Series - Kremenchuk Photograph Series

Kremenchuk Ukraine, "Members of the Hechalutz organisation"

Title and statement of responsibility area

Title proper

Kremenchuk Photograph Series

General material designation

  • Photographic material

Parallel title

Other title information

Title statements of responsibility

Title notes

Level of description

Series

Reference code

Edition area

Edition statement

Edition statement of responsibility

Class of material specific details area

Statement of scale (cartographic)

Statement of projection (cartographic)

Statement of coordinates (cartographic)

Statement of scale (architectural)

Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)

Dates of creation area

Date(s)

  • 2013 (Donation)
    Donation
    SAJBOD Archives
  • 1910 (Collection)
    Collector
    Lithuanian and Surrounding Towns Collection
  • 2013- (Custody)
    Custodian
    SAJM Jewish Digital Archive Project (JDAP)

Physical description area

Physical description

Publisher's series area

Title proper of publisher's series

Parallel titles of publisher's series

Other title information of publisher's series

Statement of responsibility relating to publisher's series

Numbering within publisher's series

Note on publisher's series

Archival description area

Custodial history

Scope and content

The Kremenchuk Photograph Series includes a photograph of some Jewish members of the Hechalutz organisation. The Hechalutz Zionist organisation aimed to train and prepare youth and young adults to survive and self-sustain in Israel, through practical training in agricultural work and ideological teaching of the Zionism. Due to the harsh political and economic situation in Israel, it was necessary to have these skills. This immigration to Israel is in light of the Zionist sentiment of aliyah (returning to the Jewish homeland). The members of this organisation competed to become Halutzim, which is a Hebrew word that translates directly to “pioneers”. This originally referred to the first Jewish people who immigrated to agricultural Palestine from the 1880s until the State of Israel was formed in 1948, but was increasingly used in the 20th century to refer to those who migrate to Israel. In other words, members of this organisation were intending to immigrate to Israel, but were competing due to the limited number of travel passes for this kind of emigration at the same. [Source: https://www.yadvashem.org/about.html].

Notably, Kremenchuk is situated in the country of Ukraine, thus standing apart in this Lithuanian Towns Collection. However, Ukraine does share the similar status with Lithuania of being an Eastern European country. Present-day Kremenchuk is mainly an industrial town, and is built along both banks of the Dnieper River.

The chaotic pattern in Eastern Europe and nearby regions in the first half of the 20th century – mostly as a result of the two World Wars – consisted of sporadic occupation, independence, and reoccupation of territories. As part of these occurrences, Kremenchuk has changed hands a few times, before settling as part of independent Ukraine. At the start of the 20th century, including the date of the photograph in this Series, Kremenchuk was at the mercy of the Russian Empire, with centuries of anti-Semitism in the town and surrounds forerunning similar oppressive experiences under the Tsar.

However, the most tumultuous period of interest regarding power shifts in Kremenchuk that impacted the lives of Jewish people is that between the start of the First World War (WWI; 1914-1918) and the Second World War (WWII; 1939-1945). The Russian February Revolution of 1917 is the first point of contested rule in Kremenchuk during this period. Bolsheviks and Mensheviks are an important set of terms to differentiate when navigating the Soviet political landscape at this time, which incorporates the Russian Revolution. While both groups advocated for communism, the Bolsheviks, also known as the Red Army, were far more radical and elitist in their policies and governance. This is in contrast to the Mensheviks, known as the White Army, who fought with a less radical approach to communism, with more room for amenable power structures. During the 1917 February Russian Revolution, a Soviet council of workers took control of the city, with the leader of this council becoming a champion for communism in Ukraine. This informal control was only formalized on the 26th of January 1918 with Bolshevik occupation following the Ukrainian-Soviet War. Shortly after, in February 1918, Bolshevik troops were forced to withdraw as part of the Brest-Litovsk Treaty, which acknowledged Ukrainian independence. Besides this treaty, the Red Army withdrew as a result of the rapidly approaching German and Ukrainian armies.

In a series of hostile events post-WWI between Bolshevik Russia and Ukraine, the Bolsheviks took back control of Kremenchuk on the 1st of February 1919. Not long after, a Ukrainian warlord nicknamed Otaman Grigoriev, switched from previously supporting Bolshevism to leading an insurgency in favour of Menshevism. This lead to Menshevik occupation of Kremenchuk from July to December 1919. Following their withdrawal, an uprising in a nearby town lead to the elevation of Kremenchuk to the administrative centre of a peasant-run government from 1920-1922. During the 1930s, Kremenchuk became involved in railcar and road equipment manufacturing, as opposed to the previous industries of railcar repair and agrarian equipment production.

During WWII, Kremenchuk was severely oppressed under Nazi occupation which lasted from 15 September 1941 to 29 September 1943. Nazi rule involved almost complete eradication of the city and its buildings, which forced Kremenchuk to rebuild post-WWII, explaining its distinctive architectural style comapred to the rest of Ukraine. After being liberated by the Red Army, Kremenchuk existed as part of the Soviet Union until 1991, when Ukraine declared independence.

An unfortunate and notable qualification to make is that Jewish people living in Kremenchuk were never truly peacefully settled or welcomed. This was due to ongoing anti-Semitism, which only worsened under each occupying power, with acknowledgement of the most dehumanizing and deadly experience being that under Nazi occupation. This occupation was run by Einsatzgruppen, who instigated mass shooting of Jewish folk, with the abundant assistance of local Nazi-supporters.
The town of Kremenchuk is named as such in Ukranian, as Kremenchug in Russian, as Kremeńczug in Polish, and as Krementchug in Yiddish.
[Source: https://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/kremenchug].

Notes area

Physical condition

Immediate source of acquisition

Donated by The South African Jewish Board of Deputies Archive

Arrangement

Language of material

Script of material

Location of originals

Availability of other formats

Restrictions on access

Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication

Unless otherwise stated the copyright of all material on the Jewish Digital Archive Project resides with the South African Jewish Museum.

Finding aids

Associated materials

Related materials

Accruals

Alternative identifier(s)

Standard number area

Standard number

Access points

Subject access points

Place access points

Name access points

Genre access points

Control area

Description record identifier

Institution identifier

Rules or conventions

Status

Level of detail

Dates of creation, revision and deletion

Language of description

Script of description

Sources

Accession area

Related subjects

Related people and organizations

Related places

Related genres