LETICHEV, town in Khmelnitsky district, Ukraine; under czarist rule a district town in the province of Podolia. Jews are first mentioned there in a document of 1581. The community was destroyed during the *Chmielnicki massacres (1648). More than a century later (1765) 652 Jews paid the poll tax in Letichev and the vicinity. The community grew, numbering 1,852 in 1847 and 4,108 (56.6% of the total population) in 1897. In the years 1881–1882 Jews suffered from pogroms. During the civil war (1919–20) the town and surrounding countryside suffered severely at the hands of rebellious Ukrainian bands. In 1926 there were 2,434 Jews (34%) in the town, their number dropped further to 1,946 (36.5% of the total population) in 1939. The Germans occupied Letichev on July 17, 1941. They created a ghetto and took Jews to forced labor. In September 1942 the Germans murdered 3,000 Jews from the town and its environs. There in November 1942 they killed 4,000 Jews from the counties of Volkovinets and Derazhne. The local Jews who remained in a labor camp were executed in early 1943.
[Yehuda Slutsky /
Shmuel Spector (2nd ed.)]
Source: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.