BRYANSK, Oriol district, Russia. Jews lived in the town in the 15th century but were expelled. Bryansk was outside the *Pale of Settlement, and the community established there in the second half of the 19th century was made up of Jews who were permitted to live outside the Pale (discharged soldiers, registered merchants of the guilds, etc.). In 1896 they were authorized to maintain a synagogue and by 1897 the Jewish residents numbered 1,321. Pogroms occurred in Bryansk in October 1905. After the 1917 Revolution, the Jewish population increased, numbering 2,500 in 1926 (9.1% of the total) and 5,102 in 1939 (total population 87,490).The Germans occupied the city on October 6, 1941. The Jews who had not managed to escape were murdered in August 1942. After the war 7,500 bodies of Jews and gypsies were found in 14 graves. In 1970 it was estimated that between 4,000 and 6,000 Jews lived in the town. They had one synagogue but no rabbi. According to the 2002 Russian census the Jewish population of the entire Bryansk district, of which the city of Bryanski was the capital, was 2,344.
Die Judenpogrome in Russland, 2 (1909), 498–504.
Source: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.