|Magdeburg Rights||1393(first), 1515(second)|
|• City Head||Iosyf Mostsipan|
|• Total||9.98 km2 (3.85 sq mi)|
|Population (2001 census)|
|• Density||1,253.6/km2 (3,247/sq mi)|
|Time zone||EET (UTC+2)|
|• Summer (DST)||EEST (UTC+3)|
|Postal code||48400 — 48401|
|Area code(s)||+380 3544|
Buchach (Ukrainian: Бучач; Polish: Buczacz, Turkish: Bucaş) is a city located on the Strypa River (a tributary of the Dniester) in Ternopil Oblast (province) of western Ukraine. It is the administrative center of the Buchach Raion (district), and rests 135 km south east of Lviv, in the historic region of Galicia.
The current estimated population is around 12,500 (as of the 2001 Ukrainian census).
The earliest recorded mention of Buchach is in 1260. Halychyna (Galicia) was occupied by Poland at the end of the 14th century. It was during this time that the area experienced a large influx of Polish, Jewish and Armenian settlers. Buchach in particular became home to a large Jewish community, and is thus considered to be a shtetl.
Its founders were leading Halychyna (Galicia) aristocrats, and among its early settlers were Germans Jews, coming to inhabit a predominantly Ukrainian rural milieu. By way of contrast with the mainly Slavic peasant populations, the Jewish settlers in the lands of the eastern Galicia were townspeople and skilled craftsmen. Among them were individuals experienced in trade and finance. Polish kings and princes welcomed the contribution of Jews to the colonization of their eastern realms, and encouraged them to settle and offered them protection. With the unification of Poland and Lithuania in 1569, the newly united kingdom extended from the Baltic to the Black Sea. Owing to its importance as a market town, Buchach had become a prominent trading centre linking the Poland and the Ottoman Empire.
During Cossack uprisings of the mid-17th century large numbers of Jewish refugees from the areas laid waste by Bohdan Khmelnytsky and his warring Cossacks sought sanctuary in Buchach. In 1672 and again in 1675 the town was captured by the Ottoman Turks. Under the leadership of the organized Jewish community, the Kehila, Jews joined with the Poles in its defence. After the war, Treaty of Buchach was signed and Podolia was ceded by Poland to Ottoman Empire in 1672.
Industry came to Buchach around the end of the 19th century. Among the small-scale industries there included a brickworks, and candle and soap factory, (modern) flour mills, a textile plant, and a necktie factory. The town also boasted a brewery and a winery. The largest factory was established early in the 1900s, when the Hilfesverein concern of Vienna set up a plant for the manufacture of wooden toys in Buchach employing some 200 workers, mainly young girls. In 1912 the Stanislaviv-based Savings and Credit Union opened a branch in Buchach, and this served as a bank for local industrialists and business.
In Buchach Jews were predominant in certain artisan occupations, notably tailoring, furriers, tin-smithing, book publishing, and waggoneering. Jews were also active in carpentry and cabinet making. From the late 19th century local Jews began to enter the free professions. By 1910 there were fourteen Jewish lawyers and four medical doctors belonging to the Association of Zionist Professionals, and this reportedly represented about half the total number of Jewish professionals in Buchach. An association of accountants was formed in 1905 with 40 members.
Buchach remained a part of Austria and its successor states until the end of the First World War in 1918. The town was briefly a part of the independent West Ukrainian People's Republic before it was captured by the Republic of Poland in 1920.
In World War II, Eastern Halychyna (Galicia), including Buchach, was annexed by the Soviet Union and incorporated into the Ukrainian SSR (see Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact). In 1941, it was invaded by Nazi Germany; the town's Jewish community was almost completely obliterated during the Holocaust. The town was returned to the Soviet Union after the war, during which time its Polish community was ethnically cleansed. After the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991, Buchach became a part of newly independent Ukraine.
People from Buchach
- Shmuel Yosef Agnon (1888–1970), Nobel Prize-winning author
- Simon Wiesenthal
- Emanuel Ringelblum
- Alicia Appleman-Jurman
- Abraham David ben Asher Anshel Buczacz
- Mina Rosner
- Ruben Feldschu (Ben Shem) (1900-1980), Zionist author and political activist
- Mykola Bevz
Twin towns and sister cities
Buchach is currently twinned with:
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Buchach|
- Laurence Weinbaum, "Shaking the Dust Off" The Story of the Warsaw Ghetto's Forgotten Chronicler, Jewish Political Studies Review Vol. 22 No. 3-4 (Fall 2010).