Stolin

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STOLIN

STOLIN , city in Pinsk district, W. Belarus. Jews are assumed to have settled in Stolin in the 17th century. They acquired land from the owner of the estate, Stachowski, who had divided the area into building plots. They built houses and contributed toward the development of Stolin. At the end of World War i, the Jews suffered at the hands of armies passing through the town, such as the gangs of *Petlyura, the Germans, the Russians, and finally the Poles who took the town. The Jews earned their livelihood from minor trade and crafts. The economic occupations of Jews, however, hardly provided for their needs, and many were compelled to emigrate. During Poland's independence the hardships of Jews increased because of the government's Polonization policy which aimed to support and strengthen merchants and craftsmen. Social and cultural activity among the Jews was highly developed. During the 19th century Ḥasidism wielded much influence and a court of the Stolin-*Karlin dynasty was active. At the beginning of the 20th century Zionist influence was intensified. The last rabbis of the town were Israel Perlow (d. 1922) and his son Moses Perlow. In 1921 there were 2,966 Jews (62.4% of the population).

[Shimon Leib Kirshenboim]

Holocaust Period

Soviet authorities took over in Stolin in September 1939. When Germany attacked the USSR on June 22, 1941, the Soviet army retreated and Ukrainian nationalists took over the local government and began organizing pogroms against the Jews. The Jewish community, to ensure its safety, set up a committee (including Rabbis Moses Perlow, Aaron Dorczin, and Solomon Polak) which prevented the impending attacks. On August 22 the district German authorities arrived from Rovno, and imposed a fine of 1,000,000 rubles on the Jewish community. The Judenrat, headed by Nathan Bergner (a refugee from Lodz), used every means at its disposal, including personal contacts and bribes, in an attempt to aid the Jewish population. In the fall of 1941 all the Jews from the towns and villages in the vicinity were sent to Stolin but the Ukrainian authorities prevented their admission into the city. The Judenrat intervened with the authorities to allow the entrance of 1,500 refugees. Public kitchens were set up for them. The ghetto, containing 7,000 persons, was established on the eve of Shavuot 1942. On September 10 the Judenrat members were executed and the following day the Germans and their Ukrainian collaborators rounded up all the inmates in the market square. The sick and elderly were shot in their beds. All the Jews of Stolin and the vicinity were led off in groups of 500 and killed in the forest near Dolin. Some Jewish groups tried to reach the forests. Moses Glazer and Asher Shapira, who sought contact with the partisans, were turned over by Ukrainian peasants to the Germans and hanged. The few survivors made their way to partisan units in the vicinity. After the war the Jewish community of Stolin was not rebuilt. A society of former residents of Stolin functions in Israel.

By 2005, a Jewish community center had been established in Stolin.

[Aharon Weiss]

bibliography:

Sefer Zikkaron li-Kehillat Stolin ve-ha-Sevivah (1952).