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Between the Two World Wars (1920-1939)

The chronicles of the Jews of Pinsk between the two world wars has been extensively recorded with numerous photos in the book Pinsk, Volume II. This work covers all areas of the community’s life.

During this period in history, most of the Jews of Pinsk were enamored with the Zionist Movement, whose parties included: two Zionist workers parties (left and right); General Zionist; "Brit Hatzoar" (Revisionists); "Mizrahi" (Religious); "WIZO" " Zionist women’s organization. There were also the "Jewish Workers Party Bund" which was not Zionist and included hundreds of members. During all of the local and national elections, representatives from this party along with the Zionist parties were elected. Most of the youths were organized into the Zionist youth movements: "Hashomer Hatsair", "Betar", "Hanoar Hatsiyoni", "Freiheit-Dror", and also "Tsukunft" ("Bund"). The older youths were associated with "Hechalutz" or the Pioneers, "Hechalutz Haclal-Tsioni", "Brit Hachayal" or the Soldiers Pact, "Hechalutz Hamizrachi".

The religious educational schools were 2 “Talmudi Torah”, “Hadarim”, “Hadarim Metukanim”, Yeshiva “Beit Yosef”. Most of the students studied in secular schools. Primary Schools: “Midrasha Tarbut” in the Hebrew language; “Tel-Hai” in Hebrew and Yiddish, sponsored by “Poaley Zion”; In the name of Gloiberman – Yiddish, sponsored by the “Bund”, as well as national-government schools in the Polish language. There were a few Jews who studied in these schools.High Schools: The Hebrew Gymnasium “Tarbut” (founded in 1927); hundreds of gymnasium students along with students from the two “Midrashot” filled the rows of the Zionist youth movement. A high level of Hebrew language dominated in all of their activities. When these students matured, most of them where among the new immigrants who came to the Land of Israel. The Chechik Gymnasium for girls in the Polish language later became a mixed school for boys and girls.2 government gymnasiums in the Polish language - girls and boys studied separately.2 vocational schools – girls and boys.

Every Friday 3 Yiddish Newspapers were published, and occasionally a Hebrew paper called “Nivenu” was also published.

On the eve of the Second World War, there were 30,000 Jews residing in Pinsk and they represented 75% of the general population. (In 1999, there were an estimated 130,000 citizens living in Pinsk and from this number only 500 are Jews.)

7 months of the Soviet occupation (17.9.39 – 21.6.41) was a period marked by cultural oppression and anti-zionist sentiments, and many of the “Jewish-bourgeoisi” were sent to Siberia (This by the way is what saved their lives). However, most of the youths integrated into work and studies under the new regime. Hundreds of them were saved as a result of being sent to distant places in the interior of Russia thereby avoiding the war between Russia and Germany


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