Shklov

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SHKLOV

SHKLOV (Pol. Szklów ), city in Mogilev district, Belarus; within Poland until 1772. Jews apparently first settled in Shklov during the 16th century. By the end of the 17th century the traveler Korb wrote (Regesty i nadpisi, 2) that the Jews formed the "wealthiest and most influential class of the town," which was then a commercial center at the junction of trade routes between Russia and Western Europe. In 1746 the Shklov community broke away from the council of the "province of Reissen" (or "Russia," one of the provinces within the framework of the *Councils of the Lands) and became independent. There were 1,367 Jews in Shklov and its surroundings who paid the poll tax in 1766. When Shklov passed to Russia in the first partition of Poland in 1772, it was handed over to General Zorich. The Jews complained to the central government, which then restricted the authority of the master of the city. During the first 50 years of Russian rule Shklov became a commercial center of prime importance. Two large fairs were held there annually and the merchants attending it traveled from Central Asia and Moscow to the commercial towns of Central Europe. Shklov was also a center of Jewish culture. The disciples of *Elijah b. Solomon, the Gaon of Vilna, were influential there. Between 1783 and 1835 several printing presses operated in Shklov, and about 200 books were published. It was in Shklov that *Haskalah first actively emerged in the *Pale of Settlement. Baruch *Schick, Nathan (Note) *Notkin, and Joshua *Zeitlin were active there. The Hebrew version of Kol Shavat Bat Yehudah (1804) by Y.L. *Nevakhovich, which called on the Russian government to grant Jews equal rights, was published in Shklov. After the construction of new roads and railroads bypassing Shklov, the city began to decline. The community numbered 9,677 in 1847, 5,422 (77% of the total population) in 1897, and 3,119 (37.6%) in 1926. P. *Smolenskin describes Shklov in its decline in his stories Ha-To'eh be-Darkhei Ḥayyim and Kevurat Ḥamor. Zalman *Shneur, a native of Shklov, immortalized the community life and folklore in Anshei Shklov, and No'ah Pandre. After the Communist Revolution of 1917, communal life was liquidated. In the 1930s, 50 Jewish families earned their livelihood from working in three kolkhozes, one of them was a Jewish one with 30 families. In 1939 the Jewish population declined again to 2,132 (26% of the total population). The Germans arrived there in July 1941. They created two ghettoes for the local Jews and from the environs, one in town, housing 3,200, and the second in the neighboring town of Ryzhkovichi with 2,700 Jews. Young Jews were executed from time to time from both ghettoes. In early October 1941 both ghettoes were liquidated, and the inhabitants were murdered.

bibliography:

Prestupleniya nemetsko-fashistskikh okkupantov v Belorussii (1963), 154–5.

[Yehuda Slutsky]

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