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Berdichev - a 21 photo report. UEN Exclusive

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Berdichev - a 21 photo report. UEN Exclusive

Post by Nelson on Wed Aug 19, 2015 3:46 am

Berdichev is a small town lying midway between the larger centres of Zhitomir and Vinnitsa, the capitals of their respective oblasts.
Berdichev recently came to my attention due to my reading of an article about the visit of Hasidic jews there. From my stay in New York and other areas I had become acquainted with various religious groups.
Berdivchev has a population of about 80,000. However, the town looks smaller to me. For whatever reason.
Some of you might have heard of the name because of the beer produced there. It is quite popular in various regions of Ukraine.

First, near the centre of Berdichev, a memorial to the Heavenly Hundred, and others who have lost their lives in various wars. Including the current war against Russia - Putin, and also the war against Germany - Hitler.



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Post by Nelson on Wed Aug 19, 2015 3:54 am

The center of the town is rather open and bland. Here - with my back to the above monument, you can see the open square.
The Vinnitsa Road is indeed correctly signposted. However, if you wish to go to Zhitomir or Kiev, I would turn round, and head in the opposite direction, and down the hill



And this possibly an older view from a similar point




There are several orthodox and catholic churches in the town, as you would expect.
The one in the photo above is better shown here -



And also in the area is an old Soviet style park, with out-of-date rides, which are still popular in the summer.
The entrance to the park is quite pleasing -



Taras Schevchenko, of course, the statue.


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Post by Nelson on Wed Aug 19, 2015 4:00 am

In this area are several small restaurants offering good food. I have eaten in three different ones on different occasions. All fine. Reasonable prices. Much cheaper than Kiev, as one would expect.
A short walk westward, and you come to a former castle, former monastery. Now part music school, part church -



And if you were wondering whether it was Orthodox or Catholic, this photo should make things clearer - Pope JPII -



And a slightly different angle from 100 years ago




Inside the church, it is fairly bland. Nothing particularly decorative.
The buildings - castle - have been ransacked several times over the centuries - by the Crimean Tartars, as well as by Bogdan Khmelnitsky - just to mention a couple of names -



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Post by Nelson on Wed Aug 19, 2015 4:06 am

Incidentally, you are not allowed to take photos inside - I read on my way out...

Very few visitors really, a photo here of a few locals - taking photos by the flowers -



For a little background on the monastery, please read here -



The monastery was dissolved in 1864. It's conversation from a castle explains the two cannons not too far from the church entrance.




The old castle walls are falling down. And not much sign of repair being made.


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Post by Nelson on Wed Aug 19, 2015 4:16 am

At the back of the former castle/ Carmelite monastery you can walk down a rather steep path towards the river.

The bridge over the river is currently decorated with the Ukrainian and Pravi Sektor flags -



And the river is quite popular with people who like fishing, including the young lad on the left of the photo -



If you walk up the road on the western side of the castle walls, you come across a memorial -



The former jewish ghetto, established by Hitler in August 1941, was in this area.
And here the murders began. it says 30,000 killed on the memorial stone.
It stands on the edge of a ravine - so it seems likely that people were killed - and thrown down the ravine.
There was one old cottage partway down the hill with absolutely beautiful flowers in the garden...
Here a wider view of the area, including a second memorial, to the "Righteous Gentiles" in Ukraine.
The ravine - large drop down to the river - is behind the memorials -






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Post by Nelson on Wed Aug 19, 2015 4:31 am

The memorial stone - to the victims of the Holocaust - was opened in November of 1999, the idea of the leader of the Jewish community of Berdichev.

Berdivchev was primarily - at one point - a jewish city. In 1860 over 50,000 Jewish people lived there - over 90% of the population.




Today - fewer than 1000. In the 1800s there were as many as 80 synagoges in Berdichev. The Soviet authorities destroyed many. Before the nazis moved in.
A local article in 1973 stated that the "Gestapo killed 38,536 persons", but did not mention they were Jews, or that it was a genocide.

Heading down the hill towards the Zhitomir road, you go through the main market, shopping area. And come to a railway crossing, shortly before the main Jewish cemetery.

There are numerous posters around Berdichev supporting the war effort against Putin and Russia.
Here the photos of some locals, in the armed forces  -



incidentally, the licence plates for this area are AM. Vinnitsa is AB, Kiev AA or AI, Donetsk AH, Lugansk BB.

Here another poster of volunteers - next to the train line. And beyond this point, a little way, the main Jewish cemetery.



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Post by Nelson on Wed Aug 19, 2015 4:56 am

As you would expect, Berdichev has an expansive Jewish history.
In the early decades of the last century court sessions were held in Yiddish. The police even worked in Yiddish!

The entrance to the main cemetery has a holocaust memorial.
This in itself has some history to it. See
Berdichev
http://jewua.org/berdichev/
for more, and some old photos of the town, synagoges, and so on.




Some of the older gravestones, usually inscribed in Hebrew,



Can you hold your hands in the position shown on this stone? I can, but some of my fellow visitors to the graveyard couldn't.
I don't actually know of the symbolism behind this.



And a view looking back towards the main road - Berdichev centre is to your left, and Zhitomir about 45 km to your right



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Post by Nelson on Wed Aug 19, 2015 4:59 am

Leaving Berdichev, I headed along the road towards Zhitomir; the site of my next photo report, which hopefully I'll post in a week or two.

Here the marker for the beginning of Zhitomir Raion. half-way between Berdichev and Zhitomir, I would say.
Berdichev, incidentally, is part of Zhitomir Oblast.



Saturday afternoon, but the road is not too busy. Bizarrely one side has been freshly surfaced - about a year ago, but the side heading south, well - at least the potholes have been filled in.




Berdichev. A pleasant town, but not too attractive to be honest. But strongly Ukrainian. Lots of Ukrainian flags. And lots of military personel there also.
So sad that its Jewish heritage has been completely destroyed - first by the Soviets, and then - the people themselves - by Hitler.
Some synagogues remain - as a glove factory, or as a library. I understand one synagogue remains open to this day.
And, of course, the craftsmen and the skills they developed over the centuries have gone also.
The town also lies on the train route from Korosten to Vinnitsa. But there is only one train a day on this line. And not on a Monday bizarrely!
Worth a visit? Debatable. Essential if you are Hasidic.

====
Other links
Levi Yitzchok of Berditchev
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Levi_Yitzchok_of_Berditchev
Berdychiv
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Berdychiv
Berdichev
http://jewua.org/berdichev/
Discalced Carmelites
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Discalced_Carmelites
Discalced
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Discalced  [but sandals allowed?! ]
Read elsewhere -
The nuns had carpet squares under their feet in the chapel. Surely cheating?
Berdichev (beer)
http://mini.beer/forum/showthread.php?p=232 [You can smell the factory a km or two from the train station.]
http://mini.beer/forum/showthread.php?p=233
Taste - rich hop bitterness, very pleasant and well-balanced with the overall taste of beer, malt with a touch of fragrant and soft finish.
Great beer, bright, stands out
[against other Ukrainian varieties] [Watch the date on the bottle when buying. Ok only for about 10 days]
Berdichevski Pivo [Berdichev beer; in Ukrainian]
http://berdpivo.com.ua/

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Re: Berdichev - a 21 photo report. UEN Exclusive

Post by Odessite on Thu Aug 27, 2015 4:24 pm

@Nelson wrote:Can you hold your hands in the position shown on this stone? I can, but some of my fellow visitors to the graveyard couldn't.
I don't actually know of the symbolism behind this.

Yes, I can perform the said sign which is a traditional Jewish blessing given by a rabbi. It is said, the same sign inspired the Vulcan Mr Spock's (RIP) famed hand gesture!



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Free trade with Europe takes effect on January 1 — Yatsenyuk

Post by Admin on Fri Aug 28, 2015 10:51 am

Deep and comprehensive free trade area between Ukraine and the European Union will take effect on January 1, 2016, despite Russian threats to impose embargo on Ukrainian products.

Prime Minister of Ukraine Arseniy Yatsenyuk said this during the meeting with Prime Minister of Lithuania Algirdas Butkevicius.

"The agreement on free trade area between Ukraine and the EU will definitely take effect on January 1 next year. Russia has said it will impose embargo on Ukrainian products in case if the FTA agreement comes into force. So I would like to say once again, primarily to Russia: the agreement will enter into force," the PM said.

Yatsenyuk stressed that the restrictions, which are likely to be imposed by the Russian Federation, were "not the embargo on Ukrainian products, but against Russian citizens."..................

time-ua.com


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