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Melody of Khotyn (Хотин, Hotin, Chocim). Khotyn is about 30 miles/60 km northeast of Chernivtsi – more of the evidence for a Zakhidno-Ukrayinska origin for Belf.

Khotyn was a fortified town, thus becoming through centuries of war and power shifts, a major point for cultural contact. Here the Poles and the Ottomans pushed thier empires back and forth, with Kotin – nominally part of the principality of Moldovia under the control of one or the other for centuries.

Here the Poles stopped the Ottoman advance in the 1600’s, with the help of the Ukrainian Cossacks. In the 1700’s the Russian Empire began challanging the Ottomans for Khotin, and in the 1800’s it was pulled into the Russian Empire. The largest population segment was Romanian. Jews lived there in significant numbers since the 1500s. Ukrainians arrived in large numbers in the 1800s – setting the stage for a Jewish Romanian Orchestra. Following the Great War and the Russian Revolution (which persued a land for peace policy in the early years), it passed to Romania, and a tremendous massacre of Ukrainians was carried out. Jews left the area in great numbers in the late 1800s and early 1900s, going to America or to major Russian cities in the Pale. Of the 15000 Jews living there in 1941 (when Romania seized it from the Soviets), almost all were killed within a week’s time.

MP3 Download
Belf's Romanian Orchestra
PDF Khotinskaya.pdf

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