The city of Kobrin, .on the river Muchavets,( 52 km from Brest) is known since 1287 as a part of Vladzimir-Volynsk Duchy. Brest Since the first half of 14th century Kobrin was in the squad of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, in 1404 -1519 - the center of Kobrin Duchy. From 1549 till 1556 Kobrin was a posession of Polish king and Lithuanian duke Sigizmund II August mother - queen Bona Sforza. In 16th-18th Kobrin was a center of ekanomija (King`s possession) in Brest voevodstvo.
According to the inscription on the Kobrin jewish cemetery jews lived in Kobrin in 15th century. In 1514 Polish king and Lithuanian duke Sigizmund I confirmed Kobrin jews, as other jewish community, a credential for jews of king Alexander.
The results of the 1563 Kobrin ekonomija revision were: 22 (25 or 27) jews- house-holders - 12% of all holders. The majority of Kobrin jewry lived in Pinskaya street. Here was a synagogue. In the end of Pinskaya street till Balotskaya akruga placed about 20 jewish fruit gardens. This time, the main occupations of Kobrin jewry were trade, beer-production and lease of customs. In 1589 Kobrin jews were leveled in trade rights with chrisitian population.
In 1623 the first session of Lithuanian Vaad (council of Lithuanians rabbies and community leaders) decided that Kobrin kagal (community) would be under Brest kagal rule. During the war between Rech Pospolitaya (a union between Polish kingdom and the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, formed in 1569) and Sweden Kobrin and its jewry suffered great.
In the begining of 18th century the situation of kagal wasn`t so good. In 1705 Kobrin kafal paid a tax of 315 (300) zloty (polish money). In 1714 kagal and Kobrin jew Michel Itskavich signed a deal. According to it Itskovich gave to kagal 8.000 polish zloty for 8 years. Kagal realised him and his posterity from the payment of state and communal taxes. Itskovich also recieved a right to live in any place of Kobrin, including Rynachnaya (Market) square and for free trade and wine industry. More than 924 jews lived in Kobrin and in neighbourhood in
1766.
18th century was a period of economic decline of Kobrin and Rech Pospolitaya. Jewish community had a lot of debts, espescially to Pinsk female monastery. This time, main jewish occupations were small trade and handicraft. Prosperous members of the community did a business in salt, wooden and grain trade.
The first known Kobrin rabbi was Betsalel ben Solomon Darshan (d. 1678), the author of "Amudeha Schibah" and other works. On of the most famous lithuanian rabbies was Yakov ben David Shapiro (Spiro) (d. 1718), author of "Ohel Jacob". He founded in Kobrin Yeshiva. During his work as a rosh-Yeshiva more then 400 young jews studied in Kobrin.
In 1795 Russian Army occupied Kobrin. It became a small city (Belarussian - miastechka, Yiddish - shtetl) of Slonim uezd of Lithuanian gubernia. Kobrin kluch was a possession of famous russian feldmarshall A.V. Suvorov. Suvorov lived in Kobrin in 1797-1800. Since 1801 Kobrin was in Grodno gubernia. During the war between France and Russia (1812) on the 15th of July, 1812, Russian troops defeated in Kobrin french detachment of general Klengel (4.000 people).
Here the results of the 1847 revision for Kobrin region:

Community
Jewish population
Kobrin
4.184
Antopal
1.108
Garadets
422
Dragichin
843
Dzivin
556
Motal
222
Khomsk
877
Yanau
628

In the middle of 19th century famous russian traveler P.M. Shpilevski made his travel to Belarus. In his work "Puteshestvie po Poless`u i Belorusskomu kraju" ("The travel to Poless`e and Belarussian region" (published in magazin "Sovremennik" in Sant-Petersburg in 1853-55) he wrote about Kobrin: " It is considered, that today in Kobrin 7.000 inhabitants. The majority of them are jews...".
A great damage to the jewish economy of Kobrin Russian adminstration caused by the prohibition of jewish lease (1882) and an introduction of vodka monopoly (1897).
After this, jewish emigtation (espescially of handicrafts) from Kobrin began to grow. Jews went to the US, Palestine and other places.
In 1897 Russian authorities organized a census. The results of this census for Kobrin region were:

Name
Population
Jews
Kobrin
10.408
6.738
Antopal
3.867
3.137
Valavel (Stari and Novi)
993
951
Garadets
1.761
648
Dzivin
3.137
1.904
Ivanava
3.041
1.871
Motal
4.297
1.354
Adrizhin
449
83
Khomsk
2.243
1.273

In 1897 Kobrin uezd had 145.000 inhabitants (25.349 of them - jews).
In 1910 Kobrin had a private male jewish school.
In 19th century as Kobrin rabbies were known: Meir Ma'rim Shafit (d. 1873), author of "Nir al Jeruschalmi", rabbi Iliya, known as rabbi Elinke Lider. In 1892-97 famous Chaim Berlin was a chief Kobrin rabbi. Since the beginnig of 19th Chasidim movement became popular in Kobrin. The representators of Kobrin tsadikim dinasty were: r. Moshe ben Isroel (d. 1858), r. Noach Naftali (d.1889), r. David Shlomo (d. 1918), r. Moshe Acharon (d. 1942), r. Baruch Joseph Zak (d. 1949).
Kobrin orthodox jews were strongly against the Zionism movement. After the Russian revolution of 1905 in Kobrin was found a local organization of the Union of jewish workers in Lithuania, Russia and Poland ("Bund"), later - of Poalei Zion ("The workers of Zion").
After World War I and Bolshevik revolution Kobrin was occupied in 1919 by Polish troops. According to the Riga treaty of 1921 Kobrin became a part of Polish independence state. In the beginning of 1920-th Kobrin had 5.431 inhabitants (66% of them -jews). Kobrin jewish community had a sveral reformed heders, Talmud-Torah, Tarbut school (in Hebrew), Yeshiva, school (in Yiddish). Under the polish rule main jewish occupations were: construction, trade and fabric industry.
On the 17th of September, 1939, Red Army invaded Poland. They were in Kobrin on the 20th of Semptember. Zionist Youth decided to leave Kobrin.They went to the Lithuania (to Vilna - Vilnus). Their aim was to get in Erets-Israel.
Under the Soviet rule Kobrin was in Brest region of the Belarussian Soviet Socialist Republic. Since the 15th of January, 1941, Kobrin was known as a center of the region.
On the 22nd of June, 1941, Nazi Germany invaded USSR. Two days after the beginning of the war they occupied Kobrin. On the 24th of June the germans killed about 170 prominent Kobrin jews. Osher Moiseevich Zisman from Brest remembers: "The germans burnt a jewish hospital and the house of rabbi. They commanded local fire-brigade no to put out a fire. The fire embraced all Kobrin. The germans threw jews in fire alive". In Autumn, 1941 the fascists organized a ghetto. 8.000 Kobrin jews (including the refugees from occupied Poland) and the jews from neighbouring shtetles were placed in ghetto. In the beginning of July, 1942, half of ghetto prisoners were wiped out, the second part - on the 14th of October, 1942. In the register of military actions of 332 police detachment about the mass-destrcution of jews in Kobrin and Pinsk region (31th of October - 1st of November, 1942): "... Company N9 forwarded from Samara (24 km east from Makrany) for destruction of jews in this place. In Bloty-Vel`kiya and Tsakalnichi (11 km south-east of Kobrin) were arrested and killed 3 jews. In Bloty-Vel`kiya, Darapeevichi (14 km north of Makarany), Paulapol, Ora, Zamordin and Kletishcha punitive commands worked unsuccesfully. On the road Khabavichi - Kobrin two jews were siezed and transfered to Kobrin SD. Company N10 continue to wipe out jews in Pinsk. The guard in Michalina seizured and shooted jewish woman". . Only a group of jewish craftsmen lived in ghetto till the Summer, 1943. The fascists shooted them on the yard of Kobrin prison.
About 100 Kobrin jews fleed from ghetto to partizan atachments (imeni A. Suvorova and imeni K. Voroshilova). Red Army liberated Kobrin on the 20th of July, 1944.
Al Kobrin jews, survived Holocaust, left former shtetl through Poland to Israel and other countries. Jewish history of Kobrin ended.


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