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Bykhov, Bykhov County, Mogilev District, Belarus

To enlarge the map click here Synagogue in Bykhov, 2008 Synagogue in Bykhov, 2008 Courtesy the Mishpoha journal (Vitebsk)

The exact date of the first Jewish settlement in Bykhov is unknown; most probably, it was in the 1620s. The Jews of Staryi Bykhov are mentioned in Jewish sources as victims of Cossack and peasant riots during the Khmelnitsky Uprising in 1648-49. In 1659, during Muscovy’s (Russia’s) war against Poland, the Muscovite troops conducted a pogrom in which 300 Jews were massacred.
In October 1904, a pogrom took place in Bykhov; draftees to the army burned sixty Jewish shops; there were no murders.
In 1925, a Jewish kolkhoz was established four kilometers from the town, and in 1929 another Jewish kolkhoz was set up close by. The Yiddish seven-year school was closed in the late 1930s. The 1939 population census lists 2,295 Jews, 20.8 percent of the total inhabitants.
The fate of Bykhov’s Jews was connected with those living in the village of Novyi Bykhov (New Bykhov), 20 kilometers south of the town. According to the census, in 1923 there were 347 Jews in Novyi Bykhov.
Bykhov was occupied by the Germans on July 4, 1941. Only a small fraction of the town’s Jews succeeded to flee. The Jews of Bykhov were murdered in two mass murder operations in September and November 1941.
The town was liberated by the Red Army on June 28, 1944.