| Subscribe | Press Room | Store | Friends | Contact Us

Łachwa

Łachwa, Łuniniec County, Polesie District, Poland (today Lakhva) , Belarus )

To enlarge the map click here Lubaczynska Street, Łachwa, 1926 Lubaczynska Street, Łachwa, 1926 Yitzhak Rochzyn, commander of the Jewish revolt in Łachwa Yitzhak Rochzyn, commander of the Jewish revolt in Łachwa YVA, Photo Collection 3488/46

Jewish settlement in Łachwa most probably began in the seventeenth century. The Jews of Łachwa were mainly craftsmen; some ran small businesses (shops, windmills, various warehouses and others). There were three synagogues in the town, as well as the “Yavneh” school. In the beginning of 1920s, some 1,100 Jews, one third of the total population, lived in Łachwa. From 1939, following the outbreak of World War II, the Jewish population grew by about 40 percent, as a result of refugees fleeing German-occupied Poland.
Łachwa was occupied by the Germans on July 7 or 8, 1941. Only a few of its inhabitants fled eastwards. On August 16 and 18, 1941, the Jews of Łachwa were made to dig ditches, and a rumor began to circulate that a killing operation was about to take place. However, Judenrat Chairman Dov Lopatin managed to avert the decree with a bribe of gold.
The Łachwa ghetto was established on April 1, 1942. Its initial population of 2,350 inhabitants swelled in late April, when Jews from Dawidgrodek and Sienkiewicze were brought in. Starvation was averted through food smuggling.
On September 3, 1942, a revolt broke out in the Łachwa ghetto in response to German preparations for a mass murder operation. The revolt was organized by Dov Lopatin and Yitzhak Rochzyn, a member of Beitar. The Germans surrounded the ghetto, with assistance of Belarussian and Ukraininan policemen. They told Judenrat Chairman Lopatin they were about to liquidate the ghetto, but that they would leave a small number of people alive, including him and his family, to work for the German army. On his return to the ghetto, Lopatin gave an order to set it alight, himself igniting a number of buildings. That was the signal for a mass escape from the ghetto. The gates of the ghetto were breached, and the Jews ran out. The revolt began in the southern part of the ghetto, and then the northern part joined and its residents set their houses on fire. Some 1,000 people broke out of the ghetto, with about 600 of them managing to reach the swamps on the banks of the Pripyat River. Over the following days, many of the escapees were handed over to Germans or murdered by Ukrainian and Belarussian policemen. Only 120-150 of the Łachwa escapees managed to reach the forests, where they joined the "family camps" and partisan units (according to one testimony, 300 Jews joined the partisans).
Łachwa was liberated by the Red Army on July 2, 1944. Only 90 Jews survived.