MOZYR , city in Polesie district, Belarus. After the second partition of Poland (1793), Mozyr was annexed by Russia and became a county town in the province (gubernia) of Minsk until the Russian Revolution. Jews are mentioned there in the 16th century. Many were wounded, killed, and robbed by the soldiers of *Chmielnicki in 1648. In 1766 there were 896 Jewish taxpayers in the community of Mozyr and the surrounding villages; these increased to 2,256 in 1847 and 5,631 (70% of the total population) in 1897. The Jews played an important role in the wood industry which developed in the town and its vicinity, owning several sawmills and match factories. Mozyr was one of the towns where the *Bund was active. A Russian language school operated from 1899, as did a yeshivah. During the Russian Civil War (1917–21) the Jews suffered at the hands of the "volunteer army" of Bulak-Balakhowich, who fought the Soviet regime. Many were wounded and 44 murdered, women were raped, and property looted. With the consolidation of the Soviet regime Jewish public institutions were liquidated. In 1926 there were 5,901 persons in the town (61.3% of the population), and 6,307 (36.1% of the total population) in 1939. Until 1938 there were two Yiddish elementary schools. Mozyr was occupied by the Germans on August 22, 1941. Some Jews succeeded in leaving town. In the fall a ghetto was established housing 1,500 persons. In the week of January 7, 1942, they were murdered, and another 700 Jews were drowned in the Pripet River.
S. Agurski, Revolyutsionnoye dvizheniye v Belorussii (1928), 142; Prestupleniya nemetsko – fashistskikn okkupantov v Belorussii (1965), 310, 320.
[Yehuda Slutsky /
Shmuel Spector (2nd ed.)]