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DUBNO , city in *Volhynia, Ukraine. Jews in Dubno are first mentioned in documents of 1532 in connection with the ownership of cattle. The oldest tombstone inscription in the Jewish cemetery dates from 1581. At the beginning of the 17th century Isaiah ha-Levi *Horowitz, author of Shenei Lu*ot ha-Berit, was rabbi in Dubno. The community was represented on the council of the province (galil) of Volhynia (see *Councils of the Lands). On the eve of the *Chmielnicki uprising there were about 2,000 Jews in Dubno. In 1648–49, most of the Jews were massacred because the Poles refused to permit them to take refuge in the fortress. According to tradition the graves of the martyrs were located near the eastern wall of the great synagogue, where it was customary to mourn them on the Ninth of Av.

The Jewish community was reestablished shortly afterward under the patronage of the owners of the town, the princes Lubomirski, who accorded it special privileges in 1699 and 1713. By the beginning of the 18th century Dubno had become the largest Jewish community in Volhynia, being represented on the Council of the Four Lands and earning the sobriquet "Dubno the Great" (Dubno Rabbati). Its delegate, R. Meir ben Joel, was chosen to be head (parnas) of the Council of the Four Lands in the late 1750s. As many blood libels occurred then in Poland, R. Meir sent his relative R. Eliokim-Zelig of Yampol to the pope in Rome, to get bull against the libels, which he published in Latin and Polish. Jewish polltax payers numbered 1,923 in 1765. The great fair of *Lvov was moved to Dubno between 1773 and 1793, and the city became an important commercial center. The most famous of the 18th-century Jewish preachers of Lithuania, Jacob *Kranz, was known as the Maggid of Dubno after the city with which he was most closely associated. In the 19th century Haskalah (Enlightenment) activists like the physician and writer Reuben Kalischer, the lexicographer and poet Solomon *Mandelkern (author of a monumental Bible concordance), and the poet and writer Abraham Baer *Gottlober lived there. In 1780 the Jewish population numbered 2,325, in 1847, 6,330, and in 1897, 7,108 (about half the total). A main occupation was dealing in grain and hops. During World War i and the civil war in Russia (to 1921), the city changed hands a number of times and the community suffered extreme hardship, mainly of an economic nature. In March 1918 the Cossacks staged a pogrom killing 18 Jews. While Dubno belonged to Poland (1921–39), the community maintained many cultural institutions and there was an active Zionist and pioneer movement. In 1921 they numbered 5,315 (total population 9,146), and in 1931, 7,364 (total population 12,696).

[Yehuda Slutsky /

Shmuel Spector (2nd ed.)]

Holocaust and Postwar Periods

After the outbreak of World War ii Dubno was occupied by Soviet forces (Sept. 18, 1939). The Soviet authorities liquidated the Jewish community institutions, made all political parties illegal, transferred Jewish welfare institutions to the municipality, and allowed only one Jewish activity – the public kitchen for refugees from the West. All Jewish economic enterprises and buildings were nationalized. Jewish leaders, among them David Perl, president of the Zionist Organization, were arrested. When the German-Soviet war broke out (June 1941), hundreds of young Jewish men escaped from Dubno to the Soviet interior. After the Germans entered Dubno (June 25), the local Ukrainian population indulged in acts of murder and robbery, while the Germans extracted 100,000 rubles ($20,000) from the Jewish community. On July 22, 1941, 80 Jews were executed by the Nazis in the local cemetery; one month later 900 were killed. The Germans organized a Judenrat headed by Konrad Tojbenfeld. The Jewish population was conscripted for forced labor and many succumbed to the unbearable conditions. The winter that followed (1941–42) was marked by hunger and disease, despite the attempts to provide relief by organizing public kitchens. Two ghettoes were established at the beginning of April 1942, one for the workers and their families and the second for the rest of the Jews. On May 26–27, 1942, the Germans murdered all the Jews in the second ghetto, burying them in mass graves on the outskirts of the city. In August 1942 Jews from the environs and survivors were brought to the first ghetto. On October 5, 1942, about 4,500 inhabitants of the ghetto were murdered. The remaining 353, needed as artisans, were murdered on October 23, 1942, and the last 14 Jews escaped. Two partisan groups were formed by Dubno escapees. One headed by Isaac Wasserman was wiped out by the Germans, the other suffered losses in battles and the last 16 fighters joined the Polish self-defense units which fought the Ukrainian upa. When the war was over only about 300 Jews from Dubno remained alive, including those who had returned from the Soviet Union. No Jewish community was reestablished after the war.

[Aharon Weiss /

Shmuel Spector (2nd ed.)]

Hebrew Printing

The first Hebrew printing press was set up in Dubno in 1794 by Jonathan b. Jacob of Wielowies, Silesia. Jonathan's partner was M. Piotrowsky, a non-Jew, and the business was under the patronage of Prince Lubomirski, the ruler of the town, whose escutcheon and initials appeared on the title pages. The press was active for nine years and produced 22 books. Another press was founded in 1804 by the printer Aaron b. Jonah, who owned a similar business in Ostrog, in partnership with Joseph b. Judah Leib. During the four years Aaron was in Dubno ten books were published. Dubno's rabbi, Ḥayyim Mordecai Margolioth, established a press in 1819, printing works by his brother Ephraim Zalman of Brody, and a Shulḥan Arukh with his own commentaries (Sha'arei Teshuvah) and those of his brother (Yad Ephraim). The press was closed after a fire.


P. Pesis, Ir Dubno ve-Rabbaneha (1902); H.S. Margolies, Dubno Rabbati (1910); H.D. Friedberg, Toledot ha-Defus ha-Ivri be-Polanyah (19502), 119–20; A. Yaari, in: ks, 9 (1932/33), 432; Rivkind, ibid., 11 (1934/35), 386–7. holocaust period: M. Weisberg, in: Fun Letstn Khurbn, 2 (1946), 14–27; Elimelekh, in; Yalkut Volhyn, 1 (1945), index; Fefer, ibid., index; Dubno (1966), memorial book (Heb. and Yid.). add. bibliography: pk.