In 1898, Kiev Moscovskaya Street (the merchant street) had two synagogues. Many of the Jewish men made jewelry for Glukhov and other towns.

In 1905 riots by the workers destroyed many factories and businesses. In that same year railroad workers and post office clerks also went on strike. In 1906 many small businesses closed their doors while the industrial giants created more jobs. During that period the population of Glukhov was 18,000 people. About 5,000 were Jews, 12,000 Russians, Ukranians and Byelorussians, 100 from Poland, 50 Germans and people of other origins.

In 1912 the first electric station lit up Glukhov. For the first time in history, the streets of Glukhov were bright at night. In 1914 there was an epidemic which killed almost half of the town's population. Half of all newborn babies died.

Before the revolution in 1917 Glukhov had a Jewish School and two synagogues. During the pograms and the revolution many people were shot by the army, both Jewish and non Jewish. After the revolution, many of the Zavelsky family left Glukhov and moved to Kharkov. At this time, the government did not allow the Jewish people to take care of the cemetery. It was not until after 1970 that the Jewish residents were allowed to take down the trees that the government had planted over the cemetery and to tend it. Now, there are a few older Jewish people who come once a month to clean the grounds, The cemetery is not taken care of by the town.

In 1918 there was a Rabbi Rochavesky in Glukhov with whom the Zavelsky family had a good relationship. The Rabbi died in the 1917 revolution. Many of Glukhov's Jews left the town after the revolution and before W.W.II. In 1941 there were 500 Jewish families in the town.

During our 1995 visit to Glukhov, we met with the Mayor, Orest Nikolaevich Ovsinskii. The Mayor provided the following information during our visit:Population of the town of Glukhov 39,200; Number of Jews now, 165; No synagogues; Newspaper, yes; Jewish cemetery, yes; Hotel, yes; Museum, yes; Local occupations: dairy, baker, food products, agricultural-related business, few factories; mostly filmmaking. The Mayor said he was happy to know "my little town is known in America."

The Mayor invited an elder from the Jewish community, Zinovy Mikailovich Dwoskin, born in 1907 in Glukhov to speak with us and to act as our guide to Jewish sites in Glukhov. Zinovy recalls the Zavelsky family as a large one--all working in the family business--a candy factory. Zinovy does not remember what happened to them because many Jews fled in 1941. After the Holocaust, less than one-half returned. Pre 1941, 500 Jewish families lived in the town of Glukhov. More than 1,000 people (mostly Jews from Glukhov) were murdered during the Holocaust in Borak, a nearby town. A Jewish cemetery does exist, but most of the older stones are in Hebrew and the letters are very faded and difficult to read. According to the Mayor, there is no one in Glukhov who can read Hebrew inscriptions. The synagogue in Glukhov was destroyed and another building constructed on the site.

The vice-mayor of Glukhov, Dimitri Savitsky, told us many facts about the Jewish people of Glukhov: During the pograms many Jews hid in non Jewish houses. In 1937, the Russians took all of the rich people of Glukhov to Siberia. These people were mostly non Jewish. Many of the relatives of those who went to Siberia asked the Jewish people who remained in Glukhov to watch their property. Before W.W.II, the mayor of Glukhov was Jewish. When the war began he became a partisan. He survived the war and returned to live in Glukhov.

During the war, the Germans buried their soldiers who were killed in the park in the middle of the town. After the war, the townspeople removed the bodies. Dimitri told us that his father said " how is it possible that when we go to the park we walk on German soldiers."
The town of Glukhov is the region center. Today there are 3000 Jews living in the entire region. During the Holocaust 9000 Jewish people from the region were killed.

Dimitri told us that there was a Jewish photographer by the name of Lubamilsky who was killed by the Germans. He left a trail of buttons as the Germans took him away. Later the trail was followed and it took the people to the place where he was shot.

People knew that if German soldiers took someone to "talk," they should take something to leave a trail. Most often, this trail led to the forest in Borak.

#1...Town plan of Glukhov
#2...Skyline of Glukhov 1784, 1884, 1984
#4...The Zavelsky candy Factory...1994
#5...Town plan of Glukhov 1776 showing the nunnery, Nikolaevskaya Church, Troicky Monastery, Michailovskaya Church etc.
#6...Gate on Kiev Moscovskaya Street. Today the street is called Sovetskaya Street.
#7...Kiev Moscovskaya Street in the old days where there were two synagogues.
#8...Kiev Moscovskaya Street 1993, now called Sovetskaya Street. Site of a former synagogue is on the left and the gate to the city in the distance.
#9...Zinovy Mikailovich Dwoskin meeting with Vitaly Chumak on our behalf, to tell him about the Jewish residents of Glukhov.
#10...Memorial to all those killed during W.W.II from Glukhov. Placed in the forest in Borak where many of the Jewish people were killed. Memorial is for all faiths who perished in the Holocaust..