Trochinbrod was a Jewish city situated in what is now considered the western part of Ukraine , although it was once part of Poland , 30 kilometers northwest of Lutsk . She was also known as Sofievka or Zofiowka , in Polish, on behalf of Sofia, a Russian princess who ceded her lands to the Jewish settlement. 1


Trochinbrod was founded in 1835. At first it was an agricultural colony, and later it became a small town. The population grew from 1,200 (235 families) in 1889 to 1,580 in 1897. 1

During the post-Soviet War, the city was taken over by the Poles. In 1938 the Jewish population had reached the figure of 3,000 inhabitants. 1 The majority of the population carried out agricultural tasks, was engaged in dairy farming or tanning.

There were seven synagogues in Trochinbrod. In 1940 the city was invaded by the Russians. At that time the rabbi was Gershon Weissmann. The communists exiled him to Siberia after accusing him of involvement in the clandestine salt trade. 1

Later, when the Nazis occupied Ukraine they established a ghetto at Trochinbrod, and there they brought the Jews from nearby villages and towns. The ghetto of Trochinbrod was eliminated by the Nazis during August and September of 1942. Most of the Jews of Trochinbrod, besides those who lived in the near city of Lozisht, were assassinated, as well as other Jews of Volhynia . Local Ukrainian police helped to corner the Jews. No more than 200 Jews from the Ghetto of Trochinbrod and the surrounding areas survived the massacre. The city was completely consumed by the flames. At this moment only fields and forests can be seen.

Only a few of the inhabitants managed to escape extermination and destruction. At the end of the war, most of the survivors (between 30 and 40) were found in an area near Lodz.

Trochinbrod in science fiction

A fictional version of Trochinbrod appeared in the novel “Everything is enlightened”, written by Jonathan Safran Foer , in addition to the film of the same name that was released in 2005.

The protagonist, Safran Foer (who bears the same name as the author) goes to Ukraine to look for a girl named Agustina, who saved his grandfather during the war.


  1. ↑ Jump to:a b c d Boat, Eleazar. Trochinbrod – (Zofiowka) (translated from Hebrew by Karen Engel)