- Ella German (born 1937), girlfriend of Lee Harvey Oswald
- Moisei Ginzburg, constructivist architect
- Ivan Lubennikov, Russian painter, birthplace
- Louis Burt Mayer, American film producer, one of the founders of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
- Lee Harvey Oswald, assassin of US President John F Kennedy, resided in Minsk from January 1960 to June 1962.
- Nechepurenko, Ivan (October 5, 2017). “How Europes Last Dictatorship Became a Tech Hub”. The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331.
- 1825 – Pischalauski Castle built. == that’s a big prison
- 1827 – Population: 3,000 (approximate).
- 1831 – Polish uprising.
- 1836 – Alexander Square, Minsk established.
- In the late 13th century, a chronicle was compiled called the Life of Alexander Nevsky (Житие Александра Невского), in which he is depicted as an ideal prince-soldier and defender of Russia.
On 21 May 1725, the empress Catherine I introduced the Imperial Order of St. Alexander Nevsky as one of the highest decorations in the land. During the Great Patriotic War, on 29 July 1942, the Soviet authorities introduced an Order of Alexander Nevsky to revive the memory of Alexander’s struggle with the Germans. There was also an earlier Bulgarian Order dedicated to Saint Alexander which was founded on 25 December 1881, which ceased to exist when the People’s Republic was declared on 16 September 1946.
- 1837 – Fire brigade in operation.
- 1838 – Minskiye gubernskiye vedomosti newspaper begins publication.
- 1840 – Military Cemetery established.
- 1844 – Theatre opens.
Minsk escaped the Mongol invasion of Rus in 1237–1239. However, in later years it was attacked by nomadic invaders from the Golden Horde, who turned many principalities of disintegrated Kievan Rus’ into their vassal states. Trying to avoid the Tatar yoke, the Principality of Minsk sought protection from Lithuanian princes further north, who had been consolidating their power in the region. In 1242 Minsk became a part of the expanding Grand Duchy of Lithuania. It was annexed peacefully and local elites enjoyed high ranking in the society of the Grand Duchy. For instance, a treaty between Grand Duchy of Lithuania and the city of Novgorod was signed for Lithuanian Prince Gediminas by Vasily, the then ruler of Minsk.
In 1441 Lithuanian prince Kazimierz IV Jagiellon included Minsk into a list of cities enjoying certain privileges. During the reign of his son Aleksander Jagiellon Minsk received its town privileges (Magdeburg law) in 1499. The city was governed by a magistrate headed by an appointed governor, usually an influential local landlord.
By 1450 Minsk was among 15 largest cities of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania with about 5,000 population. It was an important and wealthy trading city profiting from its favourable location. It was on the ancient trading roads connecting Smolensk and Moscow in the east to Poland and Central Europe in the west, and linking Novgorod and Vilnius in the north with Ukraine. Historical records suggest that Minsk contributed large sums to the treasury of the Grand Duchy.
Minsk was often a target for foreign invasions. In 1505 it was raided by Crimean Khanate army, in 1508 besieged by the troops of Muscovy, who also raided the vicinity of Minsk in 1514 and 1519. To restore the wealth of the city, Zygmunt II Augustextended town privileges in 1552, allowing trade fairs, and transferred some agricultural lands around the city to Minsk. In 1569 after the Union of Lublin the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and Kingdom of Poland merged into a single state, the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. Since then, a Polish community settled in Minsk – government clerks, officers and craftsmen.
Jews first leased the customs duties of Minsk in 1489, and during the 16th century they began to settle in the town. In 1579 King Stephen Báthory granted the Jews of Minsk a charter, but in 1606 King Sigismund III prohibited Jews from opening shops there or engaging in commerce. In 1633 King Ladislaus IV confirmed these rights and permitted the Jews of Minsk to acquire real estate on the market square or anywhere else, and to buy land for a new cemetery.
During the *Chmielnicki revolt and the Russian-Polish War which followed it, the Jews of Minsk were among those who suffered. In 1679 King John III Sobieski confirmed their right to the ownership of houses and shops, their synagogue and cemetery, and restated their freedom to engage in commerce and crafts and their exemption from all jurisdiction excepting that of the king. These rights were confirmed in their entirety by King Augustus II in 1722. Hence the community of Minsk prospered during the 17th (col. 51)
and 18th centuries in spite of the opposition of the townspeople.
In 1766 1,322 Jewish poll tax payers were registered in Minsk. Jews were prominent in the town’s commercial life and at the fairs of nearby *Mir and Kapulia (see *Market Days and Fairs). The spiritual life of the community was also enriched. In 1685 a yeshivah [[religious Torah school]] was established by the local rabbi, Moses Mordecai. Among the rabbis and rashei yeshivah [[heads of academies]] of Minsk during the 18th century were Jehiel b. Solomon *Heilprin, Aryeh Leib b. Asher *Gunzberg, and Raphael *Cohen.
In the framework of the *Councils of the Lands, Minsk was subordinated to *Brest-Litovsk (Brisk) in 1623, but by 1631 Minsk and its surrounding district was considered a separate province.
[19th century: since 1773 in the “Pale of Settlement” – 52.2% Jewish population by 1897 – community life: conservatives, enlightenment, and Jewish labour movement]
During the 19th century, Minsk was one of the largest and most important communities in Russia. In 1847 the Jewish population numbered 12,976, rising to 47,562 (52.3%) of the total population) in 1897 [[probably also by migration into cities]], which made Minsk the fourth largest community in the *Pale of Settlement.
Jewish life in the first half of the 19th century is reflected in the community records, which were published with a Russian translation by Jacob *Brafman. Mitnaggedim [[also: misnagdim, mitnagdim: opponents]] were influential in Minsk, and Hasidism was relatively weak. There were several yeshivot [[religious Torah schools]] in the town, the largest of which was known as “Blumke’s Kloyz”.
At the end of the 19th century Jerohman Judah Leib *Perelmann == check my spelling there, i’d had to correct it from Jeroham or some such — yeah, there i found it tht way again, but have to sign off now, etc., — , who was known as “the gadol [the great scholar] of Minsk”, officiated there as rabbi. A circle of maskilim [[followers of the Haskalah, enlightenment Jews, secularists]] also existed in the town, and in the 1840s several Jewish schools which included secular subjects in their curricula were opened there.
Minsk was one of the places where the Jewish labour movement originated and developed. In the mid-1870s circles of Jewish Socialists were organized, which were very active during the 1880s and 1890s. The years 1893-94 also saw the birth of the “national opposition” to them, led by A. *Liessin.
In 1895 a convention of Jewish Socialists was held in Minsk, which discussed the projected establishment of a Jewish Socialist Federation. The Jewish Socialists of Minsk sent delegates to the founding convention of the *Bund in 1897, and Minsk became one of the centers of the Bund’s activities, being the first seat of the movement’s central committee until 1898, when it was dispersed by the police.
From 1901 to 1903, Minsk likewise became the center of the activities of the *Independent Jewish Workers’ Party. Jews were predominant in the demonstrations and revolutionary meeting held in the town in 1905 and were also the principal victims of the riots directed against liberal elements in general which took place in October 1905.
[Zionism and Herzl Zionism in Minsk – Zionist conventions in Minsk]
Groups of Hovevei Zion (see *Hibbat Zion) were first organized in Minsk in the early 1880s. In In 1882 the Kibbutz Niddehei Israel association was founded there, and in 1890 the Agudat ha-Elef. Later, Zionism became very influential. In 1902, with the authorization of the government, the Second Convention of Russian Zionists was held in Minsk.
In the communal elections of 1918, the Zionists and (col. 52)
*Po’alei Zion won 33 seats, the Orthodox 25 seats, the Bund 17 seats, the non affiliated six seats, and the *Folkspartei and the *United Jewish Socialists Workers’ Party two seats each.
[1919-1939: Soviet rule: religion and Zionism suppressed – Yiddish Jewish culture supported]
After the establishment of the Soviet regime, Jewish communal and religious life was silenced at Minsk as elsewhere in the Soviet Union. The suppressed religious and national institutions were replaced by institutions of Jewish culture based on the Yiddish language and Communist ideology, and Minsk became an important center of Jewish-Communist cultural activity in the Soviet Union. Yiddish schools were established, and at the Institute of Belorussian Culture, founded in 1924, a Jewish section was organized.
It published several scientific works, including Tsaytshrift [[Yidd., Engl.: Magazine”]] (5 vols., 1926-31) devoted to Jewish history, literature, and folklore. A Jewish department was also established (1921) within the faculty of education of the University of Minsk. These institutions, however, were closed down in the mid-1930s. Various newspapers, periodicals, and other publications in Yiddish were issued in the town. These included the daily newspaper Der Shtern [[“The Star”]] (1918-21), Der Veker [[“The Alarm Clock”]] (1917-25); until 1921 the organ of the Bund), Oktyabr [[“October”]] (1925-41), and the literary monthly Shtern [[“Star”]] (1925-41).
In 1926, there were 53,686 Jews in Minsk (40.8% of the population).
In 1808 Simhah Zimel set up in Minsk a Hebrew printing press which he had brought from *Grodno. Up to 1823, he had printed at least 12 books, mostly liturgical. Another press was established in 1820 by Gerson Blaustein, who by 1837 had also printed 12 books, again mostly liturgical, though including one volume of Hebrew poetry by M. *Letteris (1832). In the 20th century a Hebrew press once more operated in Minsk, printing books and newspapers mainly for local use. After the Russian Revolution, the studies in the history of Russian Jewry and Yiddish literature which were published in Yiddish by the Jewish section of the Institute of Belorussian Culture were printed in Minsk.
jewish gen dot org /Communities/community dot php?usbgn=-1946324
Dr. Herzl Berger, 1904-1962
wilhelm robert karl anderson 1880-1940
yehudah leib levin 1844-1925