KRIVOI-ROG


KRIVOI-ROG, city in Dnepropetrovsk district, Ukraine. Jews settled there after the status of Krivoi-Rog was changed in 1860 from a village to a town. In the 1870s fine iron ores were found, and by 1900, 79 mines were operative. An iron foundry was built, the largest in Russia, and beside metallurgical industries, there also developed food and other factories. All these attracted many Jews, and they numbered 2,672 persons (17.9% of the population) in the town in 1897. The city was included in the Yekaterinoslav gubernia (region) which was also an important area of Jewish agricultural settlements. There were pogroms in October 1883 and on October 26, 1905, when four Jews lost their lives. By 1889 there was a synagogue, a talmud torah, and a school for girls, and in 1910, five Jewish public schools and four private. With the establishment of the Soviet regime, the community institutions were liquidated and Jewish communal life suppressed. In 1926 the Jewish population numbered 5,730 (18.3% of the population), doubling by 1939 to 12,745 (197,546 total population). Again in the 1920s the area served as one of the main regions of Jewish agricultural settlements. In 1929 beside the eight old Jewish colonies, there were 78 new settlements with a population of 28,000 persons and 21 Yiddish schools with 800 pupils. In 1924 there were 350 Jewish artisans, some of whom were organized in cooperatives, such as shoemakers, carpenters, bakers, and others. In the second half of the 1930s many Jews were absorbed as workers and clerks in the city industries. In the 1920s a Yiddish school existed but owing to negligence it was apparently closed. It was opened again in 1933 as a seven-year school, later to become a ten-year high school. In 1935 there were 220 pupils, 75 of them from the farms in the county. The Germans occupied Krivoi-Rog on August 14, 1941; many Jews escaped or were evacuated before then. The Jews were ordered to give up all their valuables and to pay a heavy ransom. At the end of August Einsatzkommando 6 killed 105 Jews. In the first 21 days of September another 86 were killed by the same unit. On October 14 about 4,000 Jews and 800 Soviet prisoners of war were gathered, taken to mine number 6, and murdered there, while infants were thrown alive into the mine. This was done by a unit from the 1st SS Infantry Brigade. According to official Soviet sources, 6,419 civilians were murdered. Krivoi-Rog was liberated on February 22–24, 1944. Many Jews returned to the city. The synagogue was closed in 1959. In 1970 the Jewish population was estimated at about 15,000. Most left in the 1990s but Jewish life revived.

[Yehuda Slutsky /

Shmuel Spector (2nd ed.)]


Source: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.