- This article is about the town in Belarus. For the town near Saint Petersburg known as Slutsk 1918-1944, see Pavlovsk, Saint Petersburg.
City Hall of Sluck
|• Total||24.6 km2 (9.5 sq mi)|
|Elevation||250 m (820 ft)|
|• Density||2,500/km2 (6,500/sq mi)|
|Time zone||FET (UTC+3)|
|• Summer (DST)||FET (UTC+3)|
|Area code(s)||+375 1795|
Slutsk (officially transliterated as Sluck, Belarusian: Слуцк; Russian: Слуцк; Polish: Słuck) is a town in Belarus, located on the Sluch River 105 km (65 mi) south of Minsk. As of 2010 its population is of 61,400. Slutsk is the administrative center of Slutsk Raion.
The town is situated in the south-west of its Region, 26 km (16 mi) north of Soligorsk.
Slutsk was first mentioned in writing in 1116. It was part of the Principality of Turov and Pinsk, but in 1160 it became the capital of a separate Slutsk Principality. From 1320–1330 it was part of the domain of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. Later it was owned by the Olelkovich and Radziwiłł families, which transformed the city into a center of the Polish Reformed Church with a Gymnasium that existed until 1918. It was part of Russian Empire after Second Partition of Poland in 1793. It was occupied by Germany in 1918 and again between 1941-1944, and by Poland between 1919 and 1920 during Polish Soviet War.
Following the 17th century the town became famous for its manufactories of kontusz belts, some of the most expensive and luxurious pieces of garment of the szlachta. Because of the popularity of the belts made in Slutsk, all the belts worn over the żupan were often called the Belts of Slutsk, despite their real place of origin.
During World War II, Slutsk was occupied by the German Army on 26 June 1941 and placed under the administration of Reichskommissariat Ostland. The period of German occupation ended on 30 June 1944, when troops of the 1st Belorussian Front recaptured the town during the Minsk Offensive of the Red Army.
The first indication of Jews in Slutsk is from 1583 when the town was part of Lithuania. Formal recognition came in 1601. By 1623, Jews owned 16 homes. In 1691, Slutsk became one of the five leading communities of area of Lithuania. By 1750 there were 1,593 Jews. Although this number represented a third of the town's population, 75% of the town's merchants were Jews, and a similar proportion accounted for Jewish ownership and merchandizing of alcohol. After annexation by Russia in 1793, growth of the town slowed, in part due to it being bypassed by the railroad. By 1897 the Jewish community numbered 10,264 inhabitants, or 77% of the town population. They played a central role in the town's markets, particularly in agricultural produce.
Slutsk was not insignificant in terms of Torah study. Among the rabbinic figures who served there were Yehudah Leib Pohovitser, Chayim ha-Kohen Rapoport, Yosef Dov Ber Soloveichik (1865–1874), and Isser Zalman Meltzer. According to legend the Baal Shem Tov visited Slutsk in 1733 at the invitation of Shmuel Ickowicz. Despite this, the town was known for its anti-hasidic misnagdim. The Haskalah and modern Jewish political parties also were represented among the population.
- Isaac Dov Berkowitz – Jewish and Israeli author
- Eliyahu Feinstein – rabbinic authority
- Yaakov Yosef Herman – Orthodox Jewish pioneer in America
- Semyon Kosberg – Jewish Soviet engineer
- Shneur Kotler – rosh yeshiva, Lakewood yeshiva
- Boruch Ber Leibowitz – leading rosh yeshiva
- Isser Zalman Meltzer – Rabbi of Slutsk from 1903 to 1923
- Princess Sophia of Slutsk, medieval Eastern Orthodox saint
- Edward Sperling – Jewish writer and humorist
- Mikola Statkevich – Belarusian politician
- Mikhail Yakimovich – Belarusian handball player
- Lidia Yermoshina – Belarusian politician
- Shaul Yisraeli – religious Zionist rabbi
Twin towns — Sister cities
Slutsk is twinned with:
- Slutsk Affair
- Slutsk defence action
- List of cities and towns in Belarus
- Pas kontuszowy
- Słuck Confederation
- "World Gazetteer". Archived from the original on 2013-01-11.
- (Russian) 2010 Belarus population statistics (RAR file format)
- Adam Teller, "Slutsk," YIVO Encyclopedia of Jews in Eastern Europe, (19 October 2010), accessed 25 January 2015.
Media related to Slutsk at Wikimedia Commons