Baruch German (1857-1930)
was born in Kuniv, Ukraine, and spent most of his life there and
in the surrounding countryside as a timber merchant and
circuit-riding “dayan,” or religious judge. The 1897 Russian
census listed the population of Kuniv, then Kunev, as 2,935, of
whom 1,661, or 57%, were Jewish.
Russian czarist records
from 1905, listing citizens registered to vote for the Duma
(Parliament), classified Baruch German as a “realty owner.” The
"realty" was a large duplex where he had built amid apple and
pear trees during the 1890s.
Baruch left the house during the late 1920s to visit his son
in Dubno. Communist
authorities would not allow him to return. Baruch left
the house to Bas-sheva
Gherman, the wife of his son Herschel. Herschel's daughter Sonya
left in 1932 to work as a clerk in Kharkov. Bas-sheva stayed
until 1939. Bas-Sheva temporarily gave the house to a
photographer who was in the good graces of the Communist Party.
At the outbreak of World War II in Russia, June 22, 1941, the
photographer's sister sold the house for 10,000 rubles.
In a September 2005 visit,
Baruch’s great-grandson found that the house was no longer
standing and that no Jews remained in Kuniv.