— online burials catalog.

Mstislavl is the center of the eponymous district of the Mogilev region of Belarus. It was first mentioned in written sources since the 12th century. From the 14th century, it was part of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, and from the 16th century, it was the center of the voivodeship of the same name.

Sources mention that Jews have been settling in the city since the 16th century. Official permission to live in the city in a separate quarter was received from King Vladislav IV in 1636. At the same time, a wooden synagogue appeared.

Initially, Jews settled outside the city ramparts. The community was poor and sources mention that in the 17th century it was forced to pledge the jewels from the synagogue to the burgomaster. Two centuries later, the situation changed and Jewish houses and shops were located in the center of the city, and the houses of Christians were on the outskirts.

The city was located on the border with Muscovy, so it regularly suffered from the invasion of troops. Since the end of the 16th century, Jews living on the outskirts of the city regularly suffered from pogroms by Moscow soldiers. There is information that Peter I personally stopped the pogrom in 1708.

After 1772, Mstislavl became part of the Russian Empire. By the 1780s, Jews began to dominate among the city’s merchants. Preserved information of 1785, according to which 99 of the 108 merchants of Mstislavl were Jews.

In 1843, there were clashes in the city between Jews and soldiers, who tried to confiscate contraband goods from Jewish merchants. By order of Nicholas I, the perpetrators were tried by a military court, 160 people were sent to prison, and the community was obliged to appoint one recruit for every 10 people. When a special commission from the capital sorted out the case, the Jews were released from prisons, and the recruits returned home.

By 1897, 5 thousand Jews lived in the city, who accounted for 60% of the urban population. After the revolution, the Jews of Mstislavl began to leave for large cities in droves. As a result, by 1939, 2 thousand Jews remained in the city, or 19.6% of the townspeople.

In the 1920s, seven and four-year Yiddish schools operated in the city, which were closed in the late 1930s.

The Nazis occupied the city in July 1941. Part of the Jewish population managed to evacuate. The rest were imprisoned in a ghetto. In October 1941, the invaders killed about 1.3 thousand Jews. The entire Jewish population of the city perished.

After the war, a memorial was erected at the place of death. In 2005, a monument was erected in its place without specifying the nationality of the victims, and in 2011 the memorial was renewed and mentions of Jews appeared on it.

As of 2009, there were 15 Jews in the city (0.14% of the population). — online burials catalog.
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