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SHPOLA, townlet in S. Kiev district, Ukraine. *Aryeh Leib (Shpoler Zeyde), a disciple of *Israel b. Eliezer the Ba'al Shem Tov, lived in Shpola during the late 18th and early 19th centuries. In the late 18th century there were 231 Jews. In 1847 the community numbered 1,516 Jews and in 1863, there were 2,534. The Kiev-Odessa railroad which passed near the town helped it to develop and become a center of the grain and sugar industry. In 1897 there were 5,388 Jews (45.3% of the total population) in Shpola. The Jews lived in the town proper, while the remainder of the inhabitants, mostly peasants, lived in the suburbs. The community suffered during the Civil War, and in 1919 both the soldiers of hetman Grigoryev (in May) and the armies of General *Denikin carried out pogroms. Under Soviet rule a Jewish city council existed, 95 families founded a Kolkhoz on the town outskirts, and 134 Jews worked in a furniture factory. Most of the Jewish children studied in a Yiddish school. There were 5,379 Jews (35%) in Shpola in 1926, the number dropping to 2,397 in 1939 (16.2% of the total population). The Germans occupied Shpola on July 30, 1941. On September 9 160 Jewish professionals were executed. In late September a ghetto was established where, owing to the very crowded living conditions, each day some 10 to 12 people died. On April 15, 1942, groups of able-bodied Jewswere sent to work camps where they perished. On May 15, 1942, 760 women, children, and elderly were murdered; 225 able-bodied workers were sent to Brodetsk camp, where they were killed in December 1942. Another 105 were murdered in Shostkiv camp, and the last Jews were murdered in the beginning of 1943. In 1959 there were about 600 Jews in Shpola again, but most left in the 1990s.


D. Cohen, Shpola (Heb., 1965).

Sources: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2007 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.