Lanivtsi

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Lanivtsi, alternate names: Lanovtsy Ukr, Lanovtse, Lanavtse, Lanivtsy Region: Volhynia (from Ukrainian: Ланівці) or Lanowce (from Polish: Łanowce), is a city in Ternopil Oblast, Ukraine. It is administrative center of the Lanivtsi Raion. Population is 8,680 (2001).

 Lanowitz – A Historical Survey
By H. Rabin from Yizkor Book translation

"It is difficult to establish accurately when Lanowitz was founded. There are only a few sources and their authenticity is doubtful. In our research, we tried to weigh the scientific evidence as to when the town was founded. This evidence contradicts the local legends that had developed over time. Let us instead quote from the notes of our beloved historian, the late Shmuel Averbuch, who dedicated his last years in the United States to record the history of his town in his journal. His work shows the influence on him of his first twenty years growing up in Lanowitz. According to his research, the town was founded in 1625. However, Lanowitz is already mentioned in the list of towns composed by the Council of Four Lands [Active from the middle of the 16th century to 1764-Ed]. According to these notes Lanowitz was listed as being in the province of Vohlyn as an organized legal community.

From other historical sources such as census and tax records, we learn that the town was given to Pashkov Yalowitzky [Ref.: Illostrovi Pashwadni po Vohlyn] in 1444, and to the Kozminska family in 1545.

In all the geographical encyclopedias, Lanowitz appears to be a Jewish town, separated by 12 km. from the Ukrainian village of Laniwitz. The town of Burchiwky, between the two, appears to have been the district town. According to these sources, it is reasonable to assume that Lanowitz existed since the 15th century.

According to the (Polish) “Slovnik Georgraphichny” published in 1902, a publication noted for its anti-Semitic bias, Yalowitzky collected taxes (in Lanowitz) from 15 garden plots, 15 smoke-stacks and 2 grinding mills. The dearth of garden plots indicates few farms, while the 15 smoke-stacks, to differentiate from chimneys, suggests that Lanowitz was already industrialized. This is another indication that the town was likely Jewish because in that historical period, Jews were the primary contributors to Russian industrialization.

The above mentioned period precedes the Jewish exodus from Spain. Who knows how Jews got to settle in Lanowitz.

The Town's Residents and Their Occupations

We have better data starting in the first half of the 19th century and its second half. Yet some contradictions surface even in these periods. Slovnik Geographichny lists the town's inhabitants as 623, of whom 46% are Jews, i.e., 274 persons. Encyclopedia Evreyiska on the other hand lists 523 Jews based on the 1847 census.

The Slovnik data has over the years shown a tendency to minimize the minority population numbers. If we consider that the Slovnik data is based on taxpayer records, whereas Ency. Eevreiska is based on census records, we can accept the latter data as the more accurate of the two sources. This data is further confirmed by the 1897 census showing the town's Jewish population to have risen to 1,174. It is reasonable to expect a two-fold increase in the population in 50 years, not a four-fold increase, as implied by the Slovnik data that was published 13 years after the 1897 census. We shall therefore accept the Ency. Evreyiska as the more accurate data.

According to the notes published by the late Mr. Averbuch, Pani Laniwitz, the governor of Lanowitz, published a flyer and sent messengers in the late 19th century to other parts of Vohlyn and Podolia to recruit settlers. In his flyer he cited the merits of settling on his land Jews responded to this publicity and came. They liked the jobs that were promised dealing with estate management and the sale of its food products.

In addition, Lanowitz was blessed with sources of mineral water, a fact mentioned in the flyers and in Averbuch's notes. This must be a reference to the seven springs that in our days were used to operate medical spas. It is assumed that the flyer's mention of mineral water sources was meant to attract persons wishing to develop them.

We arrive at the conclusion that Lanowitz Jews based their economic future on trade in produce, truck farming, lumber, warehousing, management of public baths, the production of liquor, beer and charcoal, and flour milling. In summary, Jewish light industry existed since 1583 in Lanowitz on a continuous basis.

Disturbances and Continuity of the Settlement

When studying the history of Lanowitz, we cannot pass over the Khemelintsky revolt of 1648 without wondering why the town is not mentioned in any sources dealing with this period. The villages of Kozachak and Nadovka, near Lanowitz, are mentioned in Sankiewicz's books as the launching pads for attacks against the Polish Counts. These historical sources provide accurate information about the fate of nearby towns such as Vishnivits, Vishugrod, Shumsk, Dubna, Kremenec and others. These sources detail that Tartars ruined one town, that another was destroyed by the Swedes or the Ukrainians. Inasmuch as Lanowitz is not mentioned in any of these historical accounts, suggests that its continuity was left undisturbed by these wars. The question is why.

The best explanation available is that Lanowitz belonged to the Russian Lord Yalovitsky. Local Jews were protected by him, thus saved from attacks by local insurgents. By contrast, nearby towns such as Vishnivits, Kremenec, Dubna and Jampoli belonged to Polish Counts. These towns were targeted by insurgents and its Jews decimated. The Jews of Vishnivits were attacked twice, once by Ukrainians, and later by Poles who accused them of conspiring with the insurgents. Lanowitz was saved this fate, thanks to the (political) efforts of the Yalovitsky family. This family was a “black sheep” among the Russian nobility due to the liberal tendencies of its members. In the political struggles that followed, their non-conformist stand and support of proposed reforms helped them survive politically. The family supported all minorities regardless of nationality or religion, hence their support of the (Polish) Kosciuski revolt, their encouragement of Jews to settle on their land, and their protection of these settlers.

Lanowitz apparently did not suffer internal community disputes under early Polish rule. The records of the Council of 4 Lands, that had the authority from the Polish king to adjudicate all Jewish internal disputes, show no judicial activity in Lanowitz.

For several centuries, Lanowitz was under a liberal administration that promoted development and public harmony. Under these conditions the town Jews lived undisturbed until the beginning of the 20th century. In this century, European nations in general and the Russian empire in particular were badly shaken. That was also the fate of Lanowitz's Jews. In the 20th century Lanowitz experienced the 1905-06 pogroms when the Russian Romanoff rulers tried to deflect the national anger at their defeat in the Russian-Japanese war onto “guilty Jews.” Small pogroms occurred when Cheka bands robbed and beat up local Jews.

Lanowitz also experienced the Petlura-Machno turbulence of 1916-1918 and the destruction caused by the soldiers of Polish General Heller. The resultant killing and destruction were not unique to Lanowitz; they were experienced by the Jews of the entire region.

Lanivtsi received town charter in 1545, and until the Partitions of Poland, it was part of Volhynian Voivodeship. In 1795 - 1918, Lanivtsi belonged to the Russian Empire. In the Second Polish Republic, Lanivtsi, known then as Łanowce, belonged to Krzemieniec County, Volhynian Voivodeship. For centuries, Lanivtsi was the center of a large land property which belonged to several noble families, such as the Jelowiecki, Wisniowiecki, Mniszech and Rzewuski."

Coordinates: 49°52′12″N 26°04′48″E / 49.87000°N 26.08000°E / 49.87000; 26.08000