Koidanova (since 1932 - Dziarzhinsk) is
situated in 38 km from Minsk.
According to the archeological data a settlement exists in Koidanova more then 2.000 years. The first mention of Koidanova (this time - Krutagor`e) in written sources is 13th century. Krutagor`e was mentioned as a place of battle between Navagrudak duke Skirmunt army with tatarian khan Balaklkay. According to the legend this settlement recieved a name Koidanava after the battle of belarus-lithuanian army of lithuanian duke Mindoug with khan Koidan troops in 1249. Near Krutagor`e Koidan was defeated. And a small city (Belarussian - miastechka, Yiddish - shtetl) was named in honour of Koidan defeat - Koidanova.
In 1439 duke Mikhail Zhygimontavich found in Koidanova one of the oldest belarussian catholic church. After the death of Mikhail Zhygimontavich Koidanova was a possession of Polish king and Lithuanian duke Kazimir IV. In 1483 Kazimir presented Koidanova to duke Vasil Viareiski. In 1506-39 Koianova was known as a possession of Vilna voevoda Albrecht Gashtold. His wife Zof`ya was a daughter of Viareiski. In 1539-50 Koidanova was a starostva (possession of Polish king and Lithuanian duke Sigizmund I). From 1550 till 1831 Koidanova - of famous magnat family Radzivil.
"Golden Age" of Koidanova is the end of 16th century - the first half of 17th century.
It was a period of grew of Koidanova population. If in 1588 about 1.000 people lived in Koidanova, in 1647 - more then 1500.
The oldest Koidanova streets were Vilenskaya, Menskaya, Stan`kovskaya, Rubiazhevitskaya, Slutskaya, Pliaban`skaya, Rynachnaya (Market) square. Since 1588 Koidanava have a fair per week and two big fairs. At this big fairs took part the merchants from Prussia and other countries. Of course, jews (they lived in Koidanova since the second quater of XVII century, but earlier (in 1620) was mentioned as shtetl inhabitants jew - Israel ) played a greay roles in Koidanova fairs).
In 1654 Moscow troops of tsar Alexey Mikhailovich invaded Rech Pospolitaya ( a union between Polish kingdom and the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, formed in 1569). Russian occupation was awful as for all inhabitants. Bloody tsar was strongly against jews. He commanded to kill jews. On the 11th of july, 1655 the kozaks of ukrainian getman Zalatarenka burnt Koidananva and killed all inhabitants.
XVIII century for century of reconstruction for Koidanova. Several new streets were built (for example, Tatarskaya) and so on. Jewish population of Koidanova grew. More then 560 jews lived in Koidanova in 1766. In XVIII century Koidanova had an orthodox church, a catholic church, Kalvin zbor (Kalvin church, we must note, that Koidanova had a lot of Kalvin supporters since the second part of 16th century), synagogue, hospital, two mills and more then 40 shops. A great tolerance was a feature of multinational Koidanova. catholic, orthodox, kalvinist Belarussians, catholic and kalvinist poles, jews, tatars, russians and germans lived here in piece and friendship during the years.
1781 was tragical for Koidanova. A great fire destroyed half of houses.
Since 1793 Koidanova was under russian rule. Shtetl was a part of Minsk uezd and gubernia. Three years later russian emperor Pavel I visited Koidanova. It was a great holiday for Koidanova inhabitants. During the war between Russia and France in 1812 russian troops defeated in Koidanova (on the 3th of November) french detachment of general Kasetski.
In 1847 Koidanova had 2.497 jewish inhabitants. The results of the famous Russian census of 1897 for Koidanova were: 4.744 inhabitants - 3.156 jews. Koidanova jewry had a male private jewishl.
The main jewish occupations in Koidanova were handicraft and trade. Jews were known as blacksmiths, loksmiths, tailors and so on. The great opportunity for Koidanova business was a building of railway "Moscow-Warsaw" near the shtetl (1865). In 1886 Koidanova had about 248 jewish farmers families. In 1899 in Koidanova was built a match plant "Druzhyna" (in 1900 - 208 workers). In the begining of 20th century between Koidanova jews, according to the "Rossija. Polnoe Geographicheskoe opisanie" (Russia. Full geographical description)" was very popular a fruit trade in Minsk market.
After the World War I, February and Bolshevik revolution german troops occupied a shtetl from Feberuary till November, 1918. Thye periods of 1919-20 - was a time of polish occupation. Polish troops organized in Koidanova bloody jewish pogrom. Alsom they burnt a major part of Koidanova. Several days in Koidanova existed "Independence republic of Koidanova", destroyed by the bolsheviks. In March, 1921, the Bolsheviks signed a treaty with Poland. According to it Koidanova till 1939 was a Soviet shtetl on the Polish-Soviet border.
Since 1932 Koidanova have a new name - Dziarzhynsk - in honour of famous bolshevik, the creator and chief of "Cherezvychainaya komissija" (CHEKA) - soviet secret police - Felix Edmundavich Dziarzhinski (1877-1926).
On the 22nd of June, 1941, Nazi Germany invaded Soviet Army. In famous "Chernaya kniga" of Vasili Grossman and Ilja Erenburg ("Black book" - a description of Nazi brutality aginst jews in the territory of Poland and Soviet Union" I found the next information about the destruction of Koidanova jewry: "On the 16th of July, 1944 in honour of Minsk liberation by Soviet troops and partyzans in Minsk was organized a Parztyzan`s parade. Between others patzyzans detachments was a jewish detachment of Minsk carpenter Sholom Zorin. One of the Zorin`s detachment members Sonya Katz remebers: "I was 20 yers old in 1941. After the occupation, germans evicted all jews in ghetto. My father was shooted in the first days of war. On the 11th of August a boy ran from Koidanova to Minsk ghetto. His story was: "All jews of shtetl were shooted and threw to a pit, the majority of them were buried alive... The land moved about three hours. The victims tried to get out from a pit". Between Koidanova victims were Sonya`s sisters Genya with three daughters - Galya, Sima and Berta. Sonya`s mother heard about this story and died. Duing the pogrom of November, 1941, in Minsk ghetto Sonya and twenty other girls hid in a pit of ruined houses in Zelenaya street and went away from ghetto. Seven of them reached partyzans. During her partyzan`s activity Sonya killed tenth of germans, destroyed 3 bridges and 2 german echelons".
Soviet Army liberated Dziarzhinsk on the 6th of July, 1944.