“Wolczyn” - Encyclopedia of Jewish
Communities in Poland, Volume V
(Volchin, Belarus)

5217' / 2319'

Translation of “Wolczyn” chapter from
Pinkas Hakehillot Polin

Published by Yad Vashem Published in Jerusalem



Our sincere appreciation to Yad Vashem
for permission to put this material on the JewishGen web site.

This is a translation from: Pinkas Hakehillot:
Encyclopedia of Jewish Communities, Poland, Volume V, pages 248-249,
edited by Shmuel Spector, published by Yad Vashem, Jerusalem

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[Pages 248-249]

(Volchin, Belarus)

A small village in the Brisk district located about 35 kilometers
northwest to the city of Brisk (Brest Litowsk)

Translated by Ite Doktorski

Edited by Yocheved Klausner


Year General
1766 ? 402
1847 ? 886
1897 617 588
1921 190 180


Wolczyn is an ancient village that since the beginning of the 18th century was privately owned by the Polish noble family Czartoryski. One of the sons of this family, Michael, built here a beautiful palace. Stanislaw August Poniatowski, the last king of Poland was born in 1723 in this palace.

We assume that Jews started settling here in the 16th century since in the middle of the 18th century several hundred Jews lived in the village, and their number doubled by the middle of the 19th century.

In the second half of the 19th century almost all inhabitants of Wolczyn were Jews. There was a synagogue in the village. The Jews were artisans and engaged in small trade. Their principal source of income was tailoring. In Wolczyn there were 14 shops and a flour mill. There were three annual fairs.

Starting in the year 1887 the local rabbi was Rabbi Chayim Tuvya Olinik. He wrote two books of responsa – “Be'er Chayim” and “Divrei Chayim” and a homiletical book entitled “Lev Chayim”.

It seems that during World War I the population was deeply affected and they were deported. Maybe this explains the reduced number of inhabitants between both World Wars. In this period as well most of the inhabitants were Jewish.

We suppose that during the Holocaust the Jews of Wolczyn were taken to the neighboring ghetto in Wysokie Litewskie (situated about 10 kilometers to the north of Wolczyn) and that they perished there together with the local Jews (on November 2, 1942).


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