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Coordinates: 50°56′26″N 25°43′45″E / 50.9406°N 25.7292°E / 50.9406; 25.7292

For the landscape park in central Ukraine, see Sofiyivsky Park.
Trochinbrod / Zofiowka
Ukrainian: Trokhymbrid
Volhynia 1939 Poland (Województwo Wołyńskie).jpg
Red pog.svg
Zofiówka in Wołyń Voivodeship before World War II
50°55′15″N 25°41′50″E / 50.92083°N 25.69722°E / 50.92083; 25.69722
Settlement type Jewish shtetl
Location Partitioned Poland, later Second Polish Republic
Destroyed 1942

Trochenbrod or Trohinbrod, also Zofiówka in Polish (Sofiyovka in Russian, Ukrainian: Трохимбрід, Trokhymbrid), was a Jewish shtetl (village) located in the Wołyń Voivodeship of the Second Polish Republic before World War II, at an area 1,728 acres (6.99 km2). It was located about 30 kilometres (19 mi) northeast of Lutsk. After the invasion of Poland by the Soviet Union in 1939, the village was transferred to western Ukraine by Joseph Stalin. It was completely eradicated in the course of Operation Barbarossa. The nearest present-day villages are Yaromel (Яромель) and Klubochyn (Клубочин).[1]

The settlement inhabited entirely by the Jews was named after Sofia (hence Sofievka or Zofiówka), a Württemberg princess married to a future Tsar of Russia. She donated a parcel of land for the Jewish settlement from the Russian Partition following the destruction of an anti-Tsarist uprising in the partitioned Poland.[2]


Trochenbrod was founded in 1835, initially a farming colony which grew into a small town. The population grew from around 1,200 (235 families) in 1889 to 1,580 in 1897.[2] The name is Yiddish for "Dry Bread" or "Bread without Butter".

During the Polish-Soviet War, the town was rescued by Poland. By 1938 the town's exclusively Jewish population had grown to at least 3,000.[2] Most of the population were engaged in farming, dairy farming, or tanning.

There were seven synagogues in Trochenbrod. In 1939, the town, along with the rest of western Ukraine, was invaded by the Soviet Union (see Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact). The rabbi at this time was Rabbi Gershon Weissmann. The Communists exiled him to Siberia after accusing him of being involved in underground salt trading.[2]

The Holocaust[edit]

When Nazi Germany later invaded the Soviet Union in Operation Barbarossa, it established a ghetto at Trochenbrod, bringing in Jews from nearby villages and towns. The Trochenbrod ghetto was liquidated by the Nazis in August and September 1942.[3] Most of the Jews of Trochenbrod as well as of the neighbouring village Lozisht were murdered, as were the other Jews of Volhynia.[2] The local police force consisting mostly of Ukrainians helped to round up the Jews; however, Ukrainian partisans from the nearest village, Klubochyn, assisted a Jewish resistance group in Trochenbrod and took up military action against the Nazis.[3] No more than 200 Jews from the Trochenbrod ghetto and nearby areas survived the massacre.[3] The village itself was totally destroyed by fire.[2] Now only fields and a forest can be found there. The Ukrainian residents of Klubochyn were also murdered for assisting Trochenbrod Jews and the Klubochyn partisans. [3]

A few of the inhabitants managed to escape the murder and destruction. At the end of the war, the survivors numbered between 33[2] and 40;[3] most were found in the area near Lutsk.[2]

Trochenbrod in fiction[edit]

A fictional version of the shtetl, Trachimbrod, was featured in the 2002 novel Everything Is Illuminated by Jonathan Safran Foer as well as in the 2005 film based on the novel.

Safran Foer's story describes fictional events in the village between 1791, the year in which the shtetl was first named, and 1942, when it was destroyed in the war. Safran Foer's protagonist (who goes by the author's name and also by the name "The Hero", or "The Collector" in the film version) comes to Ukraine to look for a woman named Augustine, who saved his grandfather in the war. A reviewer from The Prague Post laments that the book misrepresents the history of Jews in Ukraine and that the factual history of the massacre at Trochenbrod "...stands in a sharp contrast to claims made in the book." [4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Eleazar Barco (April 22, 1999). "Trochinbrod - Zofiowka". Gary Sokolow ( Retrieved 18 April 2014. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h Barco, Eleazar. Trochinbrod - (Zofiowka) (translated from Hebrew by Karen Engel)
  3. ^ a b c d e Katchanovski, Ivan. NOT Everything Is Illuminated in The Prague Post (October 7, 2004)
  4. ^ Katchanovski, Ivan. (October 7, 2004) "Not Everything Is Illuminated". The Prague Post. Accessed November 20, 2010.


External links[edit]