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Krupki [1]
Coat of Arms of Krupki, Belarus.png
Coat of arms
Nickname(s): Krupka
Miensk province, Krupki district.svg
Krupki district, Miensk province.
Coordinates: 54°19′N 29°08′E / 54.317°N 29.133°E / 54.317; 29.133
Minsk Voblast
 - A Mayor Mayor Mikhail Omelyanchuk, the Chairman of the Krupki District Executive Committee [2]
 - Total 276.51 km2 (106.8 sq mi)
 - Land 276.51 km2 (106.8 sq mi)
 - Water 0.01 km2 (0 sq mi)
Elevation 174 m (571 ft)
Population (1977)
 - Total 5,000.
Time zone EET [3] (UTC+2)
 - Summer (DST) EEST (UTC+3)
Area code(s) +375 1796

Coordinates: 54°19′N 29°08′E / 54.317°N 29.133°E / 54.317; 29.133


Krupki (Belarusian: Крупкі, Polish: Krupki, Russian: Крупки) is a small, rural town near the cities of Minsk and Mogilev in Belarus [4].


History before 1914

It was founded in 1067 AD. The town was several hundred years old by World War II and had existed during both the medieval Kingdom of Poland and of the great Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth. Krupki was then absorbed in to the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, after which, the district was annexed by the Russian Empire in 1793. Krupki became the administrative centre of it’s district and got its own council in 1900. The town’s coat of arms is a white, blue and yellow shield [5]. The old, wooden Bogoroditskaya Church in the near by village of Hodovcy is of tourist and historic value.[6]


A map of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and the Kingdom of Poland in the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, 1619.

The town's population was 1,800 (mostly Jewish) people in 166 houses, according to an 1895 Russian Encyclopedia [1], and 2,080 (largely non 'Hebrews') in 1926 as according to a similar reference book of 1961 [1]. There is no apparent evidence that any of Russia's endemic famines or pre-Revolutionary bread riots had broke out in Krupki town or it's immediate environs.

The Jewish community.

The Yiddish Jewish settlement in Krupki is first noted in seventeenth century and was thriving by the middle of the 18Th Century. About 40% of the Jews were employed as labours and craftsmen [7] and a Yiddish school was established in the town [7]. There were three Hebrew schools in Krupki by the 1890s according to an 1895 Russian Encyclopedia.[1]

About 75% of the local Jews fled the town during the Russian Revolution [8] and subsequent Russian Civil War [7], for either Western Europe or America. Only 870 of them remained in situ by 1939 [7][9]. There were also small Polish, Poleszuk(“Tutejsi”), Lithuanian and Roma settlements in Krupki.

World War 1 and World War 2.

The town was briefly taken by a small unit of Prussian troops during the later part of the war. Belarus first declared independence on 25 March 1918, forming the Belarusian People's Republic and later the Communist Party (bolsheviks) of Lithuania and Belorussia took it over in Belarus. As a result of this turn of fate, Krupki was incorporated in the U.S.S.R. after the western parts of Belarus and the border city of Brest were given to Poland and the eastern parts, along with the city of Minsk, joined the U.S.S.R., between the two world wars.

In September 1939, as a result of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, the Soviet Union invaded Poland and annexed its eastern lands, including most Polish-held Byelorussian land.[10] Nazi Germany invaded the Soviet Union in 1941.

On September 18, 1941 the entire Jewish Ghetto, [7] a community of 1,000 people were killed by the Nazis[11][12][13][14]. The massacre was described in the diary of one of the German perpetrators.[14] The first massacre involved 100 deaths near the grave yard,[7] but a later killing spree killed roughly 900 other Jews in different location.

At first, the Germans told the Jews to gather together because that were being deported to Germany.[14] But as the German forced then into a ditch, it was evident what the Germans has in mind. At this point, panic ensued.[14]

Ten shots rang out, ten Jews popped off. This continued until all were dispatched. Only a few of them kept their countenances. The children clung to their mothers, wives to their husbands. I won’t forget this spectacle in a hurry...[14]

Some of the Germans and Austrians involved in the incident were also injured during the panic. Very few, if any, of the local Belorussians, Roma/Gypsies or Poles supported the anti-Semitic attack and a few even actively opposed Nazi rule in their town altogether. Sadly, a small amount of brain dead locals (also see- Collaboration with the Axis Powers during World War II) would have probably joined in to, as in several other such instances. Luckily none, or at most, very few of the local Roma were destroyed in the Porrajmos. Krupki was liberated by the Red Army during the June of 1944 [15] [7]. Byelorussia was the hardest hit Soviet Republic in the war and remained in Nazi hands until it was liberated during the Minsk Offensive of 1944. The Jewish population of Byelorussia was devastated during The Holocaust [16] and never recovered.[17]

During the Cold War

The town was violently purged by the KGB [18]. It was to stay as part of the Belorussian SSR until 1991, when it became part of the state of Belarus [19]. Krupki's population had reached 5,000 by 1977.

The Junior Sergeant, Rifleman Kriptoshenko Vladimir Olegovich was awarded the Order of the Red Banner and Order of the Red Star (both posthumously) after being killed by grenade explosion during the 1988 Battle for Hill 3234 whilst serving in the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan[20].

Chernobyl radiation map 1996

Map of radiation levels in 1996 around Chernobyl.

The Chernobyl disaster

The Oblast was moderately irradiated in the Chernobyl disaster [21][22].

The post-Soviet era

It became part of the state of Belarus in 1991 after the collapse of the Soviet Union. A memorial cross dedicated to the victims of the Soviet purge was destroyed by Neo-Communists in 2009 [23]. There are various memorials, dedicated to the Soviet heroes Alena Kolesova, U.M. Martinkevich and space pilot Vladimir Kovalyonok[6].


Krupki lie 65 mi to the East from Minsk[1] and set at a height of 174 m[3][24][25][26][6]. The name means either to grind grain or the (grain) mill[1].


The Krupki Raion inside Minsk Voblast.


It has the usual cool to cold continental climate of Belorussia with heavy snowfall in the winter months. Part of the local land is used for agriculture.


It is mostly inhabited by Belorussians, but has Russian, Polish, Ukrainian and Jewish[27] minorities. The population was around 5,000 in 1977[6]. It has risen slightly since 1977, but no exact figures are available to date.


Krupki has Eastern Orthodox, Catholic, Protestant and Jewish communities. There is a synagogue and several churchs in the town[27] and the nearby wooden orthodox church.


It consists of both woodworking, flax, forestry, the farming of fruit and vegetables and food processing [6]. It once used to make pottery, produce bread and manufacture matches.[1]

Education and literacy

It is of the average standard for the state of Belorussia.


The roads are mostly tarmacked and are of an average grade for Belorussian road ways. The nearest airports are in Minsk and Krupki railway station[28].

See also


be:Горад Крупкі

be-x-old:Крупкі lt:Krupkosru:Крупки

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