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Memories of Solomon, son of Orchik Alperovich (cont.)



At the Kurenets public school between the years 1958 and 1966, only two Jewish kids studied: my older brother, Abram, and me. Despite this, we never felt excluded and participated in all kinds of social activities; along with the other students we went dancing and training. Abram even won a regional championship in throwing the discus. We participated in all-night parties in the nearby villages and hung around with boys and girls of our age, but what we were missing were Jewish friends.


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Kurenets (1961) – childhood friends
Left to right: Petya, Tolik, Abram and Shlomo Alperovich, Lenya


Abram finished school in 1964 and went to Brest to study pedagogy. I finished school two years later in 1966 and went to Minsk to study engineering, but it didn't mean that we left Kurenets. Every holiday we returned to visit our parents.


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Kurenets soccer team, champions of the Vilekya area (1964)
Abram Alperovich is 5th from left



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Kurenets (1964) – Abram Alperovich jumps


Abram finished school in 1964 and went to Brest to study pedagogy. I finished school two years later in 1966 and went to Minsk to study engineering, but it didn't mean that we left Kurenets. Every holiday we returned to visit our parents.

After finishing my studies in 1971 I returned to the Vileyka region to work. I was the head engineer of Kolhoz, and later a regional agriculture machinery engineer. At that time my brother Abram was already a math teacher in Vileyka's school. Almost all the Jewish kids of the Vileyka region received a higher education.


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Estony, Tallinn (1971) – Abram's wedding
Left to right: Zelda, Shlomo, Samuel, Lisa, Misha, Aaron and Yasha Alperovich, Victor and Bunya Kempin


Abram finished school in 1964 and went to Brest to study pedagogy. I finished school two years later in 1966 and went to Minsk to study engineering, but it didn't mean that we left Kurenets. Every holiday we returned to visit our parents.

Soon Abram got married and moved to Tallinn (Estonia). In 1974, my father passed away. It happened in January and it was very cold outside, but still many Jewish and also local (gentile) populations came to pay him their final respects. Among the locals he was a well-known authority. Everyone who had to buy or sell a cow went to Aaron (“Vorchik”) to ask for help in [the form of] advice or even in [case of] a shortage of money. I still remember how some of our Russian neighbors cried at the funeral and kissed his legs.

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At the funeral of Aaron Alperovich (1974)
All the Jews of the region came together


My mother and I, in 1975, sold our house and left Kurenets and moved to Tallinn. I would still come to Kurenets for visits. One time, it was in 1981, I went there after getting married; just after the wedding ceremony, my wife and I flew to visit my father's grave. At that time I learned from local non-Jewish citizens who still remained there that they [the Jews] are all called “Vorchiks” by the nearby villagers—that's how deep and lasting was the memory of the last Jewish family that lived in Kurenets.


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Vileyka (1984) – Wedding of Taisa Alperovich and Jenya Hayet


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