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Alternate names: Kobryn [Bel], Kobrin [Rus, Yid], Kobryń [Pol], Belarusian: Кобрынь. Russian: Кобрин. קאברין  - Yiddish: 52°13' N, 24°22' E, 29 miles ENE of Brest-Litovsk. 1900 Jewish population: 6,738. Yizkors: Kobryn; zamlbukh (an iberblik ibern yidishn Kobryn) (Buenos Aires, 1951); Book of Kobrin; the scroll of life and destruction (San Francisco, 1992); Sefer Kobryn; megilat hayim ve-hurban (Tel Aviv, 1951). Belarus SIG newsletter article. Steve Morse's history.

An early 16th century Jewish congregation existed and in 1514 Sigismund I renewed privileges granted by his brother Alexander including the right of residence. Kobrin Jews got the same trade rights as Christians in 1589. The earliest known rabbi was Bezaleel (Betsalel) ben Solomon Darshan (d. 1678). Most Kobrin jewry lived in Pinskaya Street with a synagogue. In the end of Pinskaya street to Balotskaya akruga were twenty Jewish fruit orchards. An the begining of 18th century, the Jewish community situation was difficult. In 1705, they paid  315 (300) zloty (polish money) tax. In 1714 Kobrin Jew Michel Itskavich agreed with the town to loan 8.000 polish zloty for eight years for which he was released from payment of state and communal taxes. Itskovich received the right to live anywhere in Kobrin including Rynachnaya (Market) square [painting] and for trade and wine creation. 1766 Jewish population: more than 924. The 18th century saw economic decline in Kobrin and Rech Pospolitaya. The debt-ridden Jewish community mainly was involved in small trade and handicrafts while wealthier Jews traded salt, wood, and grain.  In 1795 the Russian Army occupied Kobrin making it a small city (Belarussian - miastechka, Yiddish - shtetl) of Slonim uezd. After 1801, Kobrin was in Grodno guberniya. 1902 Jewish population: 8,000 out of 10,000. Mostly, the Jews engaged in agriculture, breweries, and distilling until an 1882 ukase of Alexander III prohibited renting farms to Jews or residence outside the city limits. [photo] 1897 Kobrin uezd Jewish population: 25.349 out of 145.000. In 1897, vodka distilling became a government monopoly. The Jews began mass emigration to America, Palestine, and Africa. The 1920 Jewish population was 66% of 5.431 total. In the middle of 1940, the occupying Red Army ordered all synagogues, yeshivas, and Talmud-Torah closed. On the 22 June 1941, Nazi Germany invaded USSR and two days occupied Kobrin. On June 24, the Germans killed about 170 prominent Kobrin male Jews on the grounds of the synagogue and burnt a Jewish hospital and the Rabbi's house of rabbi. Refusing to allow the local fire-brigade to put out a fire that eventually engulfed all of Kobrin, the Germans threw Jews into the fire alive. In Autumn 1941, 8,000 Kobrin Jews (including the refugees from occupied Poland and neighbouring shtetls were placed in ghetto. In July 1942, half of the ghetto prisoners were wiped out and the other half on October 14, 1942 when a 332 police detachment assigned to wipe out Jews of Kobrin and Pinsk region completed the evil. In Bloty-Vel`kiya and Tsakalnichi (11 km SE of Kobrin), three Jews were arrested and killed. In Bloty-Vel`kiya, Darapeevichi (14 km north of Makarany), Paulapol, Ora, Zamordin and Kletishcha, the Nazis failed with the Jew, but on Khabavichi-Kobrin road, two Jews were siezed and transfered to Kobrin. Only a group of jewish craftsmen lived in the ghetto until Summer 1943 when they were shot in the yard of Kobrin prison. About 100 Kobrin Jews fled the ghetto to partisans The Red Army liberated Kobrin on July 20, 1944.  All Kobrin survivors left the former shtetl through Poland to Israel and other countries. The synagogue became a grain storage during WWII and in 1955 a brewery. In 1996, the building was given to the local historical museum that lacked funds to renovate the building. In 2004, it was returned the 60 member Kobrin Jewish Community that wants to renovate the site for Jews of surrounding area towns including Antopol, Brest, Bereza, Chomsk, Chernyany, Chernyavchitzy, Divin, Domachevo, Drogichin, Gorodetz, Ivanovo (Yanovo), Kamenetz, Kobrin, Logishin, Malech, Motol, Pinsk, Pruzhany, Seletz, Shereshevo, Telehany, Tomashevka, Volchin, Vysokoe and Zhabinka. [March 2009]

photos of the massacre site/mass grave of 4500 Jews.Holocaust memorial [March 2009]

Cemetery: photo of Holocaust memorial. Still legible are some gravestones from the fifteenth century. photo [March 2009]

 

 

Last Updated on Wednesday, 18 March 2009 13:50
 
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