Belarus SIG Newsletter

Issue No. 3 - May 1999

From the ShtetlSchleppers Trip to Belarus

A short report from Lou Dombro

Lou Dombro recently returned from a trip to Belarus which was arranged by JewishGen ShtetlSchleppers. Frank Swartz and his wife Galina were Lou's guides. Lou was asked to provide some feedback on his impressions of the trip. His response is as follows:

Our trip to Belarus went very smoothly and the guides and drivers, that were assigned to us, were wonderful and very personable.

Belarus, although very depressed economically, was much better than I expected. We did not learn much about our ancestor - our maternal grandmother who was born in Vitebsk - but our guide put us in contact with someone connected with the archives in Minsk, Rybtchonok Aleksandrovich (family name is always given first). He will try to find our grandmother's birth and marriage records in the 1860 to 1890 time frame.

The roads in Belarus are excellent. You can find extremely good bargains, but limited items, since the exchange rate is astronomical.

The hotel was fairly good and clean but not up to western standards. Food was OK.

We also went to Vilnius and toured the former Jewish areas.

There are functioning synagogues in both Vitebsk and Vilnius which are worth visiting.

Lou Dombro

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