ŁACHWA (or LAKHVA) GHETTO was a
World War II
* 1 History
World War II
* 2 Uprising and massacre
* 2.1 Aftermath
* 3 References * 4 External links
For more details on this topic, see 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
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
Soviet invasion of Poland
WORLD WAR II GHETTO AND DEVELOPMENT OF RESISTANCE
Two years into World War II, on 22 June 1941 the German army entered
the Soviet occupation zone under the codename
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. The ghetto housed roughly 2,350 people, which amounted to approximately 1 square metre (11 sq ft) per person.
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
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.
UPRISING AND MASSACRE
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."
When the Germans entered the ghetto, Lopatyn set fire to the Judenrat headquarters, which was the signal to commence the uprising. 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. Dov Lopatyn joined a communist partisan unit and was killed on 21 February 1944 by a landmine .
* ^ 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