“Derazne” - Encyclopedia of Jewish
Communities in Poland, Volume V
(Derazhno, Ukraine)

5052' / 2603'

Translation of “Derazne” chapter from
Pinkas Hakehillot Polin

Published by Yad Vashem Published in Jerusalem



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This is a translation from: Pinkas Hakehillot:
Encyclopedia of Jewish Communities, Poland, Volume V, pages 67-68,
edited by Shmuel Spector, published by Yad Vashem, Jerusalem

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[Page 67]



(A city in the District of Kostopol)

Translated by Jerrold Landau




Derazne is located on the west bank of the Horyn River[1]. In the year

[Page 68]

1614, the owner of the area, Prince Janusz of Ostara received city rights for the settlement of Derazne. We can surmise that Jewish settlement began at approximately that time. In the year 1649, Khmelnitsky's Cossack soldiers attacked, pillaged and burnt the entire town. In a convention on Horochów in the year 1700, a small levy of 20 zloty was imposed upon Derazne, which at that time was dependent on the main community of Ostara. This testifies to the small number of Jews (less than 100 people) who lived there. The number of Jews once again declined in the latter half of the 18th century. It is possible that this was connected to the fires and epidemics that came in the wake of the war between the Swedes and Hydamaks. The number of Jews doubled during the 19th century, but toward the end of that century, the number remained static and did not increase, for the railway line was laid far from it and the importance of barges on the Horyn River decreased from an economic perspective. There were three water driven flourmills as well as a brick kiln in the city. During the annual fairs, most of the business was with wooden household wares.

Between the Two World Wars

In the communal elections of 1928, Derazne was annexed to the community of Kostopol, and a representative from Derazne sat on the communal leadership there. There was a union of small-scale merchants and a union of tradesmen in Derazne itself. Anti-Semitism increased during the middle of the 1930s. The anti-Semites set a fire and burnt 30 houses, primarily of poor Jews, at the beginning of August 1936.

In the summer of 1932, a local committee for the founding of a Hebrew school was set up through the efforts of the district supervisor of the Tarbut schools in Wolhyn, Shmuel Rozenhok. The Tarbut Hebrew School began to operate during the 1931-1932 school year, and continued to exist until September 1939. There was a communal library in Derazne from the 1930s.

Zionist activity in Derazne began before the First World War, and disappeared during the period immediately following the revolution of February 1917. It was renewed after Polish rule became rooted. Chapters of most of the parties and youth groups operated in Derazne. A chapter of Beitar[2] was founded in 1930, which was the only one to concern itself with the teaching of Hebrew to adults. The election results for the Zionist congresses were as follows:

There were 51 voters for the 16th Zionist Congress of 1921. The General Zionists received 45 votes, and the Hashomer Hatzair Coalition received 6.

There were 167 voters for the 18th congress of 1933. The General Zionists received 34 votes, Mizrachi – 4, Revisionists – 57, the Working Land of Israel List – 72.

There were 63 voters for the 20th Congress (1937). The General Zionists received 8 votes, Mizrachi – 16, Working Land of Israel List – 39.

There were 71 voters for the 21st Congress (1939). The General Zionists received 20 votes, Mizrachi – 9, Working Land of Israel Bloc – 42.

During the Second World War

Derazne was annexed to the Soviet Union in September 1939, and all of the Jewish organizations and institutions were liquidated. Derazne was conquered by the Germans on June 28, 1941. An aktion took place after some time, and a group of men were killed. A Judenrat was set up in Derazne, and the Jews were obligated to wear the Jewish badge. Aside from this, the Jews were forced to go out for forced labor. A ghetto was established at the beginning of October 1941, and Jews were brought in from the villages of the area.

On August 22, 1942, all of the Jews of the ghetto were gathered together and brought to pits that had been previously prepared. They were all murdered. Only a few succeeded in escaping and saving themselves. Derazne was liberated by the Red Army on February 5, 1944.


Yad Vashem Archives M-1/B-98, 016/2872.
ATz'M, Z-3-866, Z-4, 2065, Z-4-3605-1, Z-4-3605.2. Z-4/231/46-B, S-5/1773.
Book of Kostopol. The Life and Death of a Community, Tel Aviv, 5727 (1967).
Wolhyner Life. Rovno, 9.12.1928, 6.1.1931.
Wolhyner Press, Luck, 7.8,1936
Wolhyner Newspaper, Rovno, 8.7.1932, 19.8.1932, 28.8.1932, 21.10,1932.

Translator's Footnotes

  1. Now a city in the District of Kostopol, Volhynia, once in Poland and today in the Ukraine. Return
  2. The youth organization of the Revisionist Zionist Movement. Return

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