RADZIWILLOW (since 1940, Chervonoarmeisk), town in Volhynia, today in Rovno district, Ukraine. A Jewish community existed in Radziwillow from the end of the 16th century. In 1787 the owner of the town, K. Miączyński, obtained permission from King Stanislaus II Augustus (Poniatowski) to establish a printing press for Hebrew books. At that time Jewish merchants and contractors founded an explosives factory in the town. From 298 Jews who paid poll tax in 1765, the community increased to 3,064 in 1857 and 4,322 (59 percent of the total population) in 1897. The majority were shopkeepers, tailors, and furriers, but some Jews also engaged in tanning, joinery, manufacture of building materials, and transportation; the wealthy traded in timber and grain. Branches of the Jewish labor movement and of the Zionist movement were first organized in 1905–06. The Jewish population of Radziwillow suffered heavily during World War I and the civil war between Ukrainian nationalists and Bolsheviks. In 1920 the town was incorporated into independent Poland. By 1921 the number of Jews had declined to 2,036 (48 percent). Jews dominated the grain trade between the world wars. Jewish cultural and educational institutions functioned until 1939, among them a Hebrew Tarbut school with 300 pupils.
In 1939 the Jewish population numbered more than 3,000. As a result of the Soviet-German partition of Poland, the Red Army entered the city on Sept. 19, 1939. The Soviet authorities conducted a survey to determine how many of the refugees wished to return to the German-occupied zone. All those who declared that they wished to do so were deported in the summer of 1940 to the Soviet interior. After June 22, 1941, when war broke out between Germany and the U.S.S.R., groups of Jews retreated with the Red Army, but were turned back by the Soviet border patrol at the old Soviet-Polish border. Most of these Jews returned to Radziwillow.
On June 27, 1941, the city was captured by the Germans. In the first few weeks the Jewish population suffered damage to life and property at the hands of the Ukrainian police and population. On July 15, 1941, 28 Jews were killed for being "dangerous Communists." The following day the Germans set the synagogue aflame and burned the Torah scrolls. On April 9, 1942, a ghetto was established for 2,600 Jews, and divided into two categories: "fit" and "unfit" for labor. Only about 400 persons were found to be "fit." On May 29, 1942, an Aktion took place and some 1,500 persons were killed near the city. After this Aktion the youth attempted to organize; at the head of one of these underground organizations was Asher Czerkaski. A second Aktion took place on Oct. 5, 1942, and hundreds of persons were killed in Suchodoly. Under the assumption that this was a final Aktion mass suicides were committed and some 500 Jews broke out of the ghetto and succeeded in reaching the forests, but only 50 of them survived; some reached Brody, where a ghetto still existed, but later they also perished.
B. Wasiutaʿński, Ludność żydowska w Polsce w wiekach XIX i XX (1930), 85; I. Schiper, Dzieje handlu żydowskiego na ziemiach polskich (1937), index; Radzivilov; Sefer Zikkaron (Heb. and Yid., 1966).
Source: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.