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Grozny, Russia

GROZNY, capital of the Chechen Republic in Russia, formerly in S.W. European R.S.F.S.R. Situated on the Rostov-Baku railroad, it has been an oil-producing center since 1893. Until 1917 the city was outside the Pale of Settlement, but a community of *mountain (Tat) Jews existed there, which in 1866 numbered 928 persons living in 197 houses. In 1897 the Jewish population numbered 1,711 (11% of the total population) divided into two communities: mountain Jews and "Ashkenazim." In 1900 a synagogue built in Oriental style was opened. The community suffered heavily during the civil war of 1918–21 and many Jews left the city. There remained 1,274 in 1926 (1.7% of the population), but the Jewish population grew to 3,992 in 1939 (2.3% of the total), in 1939. In World War II, during the summer of 1942, the German advance was halted just before reaching Grozny and the Jews of the city were saved from annihilation. The Jewish population according to the 1959 census numbered 4,981 in the towns of the then Chechen-Ingush Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic; it may be assumed that the majority lived in Grozny. By 1970 the number of Jews in Grozny was estimated at about 10,000. The only synagogue serving the "Tat" Jews, who reside in a Jewish quarter, was confiscated in 1962. In the 1990s almost all the Jews left, mostly for Israel.

[Yehuda Slutsky]

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