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Borisov, Belarus

BORISOV, town in Minsk district, Belarus. Jews were living there in the 17th century; 249 Jewish taxpayers are recorded in Borisov in 1776. The main Jewish occupations were trade in grain and timber, sent northward by river to Riga via the Dvina and to southern Russia via the Dnieper. Jews owned all the town's match factories, most of whose workers were Jewish. Around 1900 Borisov became a center of Bund activity. The Jewish population numbered 2,851 in 1861; 7,722 in 1897 (54.2% of the total); and 10,617 on the outbreak of World War I, subsequently decreasing to 8,358 (32.3%) by 1926. In the summer of 1920 Polish soldiers staged a pogrom, killing and injuring 300 Jews. During the Soviet period many Jews were employed in artisan cooperatives and factories. In 1939 there were 10,011 Jews (total population 49,108). The Germans entered Borisov on July 2, 1941. In August, 739 Jews were murdered, followed by 439 being labeled as "robbers and saboteurs." Another 176 were murdered for opposing the creation of a closed ghetto, where about 7,000 Jews were packed in. On October 20–21, 1941 (October 7–9 according to another source), over 7,000 Jews were murdered at the airport. In October 1943 the Germans opened the mass graves nearby and burned the bodies.


Lipkind, in: Keneset ha-Gedolah, 1 (1890), 26–32; Eisenstadt, in: Bleter far Geshikhte, 9 (1956), 45–70; Office of U.S. Chief of Counsel for Prosecution of Axis Criminality, Nazi Conspiracy and Aggression, 5 (1946), 772–6. ADD. BIBLIOGRAPHY: Jewish Life, S.V.

[Simha Katz and Yehuda Slutsky / Shmuel Spector (2nd ed.)]

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