A PILGRIMAGE TRIP TO UKRAINE BY THE PERVIN TREE, "THE LOST SHTETLS IN PODOLIA"@

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ZHITOMIR

GISOMIQ

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Lat: 50:12:39N (50.2107)

Lon: 28:44:46E (28.7461)

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ZHITOMIR

Administrative center of the Zhitomir oblast, the city is 85 miles (135 km) west of Kiev, on the Teterev River (a tributary of Dnieper).  Situated in a rich agricultural area at the junction of four railroads, Zhitomir is an industrial and transportation center of western Ukraine.  Its manufactures include furniture, musical instruments, building materials, hosiery and shoes, and it also has a large food-processing industry.  Zhitomir is  a cultural and educational center, with agricultural and teachers colleges and several higher trade schools.  The city had a large Jewish population before it was occupied  by Germany during World War II.

 -- ENCYCLOPEDIA AMERICANA --

THE TOWN SIGN  AT THE SOUTH END

HOTEL "ZHITOMIR" 

 OLD SECTION OF JEWISH CEMETERY

 PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION AT THE MAIN SQUARE (PLOSCHA PEREMOHY)

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When we planned this trip three years ago, Norimi began to see our journey's trail in his mind as the shape of "C ", the Cyrillic letter with the phonetic sound G  in our alphabet.  That was his mental road map to Podolia.  Kiev is situated at the end of the horizontal bar and Vinnitsa at the bottom end of the vertical line.  Where the two bars meet at the corner, is Zhitomir. Zhitomir is an old town at a railroad junction in western Ukraine.  During the Old Russian Empire days, it was the capital city of Polissya Gubernia.  It is now the capital of Zhitomir oblast.  

Our team of the Pervin Tree initiated the Podolia trip in Kiev where the rural geographical zone of western Ukraine begins. Driving west on interstate highway E40 toward Zhitomir, one sees the landscape change into the forest of Polissya. To get to Podolia,  one can chose to drive into the forest zone or to meander south taking smaller roads to Zhitomir, driving through the many open fields of Podolia.  They took the latter way so that they would enter Zhitomir after completing the trip to Podolia.

Zhitomir was founded in the year 884 and is considered one of the oldest Russian towns.  It was the central residential district of Zhitichi,  a Slavic tribe.  The earliest Jewish community is recorded as 1622. By 1926, there were 29,598 Jewish residents.  The current population of the city is 250,000.  There were about 30 thousand Jewish residents in Zhitomir when WWII started.  Most of the Jews fled before the Nazis captured the city.  However, about 500 of them became victims of Sonnderkomm 4A, Einsatzgruppe C, the German killing squads who carried out "The Final Solution".

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Norimi and Heidi