The beginnings of the Jewish settlement in Mołczadź date back to the first half of the 16th century. In 1648, a synagogue was built in the town, and in 1691 the local Jews created an independent religious community, which was not any more dependent on the elders of the Dworzec community.

In 1897, the town had 1,733 inhabitants, including 1,188 followers of Judaism. The ideas of Hasidism became very popular in Mołczadź.

In the interwar period, most Jews became significantly impoverished, and many families were helped by the Joint organisation and the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society. There were schools in Molczadź run by Tarbut and Horev. Zionist organizations were very active at that time.

When the Third Reich's invaded the Soviet Union and the town was occupied by the Germans, the Jewish population was subjected to increasing repression. A ghetto was established in Mołczadź. On 14 February 1942, the policemen shot 22 Jews. The extermination of the Jewish community in Mołczadź took place on 15-18 July 1942. It was then that the Germans drove over 3,000 Jews to the Popowskie Góry wilderness - located outside the town - and shot them over the previously dug pits. During the action, a group of about 60 people managed to escape, some of them joined the partisan units. Over the next few weeks, the Nazis apprehended and murdered about 200 Jews who tried to hide in the area.

The still standing remnants of the Jewish community in Mołczadż are the synagogue, cemetery and private houses.


  • The Encyclopedia of Jewish Life Before and During the Holocaust, eds. S. Spector, G. Wigoder, New York 2001, p. 842.
  • I.A. Altman, Holokost na teritorii SSSR, Moscow 2009, p. 617.