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Mahiljou | Mogilev
Магілёў | Могилёв
( Belarus. ) | ( Russian )
coat of arms
coat of arms
State : BelarusBelarus Belarus
Woblasz : Flag of Mahilyow Voblast.svg Mahiljou
Coordinates : 53 ° 54 '  N , 30 ° 20'  E Coordinates: 53 ° 54 '  N , 30 ° 20'  E
Height : 192  m
Area : 118.5  km²
Residents : 381,353 (2018)
Population density : 3,218 inhabitants per km²
Time zone : Moscow time ( UTC + 3 )
Telephone code : (+375) 222
Postal code : BY - 212xxx
License plate : 6th
Mayor : Viktor Shorikov
Website :
Mahiljou (Belarus)
Mahiljou Town Hall

Mahiljou or Mogiljow ( Belarusian Магілёў 'Mahiljou' ; Russian Могилёв Mogiljow ; older German transcription Mogilev ) is the third largest city in Belarus with 381,353 inhabitants (as of 2018) . It is located in the east of the country on the Dnieper . The city is the seat of the administration of Mahiljouskaja Woblasz , an industrial city (mechanical engineering, chemical fiber, light, food industry), railway junction, port city and the cultural center of the area with universities, theaters and monuments.


The emergence of the city, first mentioned in writing in 1267, was connected with the construction of a fortress and was intended to protect the population from attacks by Mongolian armies , which attacked the principalities of the Kievan Rus as early as 1238 and destroyed the capital Kiev in 1240 . In the 14th century Mahiljou, which had achieved extensive autonomy and was considered an important trading center in the region, belonged to the Grand Duchy of Lithuania .

Modern times

After the unification of the Kingdom of Poland and the Grand Duchy of Lithuania in the Treaty of Lublin on August 12, 1569 , Mahiljou became part of the newly founded state of Poland-Lithuania and received city rights on January 28, 1577. In the course of the fighting between Russian and Polish-Lithuanian troops in the Livonian War for control in the Baltic States , the city, built mainly of wooden structures, was captured and burned down in 1580. During the Great Northern War, which was waged by the Swedish Empire against Russia and Poland-Lithuania, the units under the command of the Swedish General Lewenhaupt were on September 28th July. / October 9, 1708 greg. attacked with the supply column intended for the Swedish main army and suffered a devastating defeat under adverse weather conditions and exhausted from the river crossing. The Battle of Lesnaja , named after today's district, formed the basis for the later Russian victory in the Battle of Poltava over the now weakened and demoralized Swedish main army under King Charles XII. (1682-1718). During the fighting, the city was captured and almost completely burned down.

Like many other cities in today's Belarus, the city developed into an important Jewish community center as early as the 18th century. In 1772 Mahiljou fell to Russia through the First Partition of Poland . Under Russian rule it was the capital of the governorate of the same name . An archdiocese of the Roman Catholic Church was established in Mahiljou on April 15, 1783 . This was united in 1991 with the diocese of Minsk to form the Archdiocese of Minsk-Mahiljou .

19th century

During Napoleon's Russian campaign in 1812, the city was captured by troops of the Grande Armée . After the defeat of the French, the region quickly recovered from the consequences of occupation and foreign rule. During the advance as well as the retreat of the French, the northern neighboring cities of Smolensk and Orsha were the main stages along the Heerstrasse. In 1824 the Russian national poet Alexander Sergejewitsch Pushkin was passing through the city. In the late 19th century the population began to grow again, around 1900 the Jewish population was already 50%.

First World War

From 1915 the city was the headquarters of the command of the Supreme Commander of the Army Nicholas II , whose Commander-in-Chief Duchonin was murdered here by Red Guards after the October Revolution . During the Russian Civil War , the city changed hands several times in 1918. After the civil war, the city became part of the BSSR within the Soviet Union . In the Soviet era, the expansion of the city into an industrial center received new impetus. The city already had 100,000 inhabitants by 1940.

World War II and Holocaust

Mogilev 1941
The Wehrmacht guards people with Jewish stars when they are used for forced labor , admission of the propaganda company in July 1941

On July 26, 1941, the German Wehrmacht captured the city, which the occupiers called Mogilew . This designation has survived (partly in the also older English spelling Mogilev , also Mohilev ) in German-language historical specialist literature to this day.

The Higher SS and Police Leader (HSSPF) Erich von dem Bach-Zelewski took his seat there. Under his responsibility, Jewish women, men and children were shot en masse in 1941: On October 2, 1941, members of the III. Battalion of the Police Regiment Center ( Police Bataillon 322 ), SS men and Ukrainian auxiliary police officers in the Mahiljou ghetto together. The next day they were driven in trucks of the police battalion's motor vehicle squadron to an anti-tank ditch in front of the city and shot there by police officers from the 7th and 9th companies. While the German police officers murdered the men and women, the children who were also brought in were killed by Ukrainian volunteers . A total of 2,208 people fell victim to this massacre. On October 19, 1941, Einsatzkommando 8 and Police Battalion 316 shot a total of 3,726 Jews; on October 23, 1941, 279 Jews were murdered in the same way. On this day Heinrich Himmler came to Mahiljou. He ordered that other methods of extermination should be found.

In September 1941 mentally handicapped prison inmates in Mahiljou were poisoned with car exhaust fumes by the police on a trial basis. The method of killing using engine exhaust gases tried out here was later expanded and used in several extermination camps . Himmler initially gave the order to have gas trucks built, one of which - albeit with different technology - was used by the Lange Special Command in Wartheland as early as 1940 . In November 1941, the Erfurt company JA Topf und Sons received the order to supply 32 ovens for a planned huge crematorium in Mahiljou. Presumably, at that time, the idea was to build a large camp near Mahiljou, whose function was later taken over by the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp and other extermination camps in Poland. The order for Mahiljou was canceled and some of the ovens were later delivered to Auschwitz. In the Maly Trostinez extermination camp not far from Minsk, at least 40,000 Jews were shot or murdered in gas vans from 1942 onwards. On June 28, 1944, Mahiljou was retaken by the Red Army . In the course of the German-Soviet War , Mahiljou suffered severe damage in fighting between German and Soviet troops. After the end of the Second World War , the city was rebuilt and developed into an industrial center and transport hub. In Mahiljou there was the prisoner of war camp 311, Mogilew, for German prisoners of war of the Second World War. Seriously ill people were cared for in prisoner-of-war hospital 3161, Cholmy .

Chernobyl nuclear disaster

Cesium-137 contamination in 1996 in Belarus, Russia and Ukraine in kilobecquerels per square meter

The area southeast of Mahiljou was radioactively contaminated as a result of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster in April 1986 .


In 1991 Belarus became independent with the collapse of the Soviet Union and Mahiljou became part of the new state.

In Mahiljou, the Belarusian President Aljaksandr Lukashenka also studied at the agricultural college there .

coat of arms

Coat of arms of the city of Mahiljou
Blazon : “In blue, three silver brick round tin towers with pointed roofsstandingon a green shield base and in the middle with two wide-open gate leaves. A silver armored sword-wielding knight stands in the archway. In red crest image above the door a pahonia . "

Economy and Infrastructure

In 1995 there were over 3000 companies and private companies in the city of Mahiljou, including 1615 craft and small businesses, 232 cooperative companies, 136 joint-stock companies and 1048 companies (as GmbH). 150 state-owned companies also had branches or offices in the city. All of the country's leading listed stock and savings banks are represented in the city with a total of 27 branches. The city's import and export companies sold for about US $ million. Goods and services to the countries of the CIS, of which 87% to Russia, 8.7% to Ukraine. Goods worth US $ 208 million were exported to other European countries. 40% of these goods went to the Federal Republic of Germany, 17% to Turkey and 12% to Switzerland.


Mahiljou is the center of the chemical industry in the Republic of Belarus; Mechanical and plant engineering, the food industry, textiles and clothing industry as well as light industry are very pronounced in the economic region of Mahiljou. The city is home to 67 of the country's larger industrial companies with production facilities and administrative offices. The export turnover in 1995 was US $ 726.2 million.

  • The most important foreign exporter for chemical synthetic fibers and rayon is the "Chimwolokno" plant, it covers 70% of the city's export share and exports goods to 80 countries around the world.
  • The Mogilewski Awtomobilny Sawod , also known under the name MoAZ, has specialized in the manufacture of vehicles for road construction technology and construction machinery as well as special transporters.
  • The vehicle construction company "Mogiljovtransmach" is a manufacturer of semitrailers for trucks in various dimensions and designs. Truck cranes and front loaders for containers are also developed and built in the plant.
  • The "Stromaschina" plant produces equipment and systems for the production of building materials, for example brick kilns, machines for the production of molded stone from clay or cement, systems for the production of reinforced concrete sleepers and similar standardized components for traffic structures in the CIS successor states, also in the EC economic area.
  • The metallurgical plant "Metal" produces foundry products and pipes in nominal widths of 100 to 400 mm, standardized pipes for industrial and plant construction, sanitary requirements, profile steel products and cast iron products according to customer specifications.
  • The plant manufacturer "Elektrodwigatel" manufactures electric motors for industry, mining and plant engineering. Another range of products includes electrical household appliances.
  • The plant manufacturer "Lift" has specialized in the development and manufacture of passenger elevators and agricultural winches. Hospital elevators and special equipment for elevators are also manufactured.
  • The electronics company "Zenit" is a manufacturer of radio receivers and high-frequency technology (transmitters and receiving stations)
  • The company "Mogotex" is a universal manufacturer of everyday clothing, special clothing, sport and leisure fashion as well as clothing and technical fabrics.
  • In the “Vyaznyanka” fashion factory, fashionable women's outerwear as well as winter and faux fur coats are produced for export.

Food industry

Much of the food for the city of Mahiljou and the region is supplied by the city's food producers. These include the city's dairy combine, the meat and sausage combine and the gelatine factory (manufacturer of animal feed, technical fats, etc.), baked goods manufacturers and breweries, as well as manufacturers of food and luxury goods. Packaging plants (BELPACK), canning manufacturers, breweries and logistics companies in the city are intertwined with the food sector.


Belong to the infrastructure of the city

  • two heating power plants based on natural gas (totaling 360 MWh) to generate electricity and district heating,
  • several smaller oil-based thermal power stations
  • the transport network with motorways, trunk roads and railways that was established in the Soviet era is supplemented by the inner-city transport network (bus lines).
  • 32 post and telecommunications offices
  • a state television station with 5 programs and a state radio station: in the district of Polykowichi there is a 350 meter high transmission mast for broadcasting television and FM radio programs. It is one of the tallest structures in Belarus.


The football club Dnjapro Mahiljou currently plays in the Wyschejschaja Liha , the top division of Belarus. In football, the city was also represented by FK Tarpėda Mahiljou . The city is also home to the HK Mahiljou ice hockey club.

sons and daughters of the town

David Pinski


  • Mahiljou City Council, City Marketing Department (ed.): Могилев твоӣ економический партнер . Mogiljov - your business partner. ПРИНТ ТИМ, Mahiljou 1996, p. 74 .
  • Peter Longerich : Politics of Annihilation. The overall presentation of the National Socialist persecution of the Jews. Piper, Munich 1998, ISBN 3-492-03755-0 (various information on Mogiljow in the register).
  • Mogilev. In: Guy Miron (ed.): The Yad Vashem encyclopedia of the ghettos during the Holocaust. Yad Vashem, Jerusalem 2009, ISBN 978-965-308-345-5 , pp. 491 f.

Web links

Commons : Mahiljou  - collection of images, videos and audio files


  1. Population as of January 1, 2018
  2. Historical Atlas , Map 27, Napoleonic Era, supplementary map of Napoleon's campaign in Russia. Color print around 1895. (No longer available online.) In: Archived from the original on April 12, 2013 ; accessed on October 2, 2018 (center: Eger, and 4 side maps, 23x29 cm).
  3. ^ Paul R. Magocsi: Historical Atlas of Central Europe. [2nd,] rev. and exp. Edition. University of Washington Press, Seattle 2002, ISBN 0-295-98193-8 , p. 109.
  4. Cf. for example Annette Weber : On the trail of the dragon: To the representation of the city of Worms with the Lindwurm in the synagogue to Mohilev in Belarus. In: Karl E. Grözinger (Ed.): Jewish culture in the ShUM cities. Literature, music, theater. Harrassowitz, Wiesbaden 2014, pp. 21–36.
  5. Andrej Angrick , Martina Voigt, Silke Ammerschubert, Peter Klein : "You should have kept a diary" The police battalion 322 and the murder of Jews in the area of ​​Army Group Middle during the summer and autumn of 1941. In: Helge Grabitz u. a. (Ed.): The normality of crime. Balance sheet and perspectives of research on the national socialist violent crimes. Festschrift for Wolfgang Scheffler on his 65th birthday. Berlin 1994, p. 346 ff.
  6. ^ Peter Longerich : Politics of Destruction. The overall presentation of the National Socialist persecution of the Jews. Piper, Munich 1998, ISBN 3-492-03755-0 , p. 371.
  7. ^ Mathias Beer : The development of gas vans during the murder of the Jews. In: Vierteljahrshefte für Zeitgeschichte . 35th year (1987), issue 3, p. 408 ff. ( PDF; 790 kB; September 10, 2007, changed on August 7, 2011 ).
  8. ^ Christian Gerlach : Failure of Plans for an SS Extermination Camp in Mogilev, Belarussia. In: Holocaust and Genocide Studies. 11 (1997), ISSN  8756-6583 , pp. 60-78, doi: 10.1093 / hgs / 11.1.60 .
  9. Erich Maschke (ed.): On the history of the German prisoners of war of the Second World War. Ernst and Werner Gieseking, Bielefeld 1962–1977, DNB 540491969 .
  10. ПОД ЧЕРНОБЫЛЬСКИМ ПЕПЛОМ. Боль земли Могилевской… In:, accessed on October 2, 2018.