Berman’s Branches
Barbara Hacker Berman
Towns - Dniester River Areas

In the period 7th - 3rd Century BCE, Dniester River (Tiras) flowed into the Black Sea. Also in this area was the Dnieper River (Borysthenes).

Jews have lived in Eastern Galicia since the 14th Century. The most significant rise in their numbers occurred during the 19th Century as a result of both a high birth rate and flight from pogroms in the Russian Empire. In 1850, there were 449,000 Jews throughout all of Galicia. By 1910, the numbers almost doubled to 872,000; three-quarters of them---660,000---lived in Eastern Galicia, of whom as high as 76.2% resided in cities and small towns. Jews were also found in towns and small cities of Bokovina, 76,000 (44.7% of the total population) and in Transcarpathia, 87,000 (14.5%).

Jews came to the Ukrainian region when it was still part of the Polish Kingdom in the late 16th Century. Jews tended to live in cities and towns located west of the line known as the Pale of Settlement...the former lands of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth beyond which they were forbidden to reside.

The ethnic composition of the Dnieper Ukraine (1897) included 1,927,000 Jews, 8.2% of the total population---the 2nd largest minority after the Russians. Ethnic Ukrainians tended to live in the countryside and minority populations in urban areas. Thus, in 1897, as high as 70% of the Dnieper UkraineĆ­s urban dwellers were ethnically non-Ukrainian. Over 70% of Jews inhabited places with more than 1000 inhabitants; 26% lived in 20 cities---their numbers concentrated on the Right Bank, where 61% of all of them lived, averaging 12.6% of the population in each of the four provinces there: Volkynia, Kiev, Podalia, Kherson. The Right Bank was also home for about all the Poles living in Dnieper Ukraine. In 1910, in Austro-Hungary, 823,000 Jews (12.7%), with Poles, Jews & Germans as the largest minorities.