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KONOTOP , Sumy district in Ukraine. At the beginning of the 19th century, only about 80 Jews lived in Konotop, but by 1847 the number had grown to 521. Jewish life in the town during the 19th century is described in her memoirs by Pauline *Wengeroff, who lived there for some years. The numbers increased considerably during the second half of the 19th century as a result of the movement of Jews from the northwestern provinces of the *Pale of Settlement to the southeastern ones, reaching 4,426 (23.5% of the total population) in 1897. On April 29, 1881, the Jews of Konotop suffered from a pogrom which left one dead, and many destroyed houses. They were again attacked during the Civil War by the volunteer army of General *Denikin on September 19, 1919; six were killed, ten injured, women were raped, and houses robbed. With the establishment of the Soviet regime, about 500 artisans were organized in cooperatives and had a savings and loan fund. Komzet sent 83 Jewish families from Konotop to farm in the Kherson Jewish colonies. In 1926 there were 5,763 Jews (17.2% of the population) in Konotop, dropping to 3,941 (8.6% of the total population) in 1939. The Germans occupied the town on September 9, 1941; in the first few days they killed 123 Jews. Later registration showed 1,000 Jews in Konotop, and they were ordered to wear the yellow badge and report for forced labor. In early November they were concentrated mostly in the local prison, and shortly thereafter all were murdered. Jews returned there after the war. In 1959 there were 1,900 Jews, and in 1970 their number was estimated at about 250 (50 families).


P. Wengeroff, Memoiren einer Grossmutter, 2 (1910), 64–115.

[Yehuda Slutsky /

Shmuel Spector (2nd ed.)]