Finally, it became possible to carry out the long lasting wishes of our parents and grandparents to eternalize the memory of our relatives and friends, who lived and died in the town of Zembin of Borisov district in Minsk county of Belorussia.
On August 18,1941, during German occupation of Belorussia, the whole Jewish population of that town, including the young and the old, numbering 927 persons, were viciously murdered by the local aggressors.
After the end of the war, our parents, relatives, friends and other people, who came from Zembin, tried to immortalize the memory of victims of Zembin ghetto - their relatives and friends; and to erect a monument in their memory. However, the Soviet authorities did not allow them to do so, trying to use everything they could to rid the people's memories of this bloody act against the Jewish people.
At last, after several decades of fighting against Soviet bureaucracy, the people were allowed to put up a fence, surrounding the place of the barbaric slaughter, in order to somehow prevent continuing acts of vandalism on the graves of the dead, because the local anti-Semites and hooligans dug up the remains of the murdered people, hoping to find gold and precious objects.
Natives of Zembin, including our closest relatives, gathered necessary resources and put up a concrete fence around the place of the slaughter. However, this did not solve all the problems and the battle to immortalize the memory of the victims continued. Many of our relatives devoted the rest of their lives to this cause, but they did not live till the day of victory.
In 1988, when the Soviet Union began to undergo political changes, we again asked the federal and local authorities to allow us to erect a monument in the memory of the victims, but we were refused again.
Finally, in June 1995, with the help of recently created local Jewish organizations, we were able to obtain a permission to put up monuments at the place of the mass murder. We signed a contract with a local company to build monuments (translated into English copy of the contract is enclosed) The whole area, surrounded by the fence, where the vicious slaughter of our friends and relatives happened, will be covered with concrete; the individual concrete monuments will be placed on this concrete base ( sketch of a monument is enclosed).
We believe that, the victims, who have no living relatives or if the relatives are too distant, should not be forgotten by us too. That is why, we ask you to offer us help in immortalizing the memory of victims of nazism and anti-Semitism. We have enclosed a list of persons who died in Zembin ghetto(Russian brochure and its English interpretation is enclosed). This list is by far not complete, because the Soviet authorities, in an attempt to wipe out this criminal act from the people's memories, did not preserve the archives. We are trying to establish the names of victims from the accounts of relatives and neighbors.
We will be very grateful, if you could give us information, including first name, father's name, family name and the date of birth, of any victim whom you, your family or friends know died in Zembin ghetto.
Contributions are urgently needed to erect the monuments to the victims.
(Address deleted for Internet posting. Please contact Dr. Shimanovich directly to make a contribution.)
When sending your contribution, please specify the names of person for whose monument it is being provided.
Semyon A. Shimanovich
(son of Nichama M. Minkova, born in Zembin in 1908, and Abraham M.
Shimanovich, born in Zembin in 1902)
on behalf of and in the memory of relatives and neighbors of parents