Famous gangsters of Odessa

Mishka Yaponchik – a famous king of Odessa bandits Moysha Vinnitsky, nicknamed Mishka Yaponchik. The future leader of smuggling raiders was born in Moldavanka into a poor Jewish family. He didn’t want to take over the craft of his father and dreamed of conquering the whole of Odessa. Mishka Yaponchik was really an extraordinary person. Songs and books were written about him, and movies were filmed. Utyosov and Coralli wrote about him in their memoirs. Yaponchik became the prototype of the Beni Creek character in the “Odessa Stories” by Babel. In 2011 the television series “The Life and Adventures of Mishka Yaponchik” saw the world. Until now, Odessans remember the legendary Mishka, who left a mark in the history of the city. The “Gangster Odessa” Excursion will be an exciting adventure to places of criminal authorities. The house where Mishka used to live is located at the Bohdan Khmelnitsky street, 23.

Sonka the Goldhand – a famous thief Sophia Bluestein, an adventurer of the late 19th century, nicknamed Sonka the Goldhand. Having received the fame of a talented fraudster, Sonka hunted not only in Odessa, but throughout Europe. Legends have and novels have been written about her criminal talent, as well as films movies have been filmed. Thus in 2007 the eponymous series about the life of a swindler, the Queen of the Thieves’ World, was released. Voznesensky Lane, 12 (Moldavanka) in Odessa is a house where, according to the legends, Sophia used to live.

Oseep Shor – a famous adventurer who was a prototype of the literary hero Ostap Bender. Most of his life he lived in Odessa (Kanatna str., 78). He was famous for his scams, quotes and travels around the country. Oseep’s main dream was to go to South America. Since childhood, Oseep was a savvy little boy, fond of jurisprudence and had an extraordinary mindset. Thus, upon complaints of the local synagogue rabbi that the parishioners do not donate money to repair the temple, Oseep advised him to draw a map of paradise and sell places to heaven according to the price list. Thanks to such a scam, the rabbi repaired the synagogue, and Oseep Shor got the reputation of a great scammer. People who wanted to do some business began to turn to him for help. For example, once a thief, nicknamed Kosoy, came to him for advice on how to quietly rob a bank and open a safe. Oseep saw the place and immediately advised to change into chimney sweepers and get inside through the chimneys. After the robbery, Ostap was rewarded. Of course, this is not the whole “track record” of the affairs by Oseep Shor. Ilf and Petrov’s stories “12 Chairs” and “The Golden Calf” were written about his adventures and became bestsellers.