15 June 2013

Hritsev, 15 June 2013

Hritsev has fared a little better than Labun. Around the time my relatives were still in Ukraine, the communities were roughly equivalent in population and economy. Make no mistake, these are not wealthy places, but Hritsev has grown and changed, Labun much less so.

Hritsev actually has fairly new hotel and several restaurants (one with a Las Vegas theme!). We seriously considered moving from our hotel in Zaslav (a sad place economically and gastronomically) to Hritsev, but decided, to stay put one more night. An article I found from 2003 extolled the virtues of a group of forward-thinking Hritsev locals who were working on town economic development. I assume that these restaurants and the hotel benefitted from group seed money. In addition, back then the town was touting its ceramic tile industry.

The upshot of this community growth, from a family history standpoint, is that Hritsev is not as interesting. It's not as scenic.

These are shots of the rynak.

I am fond of this arty shot. I like the colors. They seemed to stand out in the market area.

My interest in Hritsev, which is about 10 miles west of Labun, is that my great grandfather David Myers' (nee Malzman) brother Zachary Myers was born here and resided here before embarking for the United States in 1922. He followed his sons, Jacob and Israel, who had, respectively, arrived in the USA in 1908 and 1912. I have also found clues that there may have been other family members in Hritsev. In addition, it's clear than many unusual surnames occur in both Labun and Hritsev. The towns seem to have been closely connected. 

With the help of a local, we located the Jewish cemetery (there are no Jewish people now is Hritsev) across the street from a large Christian cemetery. This is the street. The Jewish cemetery is on the left, just past the fence.

I walked into the tangle of often 6 foot tall vegetation. There was a great deal of standing water and mud and only one visible tombstone lying face down. I determined that the only way to really investigate this cemetery would be to whack down all the vegetation and go in with waders. Since I was not prepared to do any of this, we left.

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