Jews in Vietka, Belarus

https://bit.ly/3ekhCUA — online burials catalog.

Vietka is the center of the eponymous district of the Gomel region of Belarus. It received the status of a city in 1925.Old Believers who fled from central Russia founded the settlement in the 17th century. There is no exact data as to when the Jews appeared in Vietka. It is known that at the end of the 18th century there was a synagogue here. By the first quarter of the 19th century, 225 male Jews lived in the village, paying taxes.During the 19th century, the Jewish population of Vietka grew to 3.7 thousand people. Jews, according to the 1895 census, accounted for 52% of the local population. At the beginning of the 20th century, there were seven synagogues in the city. The Lubavitch Hasidim served as rabbis.Jews played a significant role in the development of local industry. By the beginning of the twentieth century, they owned 12 enterprises in Vietka (several rope factories, croupiers, etc.).Since the end of the 19th century, the city has had a Jewish almshouse. In addition, from the beginning of the 20th century, a bookstore and a savings and loan society worked.In 1902, Jewish political parties went on strike in Vietka. During the 1905 revolution, the community suffered from a pogrom.Jews played an important role in the establishment of Soviet power in the village. Since the late 1920s, the authorities launched an offensive against the way of life of the Jewish community. The mikvah, cheder and synagogue were closed. In 1937, the last Jewish school in the region was redesigned into a Belarusian-Jewish school with teaching in Belarusian.With the beginning of the Soviet reforms, the population of the village began to grow, and the number of Jews decreased. In 1925, Vietka became a city. A year later, 48 Jews went to found an agricultural colony in the Dzhankoy region of Crimea. In 1926, the proportion of Jews in the mass of the population decreased to 35.5%. With the onset of industrialization, Jewish youth began to leave for large cities and by 1939, just over 900 Jews lived in Vietka.With the start of the German invasion, about 30 families managed to evacuate. Some of Vietka’s Jews were drafted into the army. Thus, the Book of Memory of the Vietka District lists 75 Jewish soldiers who died at the front.The city was occupied from August 1941 to September 1943. The Nazis conducted a census of the Jewish population, but did not create a ghetto. In December 1941, about 360 Jews were shot in an anti-tank ditch outside the city. The monument to the victims was erected in 1973.In 2009, according to the official census, there were two Jews living in Vietka.

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