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Nezhin

NEZHIN

NEZHIN , city in Chernigov district, Ukraine. Jews first settled in Nezhin in the early 17th century, but the community was destroyed during the Khmelnitski uprising. They resettled there in the early 18th century. The ẓaddik Dov Ber of *Lubavich, the son of *Shneur Zalman of Lyady, the "middle rabbi" of Chabad Ḥasidism, died and was interred in Nezhin in 1827. The town became a center for the Chabad Ḥasidim of the Ukraine. It was especially well known while Israel Noah *Schneersohn lived there from 1867 to 1882. In 1847, 1,299 Jews were registered in the community; in 1897 there were 7,631 Jews (24% of the total population). The waves of pogroms which overtook Russian Jewry on July 20–22, 1881, and in 1905 also affected the Jews of Nezhin. On September 2, 1919, Nezhin's Jews were attacked by soldiers of the "volunteer army" of *Denikin, 100 Jews were killed, many women raped, and much property pillaged. The dead included Menahem Mendel Ḥen, rabbi of Nezhin. The Yiddish poet *Mani-Leib (Mani-Leib Brahinski) was born there. In 1926, there were 6,131 Jews in Nezhin (16.1% of the population), their number dropping in 1939 to 2,725 (7% of the total population). The Germans occupied the town on September 13, 1941. Most of the Jews succeeded in escaping. The few dozens who remained were killed by October 1941. In 1959 there were 1,400 Jews (3% of the total population) in Nezhin.

bibliography:

S.M. Dubnow and G.I. Krasny-Agman (eds.), Materialy dlya istorii antiyevreyskikh pogromov v Rossii, 2 (1923), 153–4, 348–57; Die Judenpogrome in Russland, 2 (1909), 287–94; I.B. Shekhtman, Pogromy Dobrovolcheskoy Armii na Ukrainie (1932), 323–6.

[Yehuda Slutsky]

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