The first mention of Rogachev (in Belarussian -  Ragachou) in written sources (Ipat`euskaya letapis) is 1142. In 1142 Kiev duke Vsevolod Olgovich presented Ragachou to his brother Igor.  This time,  Ragachou was in the squad of Chernigov Duchy.
There are a lot of ideas about the original of "Ragachou". One of them -  Lithuanian word "ragas" - sacred place. Also,  Ragachou is located on the horn (Belarussian and Russian - "Rog")  between the bed of  Dneper  and the estuary of Drut`. Quite possible, that  the name "Ragachou" is from  the  personal name - "Ragach".
Since the end of 13th century Ragachou was a part of the Grand Duchy of  Lithuania. In 1492, during the war between the Grand Duchy of Lithuania  and Moscow, Moscow   army destoryed Ragachou. They repeated the destrcutction of Ragachou in 1535. In 1562 Ragachou was destroyed by Tatar army.
In 15th century Ragachou was known as the possession of Pinsk duke. The last Pinsk duke Fedar Yaraslavich presented Ragachou in 1508  to Lithuanian duke and Polish king Sigizmund I. Since 1508 till 1772 Ragachou was a  king`s possession.
In the end of 16th-the beginning of 17th century the Kozaks of getman`s Nalivaika and Dubina were extremly active in Ragachou region. The second part of 17th - the first half of 18th century was an awful time for Ragachou: the bloody  revolt of Bogdan Chmelnitsky  in 1648, the war between Rech Paspalitaya (a union between the Polish Kingdom and the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, formed in 1569)  in 1654-67 (during this war Russian army and Ukrainian kozaks destroyed Ragachou), the war between Russia of Peter the Great and Rech Paspalitaya of August II with Sweden of Karl IX.
In XVIII century Ragachou wasn`t a big jewish settlement. In 1766 it  had about 200 jews.
In 1772 Ragachou became a part of Russian Empire as the provincial town in Mogilev (Belarussian - Magileu) region (1777- 96) and since 1802, in 1796-1802 of Belarussian gubernia.  From 1777 - Ragachou was the center of uezd. Russian authorities commanded to build a fortress in Ragachou. But they didn`t realize this project. Ragachou fortress was only on the paper. According to the description of  russian traveller in 1777  - Ragachou was an ordinary village with the peasants houses and jewish pubs (Belarussian - korchma). He wrote: "Ragachou was a dirty village with the Uniat church, Old Basilan (Catholic) church, an orthodox church and a synagogue". In 1797 Ragachou hadn`t christian tradesmen, but - 52 jewish tradesmen.
Geographical position of Ragachou played a great role in shtetl`s  economical position. The main articles of Ragachou economy were:  timber, fish and navigable industry, handicraft and trade (espescially - the trade on the Dnieper between Magileu and Kiev).
In 1812 France of Napoleon began the war with Russia of Alexander I.  During this war in 1812, not far from Ragachou, russian troops of general Raevskiy  had a battle with  their french enemies.

The main jewish communities of Ragachou uezd in 1847 were:
Shtetl
Jewish population
Ragachou
1.305
Zhlobin
1.597
Karpilauka
183
Tikhinichi
569
Sretin
630
Sverzhen
405
Sherstin
210
Chachersk
1.006
Garadzets
434
Korma
1.175

The results of the  famous Russian census of 1897  for Ragachou uezd were:


 
Shtetl
All population
Jewish population
Ragachou
9.038
5.048
Garadzets
1.261
512
Zhalezniki
1.123
120
Zhlobin
3.356
1.760
Karpilauka
2.174
1.027
Korma
1.534
1.328
Sverzhen
1.056
635
Sviatilavichi
717
174
Streshin
1.949
1.179
Siapozhatki
539
53
Tikhinichi
1.313
687
Chachersk
2.316
1.700

In 1897 Ragachou uezd had 224.000 inhabitants ( 21.880 of them - jews)

The main occupations of Ragachou jewry were leather, rope-cord and brick industry.
In 1880 Ragachou had a rope (in the beginning of 20th century - 6), beer, soap, two brick plants, water and wind mills,a wharf on the Priapiat. Shtetl had a great trade. And, of course, jewish community of Ragachou took an active part in it. Famous Ragachou  fairs (three big fairs per year). The tradesmen  from the all parts of Magileu  gubernia visited Ragachou fairs. One of the most famous Ragachou inhabitants was a tradesman (his specialization was a  timber industry)  of the second gildiya Tumarkin. He had 50.000 rubles per year as an income.
In the end of 19th century were built a wooden bridge across the Drut` and the  timber and cardboard plants. A great impuls for  the shtetl economy was a building  of Magileu-Zhlobin railway  in 1902.
Famous russian geographer V.P. Semionov wrote in his  "Rossija Polnoe geographiceskoe opisanie nashego Otechestva. - Russia. Full geographical description of our Motherland, Sankt-Petersburg, 1905):  Ragachou is quite clear miastechka (Yiddish - shtetl)  with two orthdox churches, catholic church, seven jewish prayer houses, 36 industry plants witt 173 workers. Shtetl has 11.800 inhabitants (7.140 of them -  jews). Ragachou income is  27.750 russian rubles per year".  In the beginning of 20th century in Ragachou was opened a cinema "Modern".
In 1910 Ragachou jewry had Talmud-Torah and  private female jewish school. I must add, that  Ragachou Chasidim community was on of the earliest in Rech Paspalitaya.
After the World War I, February and Bolshevik revolutions Polish troops occupied Ragachou from the 13th till 30th of January, 1918, german troops -  from February till the 22th of November, 1918.
Since May, 1919, Ragachou was a part of Russian Soviet Socialist Republic, since 1924 -  Ragachou was in squad of Bobruisk (Belarussian - Babruisk) akruga in Belarussian Soviet Socialist Republic,  1928 -  of Gomel region. The population of Ragachout in 1928 was 11.000 people. 11 years later -  15.200 people.
On the 22nd of June, 1941 Nazi Germany invaded Soivet Union. Ragachou was occupied in the beginning of July. On the 13th of July, 1941 Soviet troops of   L.R. Piatrouski liberated Ragachou, but in August, 1941, German army occupied it.  The germans  organized a ghetto in Ragachou. In the report of Gomel region comission about the crimes and brutality  of german fascists  on occupied territory of region in 1941-44 (the 9th of June, 1945) we can see an information about more then 3.500 Ragachou jews, killed in March of  1942. Red Army liberated Ragachou on the 24th of February, 1944.


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