The Info List - Łachwa Ghetto

--- Advertisement ---

Łachwa (or Lakhva) Ghetto was a World War II ghetto created by Nazi Germany on 1 April 1942 in the town of Łachwa in occupied eastern Poland (now Lakhva, Belarus),[1] with the aim of persecution, terror and exploitation of the local Jews. The ghetto existed only until September 1942. It was the location of one of the first,[2] and possibly the first,[3][4] Jewish ghetto uprising following the Nazi–Soviet Invasion of Poland.[5]


1 History

1.1 World War II ghetto and development of resistance

2 Uprising and massacre

2.1 Aftermath

3 References 4 External links

History[edit] Further information: Jewish ghettos in German-occupied Poland The town was granted municipal charter by the Radziwiłł princes in 1608. The first Jews settled in Łachwa, Poland, after the Khmelnytsky Uprising (1648-1650). In 1795 there were 157 tax-paying Jewish citizens in Łachwa; already a majority of its inhabitants. Main sources of income were trade in agricultural products and in fishing, expanded into meat and wax production, tailoring, and transportation services. Several decades after the Partitions of Poland by Russia, Prussia and Austria, the railway line Vilna-Luninets-Rivne (Wilno-Łuniniec-Równe) extended to Lakhva, helping local economies withstand the downturn. In 1897 there were 1,057 Jews in the town.[6] After the reconstitution of sovereign Poland in 1918, Łachwa became part of the Polesie Voivodeship in the Kresy macroregion. Jewish cultural life flourished. There was a well stocked library, political parties and zionist organizations; the Tarbut school of Hebrew learning, and the live-theater association. Łachwa population was 33 percent Jewish in 1921. Eliezer Lichtenstein was the last Rabi before the Soviet invasion of Poland in 1939.[6] World War II ghetto and development of resistance[edit] Two years into World War II, on 22 June 1941 the German army entered the Soviet occupation zone under the codename Operation Barbarossa, and two weeks later on 8 July 1941, overran the town of Łachwa along with the entire Polesie Voivodeship of the Polish Republic, which was incorporated into the USSR in 1939 in the atmosphere of terror.[7][8][9] During the German attack, many young Jews escaped east with the retreating Red Army.[10] A Judenrat was established by the Germans, headed by a former Zionist leader, Dov Lopatyn.[2] Rabbi Hayyim Zalman Osherowitz was arrested by the police. His release was secured later, only after the payment of a large ransom.[11]

Yitzhak Rochzyn (or Icchak Rokchin), leader of the Lachwa ghetto underground, commander of the uprising

On 1 April 1942, the town's Jewish residents were forcibly moved into a new ghetto consisting of two streets and 45 houses, and surrounded by a barbed wire fence.[4][8] The ghetto housed roughly 2,350 people, which amounted to approximately 1 square metre (11 sq ft) per person.[11] The news of massacres, committed throughout the region by German Einsatzkommandos, soon spread to Łachwa. The Jewish youth organized an underground resistance under the leadership of Isaac Rochczyn (also spelled Yitzhak Rochzyn or Icchak Rokchin), the head of the local Betar group. With the assistance of Judenrat, the underground managed to stockpile axes, knives, and iron bars, although efforts to secure firearms were largely unsuccessful.[4][8][11] By August 1942, the Jews in Łachwa knew that the nearby ghettos in Łuniniec (Luninets) and Mikaszewicze (now Mikashevichy, Belarus) had been liquidated. On 2 September 1942, the local populace were informed that some farmers, summoned by the Nazis, had been ordered to dig large pits just outside the town. Later that day, 150 German soldiers from an Einsatzgruppe killing squad with 200 local Belarusian and Ukrainian auxiliaries surrounded the ghetto. Rochczyn and the underground wanted to attack the ghetto fence at midnight to allow the population to flee, but others refused to abandon the elderly and children. Lopatyn asked that the attack be postponed until the morning.[8][11][12][13] Uprising and massacre[edit] On 3 September 1942, the Germans informed Dov Lopatyn that the ghetto was to be liquidated, and ordered the ghetto inhabitants to gather for "deportation". To secure the cooperation of the ghetto's leaders, the Germans promised that the members of Judenrat, the ghetto doctor and 30 labourers (whom Lopatyn could choose personally) would be spared. Lopatyn refused the offer, reportedly responding: "Either we all live, or we all die."[4][8][11] When the Germans entered the ghetto, Lopatyn set fire to the Judenrat headquarters, which was the signal to commence the uprising.[2] Other buildings were also set on fire. Members of the Ghetto underground attacked the Germans as they entered the ghetto, using axes, sticks, molotov cocktails and their bare hands. This battle is believed to represent the first ghetto uprising of the war. Approximately 650 Jews were killed in the fighting or in the flames, with another 500 or so taken to the pits and shot. Six German soldiers and eight German and Ukrainian (or Belarusian) policemen were also killed. The ghetto fence was breached and approximately 1,000 Jews were able to escape, of whom about 600 were able to take refuge in the Prypeć (Pripet) Marshes. Rochczyn was shot and killed as he jumped into the Smierc River, after killing a German soldier with an axe to the head. Although an estimated 120 of the escapees were able to join partisan units, most of the others were eventually tracked down and killed. Approximately 90 residents of the ghetto survived the war.[4] Dov Lopatyn joined a communist partisan unit and was killed on 21 February 1944 by a landmine. Aftermath[edit] The Red Army reached Łachwa in mid-July 1944 during Operation Bagration.[8] After World War II ended, Poland's borders were redrawn, according to the demands made by Josef Stalin during Tehran Conference confirmed (as not negotiable) at the Yalta Conference of 1945. Lakhva (Cyrillic: Лахва) was then incorporated into the Byelorussian SSR of the Soviet Union. The Polish population was expelled and forcibly resettled within the new borders of Poland before the end of 1946. The Jewish community was never restored. Since the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, Lakhva has been one of the smaller towns in the Luninets district of Brest Region in sovereign Belarus.[14][15] References[edit]

^ Paul R. Bartrop (2016). Resisting the Holocaust: Upstanders, Partisans, and Survivors. ABC-CLIO. pp. 163–165. ISBN 1610698797.  ^ a b c Lachva, Encyclopedia Judaica, 2nd ed., Volume 12, pp. 425–426 (Macmillan Reference USA, 2007) ^ Michaeli, Lichstein, Morawczik, Sklar, eds. (1957). First Ghetto to Revolt: Lachwa. Tel Aviv: Entsyklopedyah shel Galuyot. CS1 maint: Uses editors parameter (link) ^ a b c d e Suhl, Yuri (1967). They Fought Back: Story of the Jewish Resistance. New York: Paperback Library Inc. pp. 181–183. ISBN 0805235930.  ^ "Łachwa". Jewish community. Warsaw: Virtual Shtetl, POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews. 2017 – via Internet Archive.  ^ a b "Łachwa". History of the Jewish community (in Polish). Warsaw: Virtual Shtetl, POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews. 2012 – via Internet Archive.  ^ Bernd Wegner, ed. (1997). From peace to war: Germany, Soviet Russia, and the world, 1939–1941. The period of Soviet-German partnership. Berghahn Books. pp. 74–. ISBN 1571818820.  ^ a b c d e f Lachva, Multimedia Learning Centre: The Simon Wiesenthal Center (last accessed 30 September 2006, no archive). Timeline of the Holocaust. ^ Keith Sword, ed. (1991). The Soviet Takeover of the Polish Eastern Provinces, 1939–41. The mass deportations of the Polish population to the USSR. Springer. p. 224. ISBN 1349213799.  ^ "Łachwa – History". Virtual Shtetl Museum of the History of Polish Jews. Retrieved 21 July 2011.  ^ a b c d e Pallavicini, Stephen and Patt, Avinoam. "Lachwa", An Encyclopedic History of Camps, Ghettos, and Other Detention Sites in Nazi Germany and Nazi-Dominated Territories, 1933–1945: United States Holocaust Memorial Museum ^ This Month in Holocaust History: September 3, 1942. ^ Yad Vashem, The Holocaust Martyrs' and Heroes' Remembrance Authority; accessed 27 April 2014. ^ Sylwester Fertacz (2005). "Carving of the Poland's new map" [Krojenie mapy Polski: Bolesna granica]. Magazyn Społeczno-Kulturalny Śląsk. Retrieved 3 September 2017 – via the Internet Archive.  ^ Simon Berthon, Joanna Potts (2007). Warlords: An Extraordinary Re-Creation of World War II. Da Capo Press. p. 285. ISBN 0306816504. CS1 maint: Uses authors parameter (link)

External links[edit] Pre-war Polish topographic maps showing Łachwa

1:100,000 map from 1932 1:25,000 map from 1938 The murder of the Jews of Lakhva during World War II, at Yad Vashem website. Lakhva, Belarus at JewishGen

v t e

Einsatzgruppen and Einsatzkommandos



Reinhard Heydrich Ernst Kaltenbrunner

Commanders of Einsatzgruppen

Humbert Achamer-Pifrader Walther Bierkamp Horst Böhme Erich Ehrlinger Wilhelm Fuchs Heinz Jost Erich Naumann Arthur Nebe Otto Ohlendorf Friedrich Panzinger Otto Rasch Heinrich Seetzen Franz Walter Stahlecker Bruno Streckenbach

Commanders of Einsatzkommandos, Sonderkommandos

Erich von dem Bach-Zelewski Rudolf Batz Ernst Biberstein Wolfgang Birkner Helmut Bischoff Paul Blobel Walter Blume Friedrich-Wilhelm Bock Otto Bradfisch Werner Braune Friedrich Buchardt Fritz Dietrich Karl Jäger Friedrich Jeckeln Waldemar Klingelhöfer Wolfgang Kügler Walter Kutschmann Rudolf Lange Gustav Adolf Nosske Hans-Adolf Prützmann Walter Rauff Martin Sandberger Hermann Schaper Karl Eberhard Schöngarth Erwin Schulz Franz Six Eugen Steimle Eduard Strauch Martin Weiss Udo von Woyrsch

Other members

August Becker Lothar Fendler Joachim Hamann Emil Haussmann Felix Landau Albert Widmann


Viktors Arājs Herberts Cukurs Antanas Impulevičius Konrāds Kalējs Algirdas Klimaitis



SS RSHA SD Orpo 8th SS Cavalry Division Florian Geyer Volksdeutscher Selbstschutz Sonderdienst


Schutzmannschaft (Belarusian, Estonian, Latvian, Lithuanian, Ukrainian) Arajs Kommando Lithuanian Security Police Rollkommando Hamann TDA Ypatingasis būrys



Łachwa Ghetto Minsk Ghetto Slutsk Affair




Burning of the Riga synagogues Dünamünde Action Jelgava Pogulianski Rumbula Liepāja (Šķēde)


Ninth Fort Kaunas June 1941 Kaunas 29 October 1941 Ninth Fort November 1941 Ponary


Operation Tannenberg Intelligenzaktion AB-Aktion Operation Reinhard


Gully of Petrushino Zmievskaya Balka Lokot Autonomy


Babi Yar Drobytsky Yar Drohobycz Kamianets-Podilskyi Lviv pogroms Mizocz Ghetto Odessa


The Black Book Commissar Order Einsatzgruppen trial Generalplan Ost Jäger Report Korherr Report Special Prosecution Book-Poland (Sonderfahndungsbuch Polen) Einsatzgruppen reports

v t e

The Holocaust in Poland

Main article The Holocaust Related articles by country Belarus Belgium Croatia Denmark Estonia France Latvia Lithuania Norway Russia Ukraine

v t e

Camps, ghettos and operations



Auschwitz-Birkenau Chełmno Majdanek Operation Reinhard death camps

Bełżec Sobibór Treblinka


Kraków-Płaszów Potulice Soldau Stutthof Szebnie Trawniki Warsaw

Mass shootings

AB Action Bronna Góra Erntefest Jedwabne Kielce cemetery Aktion Krakau Lviv pogroms Lwów professors Palmiry Sonderaktion Krakau Tannenberg Tykocin Bydgoszcz Wąsosz Bloody Sunday


List of 277 Jewish ghettos in German-occupied Poland (1939–1942) Będzin Białystok Brest Częstochowa Grodno Kielce Kraków Lwów Łódź Lubartów Lublin Międzyrzec Podlaski Mizocz Nowy Sącz Pińsk Radom Siedlce Sambor Słonim Sosnowiec Stanisławów Tarnopol Wilno Warsaw

Other atrocities

Action T4 Grossaktion Warsaw Human medical experimentation

v t e

Perpetrators, participants, organizations, and collaborators

Major perpetrators


Josef Bühler Eichmann Eicke Ludwig Fischer Hans Frank Globocnik Glücks Greiser Himmler Hermann Höfle Fritz Katzmann Wilhelm Koppe Friedrich-Wilhelm Krüger Kutschera Erwin Lambert Ernst Lerch Oswald Pohl Reinefarth Scherner Seyss-Inquart Sporrenberg Streckenbach Thomalla Otto Wächter Wisliceny

Camp command

Aumeier Baer Boger Braunsteiner Eberl Eupen Kurt Franz Karl Frenzel Karl Fritzsch Göth Grabner Hartjenstein Hering Höss Hössler Josef Kramer Liebehenschel Mandel Matthes Michel Möckel Mulka Johann Niemann Oberhauser Reichleitner Heinrich Schwarz Stangl Gustav Wagner Christian Wirth

Gas chamber executioners

Erich Bauer Bolender Hackenholt Klehr Hans Koch Herbert Lange Theuer


von Bodmann Clauberg Gebhardt Fritz Klein Mengele Horst Schumann Trzebinski Eduard Wirths

Ghetto command

Auerswald Biebow Blösche Bürkl Konrad Palfinger von Sammern-Frankenegg Stroop


Wolfgang Birkner Blobel Felix Landau Schaper Schöngarth von Woyrsch


Camp guards

Juana Bormann Danz Demjanjuk Margot Dreschel Kurt Gerstein Grese Höcker Kaduk Kollmer Muhsfeldt Orlowski Volkenrath

By camp

Sobibór Treblinka


Einsatzgruppen (SS) Ordnungspolizei (Orpo battalions) WVHA RKFDV VoMi General Government Hotel Polski



Belarusian Auxiliary Police BKA battalions Brigade Siegling Black Cats Central Rada


Jewish Ghetto Police Żagiew ("Torch Guard") Group 13 Kapos Judenräte


Waffen-SS "RONA" Waffen-SS "Russland" Ostlegionen, Bataillone (Cossack Division, Russian "ROA")


Ukrainian Auxiliary Police SS Galizien Ukrainian Liberation Army Schutzmannschaft (Battalion 118, Brigade Siegling, 30. Waffen SS Grenadier Division) Trawnikimänner

Other nationalities

Estonian Auxiliary Police Latvian Auxiliary Police (Arajs Kommando) Lithuanian Auxiliary Police Battalions (Schutzmannschaft, Ypatingasis būrys) Pieter Menten (Nederlandsche SS)

v t e

Resistance: Judenrat, victims, documentation and technical




Ghetto uprisings Białystok Częstochowa Sobibór Treblinka Warsaw Ghetto Uprising


Mordechai Anielewicz Icchak Cukierman Mordechai Tenenbaum Marek Edelman Leon Feldhendler Paweł Frenkiel Henryk Iwański Itzhak Katzenelson Michał Klepfisz Miles Lerman Alexander Pechersky Witold Pilecki Frumka Płotnicka Roza Robota Szmul Zygielbojm


Jewish Ghetto Police Adam Czerniaków Mordechai Chaim Rumkowski

Victim lists


Kraków Łódź Lvov (Lwów) Warsaw


Auschwitz Bełżec Gross-Rosen Izbica Majdanek Sobibór Soldau Stutthof Trawniki Treblinka


Nazi sources

Auschwitz Album Frank Memorandum Höcker Album Höfle Telegram Katzmann Report Korherr Report Nisko Plan Posen speeches Special Prosecution Book-Poland Stroop Report Wannsee Conference

Witness accounts

Graebe affidavit Gerstein Report Vrba–Wetzler report Witold's Report Sonderkommando photographs


Sonderaktion 1005

Technical and logistics

Identification in camps Gas chamber Gas van Holocaust train Human medical experimentation Zyklon B

v t e

Aftermath, trials and commemoration


Holocaust survivors Polish population transfers (1944–1946) Bricha Kielce pogrom Anti-Jewish violence, 1944–46 Ministry of Public Security


West German trials

Frankfurt Auschwitz trials Treblinka trials

Polish, East German, and Soviet trials

Auschwitz trial (Poland) Stutthof trials Extraordinary (Soviet) State Commission


Museum of the History of Polish Jews Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and Museum Majdanek State Museum Sobibór Museum International Youth Meeting Center in Oświęcim/Auschwitz March of the Living

Righteous Among the Nations

Polish Righteous Among the Nations Rescue of Jews by Poles during the Holocaust Garden of t