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Novo-Poltavka

Novo-Poltavka, Privolnoye County, Nikolayev District, Ukraine

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Novo-Poltavka was a Jewish agricultural colony founded in 1841 by Jewish migrants from Kurland, which is now in Latvia. Initially Novo-Poltavka was a totally Jewish village, but in the mid-19th century Germans were settled here by the Russian government so that they could teach the Jews how to improve their agriculture. In 1897 Novo-Poltavka's 1,959 Jews comprised 90 percent of the total population. Most of the local Jews were farmers.
The Jewish population of Novo-Poltavka suffered greatly from the calamities of the revolutionary years and civil war in Russia. In August 1919, during fighting between armed gangs and a Jewish self-defense force and the following week-long pogrom, between 120 and 130 Jews of Novo-Poltavka were murdered, Jewish women were raped, and Jewish property was looted. About 200 Novo-Poltavka inhabitants starved to death in a famine in the early 1920s.
The restoration of the colony in 1920s was assisted greatly by the Joint and the Jewish Colonization Association.
In the 1920s and 1930s the settlement had a Yiddish-language seven-year school, two orphanages, a library with Yiddish, Hebrew, and Russian books, a drama club, a hospital, and a pharmacy. In 1925 the original agricultural school became an agricultural technical college and, later, an agricultural institute named after Stalin. In the early 1930s the institute was moved to Odessa.
In the late 1920s-early 1930s a Jewish kolkhoz named in memory of the victims of August 1919 pogrom and a multiethnic Jewish-Ukrainian-German kolkhoz named after Mikhail Kalinin were established in Novo-Poltavka. In 1927 Novo-Poltavka became the seat of a Jewish rural council.
1,877 Jews lived in Novo-Poltavka in 1926, when they comprised 86.1 percent of the total population. In the 1920s and 1930s many Jews left the village for towns in search of jobs and higher education.
Novo-Poltavka was occupied by the Germans on August 13, 1941. On September 10, 1941 between 800 and 900 Jews of Novo-Poltavka were murdered a short distance from the village
Novo-Poltavka was liberated by the Red Army on March 8, 1944.