KRICHEV, town in Mogilev district, Belarus. Jews are mentioned in 1494 as having leased the customs dues of Krichev. In 1667 the Jew Eliash Issakovich leased the town from its owner, Duke Radziwill, and contributed to the towns' economy. During the Voschilo persecutions (1743–44), rebels drove the Jews out of the town and their property was stolen and destroyed. In 1766 there were 424 poll-tax paying Jews in Krichev and the vicinity. The number of Jews rose to 1,255 in 1847, and 2,566 (39% of the total population) in 1897, but had decreased to 1,546 (24.5%) by 1926. In 1928 a Jewish kolkhoz with 18 families began to operate and many Jews also worked in the local cement factory. There was a Yiddish elementary school. The number of Jews in 1939 was 1,362 (8.5% of the total population). The Germans occupied Krichev on July 17, 1941, and most of the Jews fled from town. In October they were confined to a ghetto and taken to do forced labor. Two months later they were taken to the vicinity of the cement factory and killed there. The number of Jews among the 19,000 inhabitants registered in the 1959 census is unknown.
S. Dubnow, in: He-Avar, 1 (1918), 63–65; I. Halpern, in: Zion, 22 (1957), 56–57.
Sources: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.