Malyn – Birthplace of the Legendary Malin Chassidic Dynasty

Malyn, also spelled Malin, is a small city located in the Zhytomyr Oblast. It has an estimated population of 28 000 residents and lies 150 kilometers outside of Kiev. One of its greatest responsibilities is that Malyn is home to a monitoring station for seismic activity. It might sound like a trivial job, but it was not set up to measure the vibrations in the earth, but rather to monitor nuclear testing activity. It forms part of an international network that upholds the CTBT, or Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty.

The city of Malyn was also the original birthplace of the Malin Chassidic Dynasty, of which almost nothing remains today. Closely related, is the Chernobyl Hasidic Dynasty that started with Grand Rabbi Menachem Nachum Twersky. As with the Malin Chassidic Dynasty, not many members of the Chernobyl Hasidic Dynasty survived the Holocaust, but anyone bearing the surname Twerski, is most certainly a direct descendant of this dynasty.

It is known that Malyn had a very large Jewish community before the terrifying years of the holocaust. Their presence is still seen in many aspects of the city’s culture and a few scattered memorials. In Malyn alone, there are three Jewish cemeteries, one of which is located on Vinnichenko Street. For passersby it might seem like an open piece of land amidst the buildings, as there are no markers, signs or tombstones visible. The second is in the northern region of Malyn, and was founded in 1937. It has been recorded that the last known Hasidic burial took place in 1994. The cemetery is in rather good condition as there is a caretaker on duty here. The tombstones, some with photos and some without, date back to the years of its founding. Tragically, visitors will notice marked mass graves within the cemetery. The third cemetery has no known date of establishment, but some of the broken or fallen tombstones have dates on from 1908. The last documented burial took place here in the year 1945.

There are a few famous names connected to this small city in the Zhytomyr Oblast. One of them being Prince Stanislaw Radziwill who was killed here during battle on 28 April 1920. Rahel Yanit Ben-Zyi, a well-known Zionist Congress delegate, was born in Malyn in the year 1886, as was Ukranian writer Gorodetskyi Samuil-Aba in 1871 and Novakovskiy David, a composer, in 1848. Female freedom fighter, Nina Sosnina, belonged to the Malin underground and her diaries from this time has now been published.

Malyn has a few industries and businesses that operate in the city, with its most significant being the Malyn Paper Mill. It produces hundreds of tons of pressboard sheets, paper and components each year. The city is also known for it wood products. It is a city with deep roots in the Jewish community and has survived to share its experiences and beautiful surroundings with visitors.

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