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Derazhnya, Ukraine

DERAZHNYA, town in Khmelnitski district, Ukraine. A Karaite community existed there for many years and it suffered considerably during the *Chmielnickiy uprising of 1648. The *Rabbanites settled there at the beginning of the 18th century. They suffered in a *Haidamack attack in 1734. There were 316 Jews living in Derazhnya in 1784, owning 50 houses, 3,333 in 1897 (68% of the total population), and 3,250 in 1926 (57.4%). *Shalom Aleichem placed the action of his short story "The German" there. A Jewish school with 140 pupils and a library was in operation at the beginning of the 20th century. Pogroms were unleashed on December 1, 1917, and in June 1919. Between the wars there were a Jewish council, a Jewish court, and a kolkhoz in Derazhnya. A Yiddish school attended by 90% (336) of the Jewish children in the town operated there. In 1939 the Jews numbered 2,651 (41% of the total population). The Germans occupied the town on July 11, 1941, and set up a closed ghetto, exacted heavy tributes, and confiscated all valuables. In September 1942, 4,080 Jews from Derazhnya and the surrounding settlements were murdered by the Germans. Two hundred skilled workers were executed later in the year in Letichev. The community was not refounded after World War II.

Sources:Yevrei V SSSR (19294), 48–51.

[Shmuel Spector (2nd ed.)]

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