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Kopys

Kopys, Orsha County, Vitebsk District, Belarus

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Jews first inhabited Kopys in the mid-seventeenth century. Most of the Jews belonged to Habad stream of Judaism, and in the first half of the nineteenth century, a local Habad printing house issued thousands of copies of Jewish books. Among the main sources of Jewish livelihood was the manufacture and export of ceramic tiles and pottery. In April 1905, the Jews of Kopys suffered a pogrom.
During the Soviet period, tile manufacture decreased, and many Jews became craftsmen or worked in agriculture. In 1924, a Yiddish school opened in the town. The Jewish population in Kopys diminished, numbering just 409 inhabitants (10 percent of its total population) by 1939.
The Germans occupied Kopys in 1941. According to different sources, in October (or December) 1941, 200 - 300 Jews from Kopys were concentrated in a ghetto at the site of a flax factory, one kilometer from the town. They were murdered in January 1942.
Kopys was liberated by the Red Army on June 27, 1944.