DIVIN (Pol. Dywin), town in Polesie district, Poland; now Brest-Litovsk district, Belarus, A small number of Jews lived there from the mid-16th century and an organized settlement existed from the end the century, as attested in a document from 1631. In 1634 the Polish king Wladislus IV ratified the ancient rights of Jews in Divin to acquire houses and building plots, and to engage in commerce. The local community owned a synagogue, a bath house, and a cemetery. In the framework of the Lithuanian Council, Divin was under the jurisdiction of the community of *Brest-Litovsk. In 1656 the Jews in the town were given one-third of the revenues from the municipal leases (they had requested one-half); supervision over these was entrusted to a committee consisting of two Christians and a Jew. There were 221 Jews living in Divin in 1756 and 556 in 1847. During the 19th century, the Jews there mainly engaged in smallscale commerce and crafts. The community numbered 1,094 in 1897 (3,737 the total population) and 786 in 1921 (34.1%). The laying of railways and roads at a great distance from Divin in the second half of the 19th century caused economic hardships and the Jewish population dropped. Divin was occupied by the Germans in the beginning of World War II. An open ghetto was established, and Jews from the villages were brought in, the number of its inhabitants reaching about a thousand. At the end of summer 1942 they were all murdered outside the town.
B. Wasiutyński, Ludność żydowska w Polsce … (1930), 83. ADD. BIBLIOGRAPHY: S. Spector (ed.), Pinkas Ha-Kehillot Polin, vol.. 5, Volhynia and Polesie (1990).
Sources: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.