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Дзяржынск (Belarusian)
Дзержинск (Russian)
Flag of Dzyarzhynsk
Coat of arms of Dzyarzhynsk
Coat of arms
Dzyarzhynsk is located in Belarus
Coordinates: 53°41′00″N 27°08′00″E / 53.68333°N 27.13333°E / 53.68333; 27.13333
Country Belarus
VoblastMinsk Region
RaionDzyarzhynsk District
 • Total25,164
Time zoneUTC+2 (EET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+3 (EEST)
Postal code
Area code(s)+375 1716
License plate5
WebsiteOfficial website

Dzyarzhynsk or Dzerzhinsk, formerly Koidanova or Koydanava (Belarusian: Дзяржы́нск, romanizedDziaržynsk, formerly Ко́йданава, romanized: Kojdanava; Russian: Дзержи́нск, romanizedDzerzhinsk, formerly Ко́йданава, romanized: Koydanava; Polish: Kojdanów; Yiddish: קוידנוב‎, romanizedKoidanov; Lithuanian: Kaidanava), in the Dzyarzhynsk District of Belarus, is a city with a history dating to the 11th century.


In the Middle Ages, the village belonged to the Radziwiłłs, a Polish–Lithuanian aristocratic family. Jews lived in Koidanova as early as 1620.[2]

Jewish community

Jews lived in Koidanova as early as 1620.[2] Koidanova became the site of a new Hasidic Jewish dynasty in 1833 when Rabbi Shlomo Chaim Perlow (1797–1862) became the first Koidanover Rebbe.[3] He was succeeded by his son, Rabbi Boruch Mordechai Perlow (1818–1870), grandson, Rabbi Aharon Perlow (1839–1897), and great-grandson, Rabbi Yosef Perlow of Koidanov-Minsk (1854-1915), who was the last Koidanover Rebbe to live in the town. After World War I, the dynasty was moved to Baranovichi, Poland.[4]

In 1847, Koidanova had 2,497 Jewish inhabitants.[2] In 1897 the city had a total population of 4,744, of whom 3,156 were Jews.[5]

Inter-war period

The People's House in Dzyarzhynsk, capital of the Dzierżyńszczyzna, in 1932
The People's House in Dzyarzhynsk, capital of the Dzierżyńszczyzna, in 1932

In May 1932 it was granted the status of a city and was renamed Koidanau (Belarusian: Ко́йданаў, romanizedKojdanaŭ) or Koydanov (Russian: Ко́йданов, romanizedKoydanov). In June of that year it was renamed again as Dziaržynsk by the Communist authorities, in honour of Felix Dzerzhinsky (1877–1926), a famous Bolshevik creator and chief of the "Cherezzychainaya Komissija" (CHEKA) – the Soviet secret police - who was born in a Dziaržynava estate not far from the city, although on the other side of the then Polish-Soviet border.[2]

The city was the capital of the short-lived Dzierzynszczyzna Polish Autonomous District during 1932–38.[2]

World War II

It fell under German occupation during World War II. It was captured on June 28, 1941.

The Lithuanian Twelfth Schutzmannschaft (auxiliary police) Battalion's 1st Company, led by Lieutenant Z. Kemzura, massacred approximately 1,600 Jews from the city on October 21, 1941, shooting them and throwing them into a pit; many were buried alive.[6][7][8] As it is reported in The Complete Black Book of Russian Jewry: "For three hours the earth covering the mass grave would move; people still alive were trying to crawl out of their grave."[8] On March 1–2,1942, the Einsatzgruppen transported several thousand Jews from throughout Belarussia and murdered them in Koidanov.[9] The city was liberated by the Soviet Red Army on July 6, 1944.[2]

Modern day

Shopping centre in Dzyarzhynsk
Shopping centre in Dzyarzhynsk

In 1998, the city had 24,700 inhabitants.[10]

Now part of Belarus, the name Kojdanava (Belarusian: Койданава) is becoming popular again (it is the official name for the railway station of Dziarzhynsk), but the official name remains unchanged.


The highest point of Belarus, Dziaržynskaja Hara, is several kilometers from Dziaržynsk.


There is a railway road across the city from Minsk Passazhirsky to Baranovichi Polesskie.

There is only one bus route in Dziarzhynsk, that has 18 stops.

Notable residents


  1. ^ "Belarus: largest cities and towns and statistics of their population". World Gazetteer. Archived from the original on January 11, 2013.
  2. ^ a b c d e f "Koidanova". Retrieved August 20, 2011.
  3. ^ Glassman, Deborah G. (2004). "Rabbonim, Rebbes, and Crown Rabbis, of Lyakhovichi". JewishGen. Retrieved June 20, 2012.
  4. ^ Nadler, Allen (2010). "Koidanov Hasidic Dynasty". The YIVO Encyclopedia of Jews in Eastern Europe. Retrieved June 20, 2012.
  5. ^ "Jewish population of Minsk uezd according to the 1897 Russian Census". Retrieved June 20, 2012.
  6. ^ "Jewish Heritage Research Group in Belarus". October 21, 1941. Retrieved August 20, 2011.
  7. ^ Breitman, Richard (1997). "Himmler's Police Auxiliaries in the Occupied Soviet Territories". Simon Wiesenthal Center Multimedia Learning Center. Archived from the original on July 27, 2011. Retrieved August 20, 2011.CS1 maint: unfit url (link)
  8. ^ a b Patterson, David (June 13, 2003). The Complete Black Book of Russian Jewry. ISBN 9781412820073. Retrieved August 20, 2011.
  9. ^ United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (1995). Historical Atlas of the Holocaust. Macmillan / Simon & Schuster. ISBN 978-0028974514. See in Routes to Roots Foundation, Inc. Archived August 21, 2016, at the Wayback Machine
  10. ^ "BELARUS: urban population". Retrieved August 20, 2011.

External links

This page was last edited on 20 August 2020, at 20:40
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