KAZAN, capital of Tatarstan autonomous republic, in the Russian Federation, an important commercial and industrial center, mainly of the oil industry. Until the 1917 Revolution, Kazan was outside the Jewish *Pale of Settlement. In 1861, 184 Jews lived in the city, most of them veterans of the army of Nicholas I. By 1897, their numbers had increased to 1,467 (1.1% of the total population). Pogroms broke out in the city in October 1905. During World War I many exiles from the battle areas and from Lithuania arrived in Kazan. In 1926, there were 4,156 Jews in the city (2.3% of the population), which grew to 5,278 (1.33% of the total) in 1939. During the subsequent years, under the Soviet regime there was no possibility of developing any Jewish communal life. During WWII many refugees reached the city and remained there after the war. The Jewish population of Kazan was estimated at about 8,000 in 1970. One synagogue existed until 1962, when it was closed down by the authorities. Jews prayed in private houses (minyanim), even though this was prohibited. The Jewish cemetery was still in use in 1970.
Sources: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.