Boguslav4Note: Click image to see photos of Boguslav taken by David Kleiman on his visit in xxxx.

Jews lived in Boguslav since the late 16th or early 17th century. Already in the early period Jews played an important role in the economic life of the town. In the 17th and 18th centuries the Jews of Boguslav suffered from attacks by the Crimean Tartars and, especially, of the Cossacks and the Haidamaks. In 1768, during the uprising of Easstern Orthodox peasants and Cossacks, the so-called “Koliivshchina,” many Jews abandoned Boguslav but they returned several years later.

In the late 18th century Boguslav became part of the Russian Empire and its Jewish population started to increase. In 1897 the 7,445 Jews living in the town constituted 65.5 percent of Boguslav’s total population. In the early 19th century there was a Jewish printing house in Boguslav.
The Jews of Boguslav suffered greatly from the violence which accompanied the revolutionary years and civil war in Russia. Approximately 100 Jews fell victim to the pogroms staged in 1919-1920 by various warring parties. In 1920 a local Jewish self-defense unit was created.
In the 1920s, under the Soviets, in a mixed Jewish-Ukrainian town council was created that held its deliberations in Ukrainian. In the 1920s and 1930s there was a Yiddish school in Boguslav. In the 1920s there was a Yiddish vocational school in Boguslav. Also, in the early 1920s, three Jewish orphanages were established in Boguslav for children whose parents had been killed in pogroms during the Russian civil war. During the 1920s and 1930s many younger Jews left Boguslav for larger cities in search of new educational and vocational opportunities. In 1939 the city's 2,230 Jews constituted 25.5 percent of the total population.
The Germans occupied Boguslav on July 26, 1941. Apparently many Jews succeeded in leaving the city before the entry of the German troops. Immediately after the start of the occupation the remaining Jews were ordered to sew yellow Stars of David on the front and back of their clothes. About 45 Jews and Communists were shot soon after the start of the occupation, esecially on July 28 and 29, 1941 when several dozen Jews were murdered. In mid-August 1941 the Jews were forced to live on one street of the city and to perform demeaning labor.
Most of the Jews still in Boguslav were murdered in mid-September 1941 on the city’s outskirts. Thereupon the Germans declared Boguslav to be “free of Jews.”
The Red Army liberated Boguslav on February 3, 1944.