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[Page 278]

Eternal Monuments to the Victims of Genocide

by Leonid Smilovitsky

Translated by Judith Springer

After the war, the condition of most Jewish cemeteries and places of mass burials was depressing. They were neglected, graves became overgrown with grass and collapsed, there was no fencing, and memorial plates were being stolen and used for household needs. In Postavy, sand was taken from Jewish graves for construction. In Mikhalishki, a path was beaten right through the burial places. On this path, local residents walked and goats and chickens roamed. The rural soviet gave instructions to dig a silage pit, whose soil was poured directly on the graves. The Jewish cemetery in Svir' was located in the forest under old pine trees on the bank of a lake. More than one-half of the graves were excavated in order to shore up the road, and the rest bordered on a fish farm. The fishermen knocked down several tombstones and made fire on them when they cooked their dinner. In Vidzy, the Jewish cemetery was preserved better, because it was in an open field – away from the built up part of the town. In Lyntupy, the cemetery was demolished. Only near the common grave, where hundreds of Jews had been shot, did two tombstones remain. A hog farm was established at the site of the Jewish cemetery in Sirotino. However, when visiting relatives began to complain to the authorities, a grain elevator and a grain storage facility were built there[1]. In Lyady, a road to the livestock yard was paved with the plates of the old Jewish cemetery. The Jewish cemetery in Smorgon' was destroyed and the tomb plates were used for the construction of the “Solnyshko” preschool children's institution[2]. In Stolin, one Jewish cemetery (on Dombrovskiy – now Gorynskaya – Street) was demolished and an office and warehouses of the city public catering department were built at its site. The territory of the second cemetery was plowed up[3]. In Lyakhovichi, a race track and an apartment house were built at the site where family tombs and stone monuments used to be. In Grodno, the authorities went further: The Jewish cemetery was plowed up and its tombstones were used for the foundation for Lenin's monument[4].

In Slutsk in 1943, the Nazis opened a brothel for soldiers who came for vacation from the Stalingrad area. For the building's foundation, they used tomb plates from the Jewish cemetery. The builders were ghetto prisoners, whose bodies were later thrown into the foundation pit of the construction project. After the war, departments of the Slutsk City Soviet were housed in the building. Deputies were familiar with this history, but they did not want to change anything, referring to the lack of housing. Later one of the preschool institutions was moved there[5]. In Grodno Oblast in 1946, there were 36 Jewish and 90 Christian cemeteries. Whereas parishes of believers and the church committee watched over the burial places of the Roman Catholic faith, no one cared about Jewish cemeteries. Chizh, the representative of the Council for the Affairs of Religious Cults in Grodno Oblast, reported that Jewish cemeteries were under the threat of disappearance and asked the BSSR Ministry of Municipal Facilities to put them under observation and to allocate funds in order to rectify the situation, but officials did not respond to this appeal[6].

In Belorussia, blocks or buildings, which were transformed into ghettos, still exist. Such were Ostrovskiy, Nemiga, and Osvobozhdeniya [Liberation] streets in Minsk; the block around the former synagogue in Pruzhany; the building of the former Jewish school in Rechitsa. When a city gained strength, the former ghetto was demolished along with the graves of Holocaust victims. A park was established, or a stadium was built, at their site. Jewish burial places were not marked. For a long time, places of mass killings in death camps remained unnamed: In Ozarichi, Gomel' Oblast; in Bronnaya Gora and Koldychevo, Brest Oblast; in Maly Trostinets near Minsk; in Vitebsk, Gomel', Volkovysk, Kalinkovichi, and many other places. There was a real threat to the existence of graves in Kossovo, Brest Oblast, which the authorities wanted to transform into a sand quarry, as well as in Zhabinka and Ol'shany (Stolin Rayon). In Novo-Yel'nya (Dyatlovo Rayon), a warehouse was built at the site of the common grave. The same situation existed in Mozyz, Snov (Nesvizh rayon), Stolin, Pinsk, Zhirovichi (Slonim rayon), and Ishkol'di (Baranovichi rayon).

In instances when the local administration agreed to erect standard monuments, the word “Jew” was replaced with the abstract words “peaceful residents”, or “Soviet citizens”. When Jews displayed initiative to perpetuate the memory of their relatives (Narovlya, Cherven', Sharkovshchina, and Dyatlovo), the authorities refused to place them under state protection and made vigorous attempts to force them to give up the words “Jews” and “ghetto”, as well as inscriptions in Yiddish, let alone Hebrew. Monuments with inscriptions in Yiddish were very few: Minsk, Bobruysk, Rechitsa, and Uzlyany in Pukhovichi Rayon. The attitude of the authorities toward Jewish mourning ceremonies on the Day of Remembrance was of a conflicting nature. On the one hand, they condemned the barbarity of the Nazis and, on the other, were worried that this would evoke the Jews' response and manifestation of national sentiments. The mention of people's death owing to their Jewishness could provoke unexpected actions.

Jews remembered their relatives and close ones on the Day of Victory (May 9), or on the day marking the beginning of the Soviet-German war (June 22). Relatives and neighbors gathered in synagogues, Jewish cemeteries, and places of mass burials. People came openly, with wives and children. Former military men and partisans wore their awards. The appearance of those who gathered and the mourning ceremony attested to their resolve to assert their rights. In Mozyr in 1944-1946, believers asked their relatives and friends in the United States to donate 7,000 rubles for the maintenance of the cemetery. People willingly gave money in Minsk, Kalinkovichi, Glusk, Narovlya, Petrikov, Zhitkovichi, Bykhov, Chausy, Drissa, Rogachev, Zhlobin, and Pinsk[7]. Meetings in Zheludok, Shchuchin, and Orli in Brest Oblast became a tradition. Old men, who had gone through the war, were still around, middle-aged people were in their prime, and children were born to the postwar generation. At first they came from various places in Belorussia and, later, from other cities in the country as well – Odessa, Khar'kov, Tashkent, L'vov, Kishinev, Moscow, Gor'kiy, Lipetsk, and Kaliningrad. Many saved money for tickets for these trips throughout the year. Two families from Shchuchin – Anna and Naum Shifmanovich and Asya and Vasiliy Fedorov – organized these meetings[8].

In Minsk, a group of believers took the initiative to perpetuate the memory of Jewish Holocaust victims. In early 1946, they asked the city executive committee to install a monument on the grave of prisoners of the Minsk ghetto, who had been shot on March 2, 1942, assuming that their appeal was legitimate and would meet with understanding. However, the city executive committee rejected this initiative under the pretext that both religious and nonreligious Jews, Russians, Belorussians, Ukrainians, and gypsies had been shot at that place. Despite this, in August 1946, an unauthorized monument to victims of the genocide in the form of a short black granite stele was installed on the Yama common grave in Minsk. It had the following inscription both in Russian and Yiddish: “In sacred everlasting memory of the 5,000 Jews who died at the hands of mankind's ruthless enemies – the German-Fascist villains.”

The following took an active part in the construction of this monument: Naum Borisovich Gunin, chief of the Minsk Administration of Municipal Services; Iosif Yankelevich Nisenbaum, chief of the Minsk Trust for Civic Improvements and the Planting of Greenery; Matvey Pavlovich Fal'kovich, head of shops at the Trust for Civil Improvements and the Planting of Greenery; Aleksey Terent'yevich Golstein, director of the Minsk funeral parlor. Chaim Mal'tinskiy wrote the Yiddish text and Mordukh Abramovich Sprishen, senior foreman at the funeral parlor, supervised all operations. During the unveiling, a rally was held, the Kaddish was recited, and a funeral service was conducted. The monument in Minsk was one of the first in the territory of the Soviet Union, which – instead of the generally accepted abstract inscription”Soviet citizens who fell at the hands of German-Fascist occupiers” in Russian – had an inscription in Yiddish. It openly indicated that Jews, specifically, were victims of the genocide. A few years later, the initiators of this action were severely punished for their activities. In 1952 Gunin, Nisenbaum, Fal'kovich, Golstein, Mal'tinskiy, and Sprishen were arrested on the charge of cosmopolitanism and were under investigation for 11 months. The formal charge against them was based on the unauthorized construction and installation of an obelisk at Yama. Each of them was sentenced to 10 years in corrective labor camps and sent to the Pechora Coal Basin in Vorkuta to serve his punishment[9].

In Sirotino, Vitebsk Oblast, Ruvim Leyzerovich Massarskiy initiated the erection of a monument. When the Germans arrived, he joined a partisan detachment. His feats in Shumilino Rayon were legendary. When the republic was liberated, Massarskiy became the director of the Koopshveynik Artel and made up his mind to install a monument with an inscription in Russian and Hebrew, indicating the place and date of the victims' death. The following names were to be inscribed on the monument: Shmuel Sames; Roman, Vladimir, Grigoriy, Borukh, and Rukhama Massarskiy; Sonya Rudel'son; Nakhman Prosmushkin; Abram and Masha Rumekovich; Zalman Ber Kandel with family; members of Beylenson and Smotkin families – a total of more than 30 people. Later, however, only a laconic inscription was made on the plate: “In eternal memory of relatives who died at the hands of fascist executors on November 18, 1941”. This monument no longer exists. At first, the part of the inscription with the Hebrew text disappeared and in 1991, during road repairs, a tractor destroyed it. The ravine, where Jews had been executed, was filled in and, instead of the common grave, there is a road. Not too far, there is a standard obelisk put up by the rural soviet. It has a standard inscription about “Soviet citizens” without surnames, or the date[10].

In Bayevo, Vitebsk Oblast, Il'ya Glezin put up a monument to 46 Jews with his own money. During the execution on April 8, 1942, Il'ya's mother covered him with her body. At night he got out of the pit and hid with acquaintances. Later he fled into the forest. In Shumilino, a monument was put up near the “Debeyev Mokh” Peat Enterprise, where an aktion had been carried out. An ordinary wooden post painted red was used as a gravestone. Only years later did Isaak and David Golynkin – father and son – erect a modest concrete monument with the same inscription in Russian as in Sirotino: “In eternal memory of relatives who died at the hands of fascist executors on November 19, 1941”. In Braslav in 1946, through the efforts of the Jewish community, a modest granite monument was erected at the site of execution of 2,000 Jews. A dedication in Yiddish and Russian was inscribed on it and trees were planted around the common grave[11]. In Dunilovichi, Chaim Ruderman perpetuated the memory of his fallen compatriots. Upon his discharge from the army, he worked as chief of the rayon department of the Union of Consumer Cooperatives for several years. At his own expense, Ruderman cemented a tombstone and made a fence. A few years later, treasure seekers opened the burial place. Chaim again put everything in order and transferred there the remains of his 20-year old brother Leyba, who perished near Minsk in 1944[12]. In Borisov in 1947, a crudely made monument was installed at the northern outskirts of the city, near the airport field, at the edge of a ravine, which has been the site of execution of Jews. The local administration dictated a standard inscription without the mention of Jews to its builders[13]. Moshe Tsimkind from Plissa, time and again, appealed to party and Soviet authorities to erect a monument in honor of 410 ghetto Jews, but each time he received noncommittal replies and was met with refusals. In Lida, from the late 1940s until the early 1980s, a modest obelisk stood at the site of execution of Jews. It had a standard plaque with an inscription stating that Soviet people who died at the hands of fascists lay there. In 1987 Rubin Kinkul'kin proposed that a new monument be installed. Money was collected – Boris Golubovich contributed most of it. His father, Meir, a former partisan, made his son promise that he would see this endeavor through to the end at all costs. In 1990 the project was completed[14].

In several instances Jews appealed to Moscow for help. In 1947 L.I. Mirotin visited Smol'yany in Kokhanovo Rayon, Vitebsk Oblast. The site of mass execution of Jews (April 1942) was neglected. A small mound, where livestock grazed, remained of the common grave, where more than 800 prisoners lay. Mirotin lost his leg on the front. All his relatives – father, mother, sister, brother, wife, and child – perished in the ghetto. At first he tried to organize five Jewish families, who had returned from evacuation to Smol'yany, but did not meet with a response. The Jews turned him down, referring to the fact that their initiative would be interpreted incorrectly. Mirotin appealed to the rural soviet, but was turned down under the pretext of the lack of funds, although after the liberation of the town, the rural soviet sold the houses and property of the executed Jews. Then he began to write to the USSR Supreme Soviet and, personally, to L.M. Kaganovich, but his letters were forwarded to Belorussia for execution. Deputy of the BSSR Supreme Soviet Tikhonovich was chairman of the Smol'yany rural soviet. He was somewhat feared (the document states: “He did what he wanted” – L.S.). He summoned the local Jews and suggested that each of them donate 300 to 500 rubles for the monument. After that, Mirotin decided that Il'ya Ehrenburg, whom many saw as their idol and protector, was the last one who could help him. In his letter of April 19, Mirotin asked: “In what are our parents, mothers, wives, and children worse than others and why cannot we pay them their last respects?” In his letter of June 22, 1948 to the writer, he stated that the monument in Smol'yany was a question of life and death to him: “Perhaps my soul will rest then”. Only after Ehrenburg's intervention did V. Kudryayev, secretary of the Vitebsk Oblast Party Committee, in September 1948, personally give instructions to enclose the grave in Smol'yany with a wooden fence and to put it in “proper order”[15].

The same policy was pursued in Russia and Ukraine. In Poltava, Odessa, Chernigov, and other oblasts, requests to install monuments to fallen compatriots were denied. Despite this, the believers acted at their discretion. In Ternopol', on the initiative of Rabbi Ch.A. Kliner, who arrived there in October 1946, the Jewish population collected funds for the maintenance of the grave. It erected a monument with an inscription in Yiddish and Russian: “In sacred everlasting memory of Jews who fell at the hands of German fascists”[16]. Chairman of the City Soviet Kondratenko and Secretary of the City Party Committee Zinchenko delivered speeches at the mourning rally. This event was regarded as a dangerous precedent and became the topic of discussion at the bureau of the Ternopol' Oblast Party Committee, which imposed severe party punishments on party members who participated in the funeral ceremony. Some synagogues and communities invited cantors to organize concerts dedicated to the memory of the victims of Nazism. In Odessa in February 1950, the Ministry of State Security fabricated a case on the existence of the “Jewish National Union”. The organizing group, which collected money for a monument to Holocaust victims, was arrested. Elya Eppel (born in 1900), Leyb Stavishcher (born in 1904), Iosif Pochtar (born in 1884), and Bentsion Aptekar (born in 1900) were accused of establishing illegal contacts with the Embassy of Israel in Moscow. The procuracy demanded 25 years of imprisonment. The court sentenced the “guilty” to prison terms ranging from 2 to 15 years[17].

Believers accused the authorities of discrimination against Judaism as compared with other faiths. In Mozyr', seeking the return of the synagogue, Jews asked why Russians could have their church in the center of the city, while Jews had to go to the outskirts to pray[18]. In Orsha, they referred to the fact that even the small community of Evangelical Baptist Christians had its church, but Jews were not permitted to have a synagogue[19]. In Gomel', they protested against the refusal to return the synagogue on Internatsional'naya Street to them, whereas “churches nationalized as far back as 1930 were returned to the Slavs”. To this, the Gomel' City Executive Committee answered that the Germans, not Soviet authorities, returned the churches during the war years. “Our request is all the more just,” the believers insisted[20]. In Mogilev, Polotsk, Volozhin, and Mikashevichi, they stated: “Our people suffered more than others from the Hitlerite aggressors, but we are not permitted to pray for those who perished!”[21]. In Pinsk in 1953, Jews openly said that they would continue to assemble at their own risk. They were indignant: Why members of the Orthodox Church and Catholics pray, but the “poor Jews” are forbidden to do the same? They added that during the war they lost their children and close ones and now were not even able to light candles for those who perished[22].

In several instances the initiative to care for graves came from Jews and Belorussians, who combined their efforts. Faina Babitskaya (Vayner) from Rechitsa, Gomel' Oblast, found in Kislovodsk the grave of her brother Boris, who died of his wounds in a hospital in 1944. The family was notified of his death when it was under evacuation in the city of Berezniki in the Urals. In Kislovodsk, Faina became acquainted with Nina Dvadnenko, whose father, Senior Lieutenant Ivan Dvadnenko, perished during the liberation of Rechitsa in October 1943 and, posthumously, was awarded the title of Hero of the Soviet Union. The two women agreed that each of them would take care of the graves of their close ones in her city – Faina would look after Ivan Dvadnenko's burial place in Rechitsa, and Nina, after Boris' grave at the cemetery in Kislovodsk[23].

Years later, Jewish cemeteries remained some of the last testimonies of Jewish presence in Belorussia. They became the resting places of those who formerly had constituted its glory, participated in economic development, defended it against enemies, and did a great deal for Jewish, as well as Belorussian, culture and science, but never claimed to be the masters. The ban on the maintenance of cemeteries was especially cruel, because all former small towns had been sites of mass executions. The overwhelming majority of communities could not recover from such a blow. With their disappearance, there was no one to take care of the graves. During the subsequent period, work on preserving the memory of the genocide in Belorussia was somewhat stepped up. In most cases, however, memorial markers, steles, obelisks, and, very rarely, memorial complexes were erected on the initiative of the local population, or their construction was timed to coincide with the commemorative dates of the Soviet-German war[24]. In 1954 in Domachevo and Tomashevka, obelisks were installed in memory of 3,200 Jews shot in the summer of 1941-1942; in 1956, in the village of Lyshchitsa (756 people) and Zhabinka (360); in 1957, in Brest (34,000)[25]. In 1958 a grave plate was put up in the village of Kamelishki, Ostrov Rayon (350), and steles, in the village of Yagelovshchina, Oshmyany Rayon (573), and in Lyubcha, Novogrudok Rayon (375); in 1959, an obelisk in Zheludok, Shchuchin Rayon (2,000); in 1960, an obelisk in Svislovich (1,536); in 1961, obelisks in Radun' (1,137) and in Malyye Vorob'yevichi (635); in 1963, an obelisk in Novogrudok (4,000); in 1964, obelisks in Voronovo (1,834), in the village of Kot'ki, Dyatlovo Rayon (2,500), and in the village of Staraya Golynka, Zel'va Rayon (386). In the village of Koldychevo, Baranovichi Rayon, a sculpture was installed (22,000 people, including Jews) and a tomb plate, at the 10th kilometer of the Gantsevichi-Khatynichi road (4,000 Jews). In 1965, a stele was installed in Grodno in memory of 18,000 Jews and Soviet prisoners of war, who were tortured and executed in 1941-1943; an obelisk, in Shchuchin (2,060 Jews); an obelisk, in the village of Brashevichi, Drogichin Rayon (82 people), and in the city of Bereza (4,500 Jews and others); in 1966, obelisks in Volkovysk (more than 4,000 Jews), in Mir (1,600 people), in Turets (463), in the village of Yaremichi, Korelichi Rayon (97 people), and in the village of Skrydlevo, Novogrudok Rayon (18,000 people, including 6,000 Jews and prisoners of war). In 1967 steles were put up in the village of Yagelovshchina, Oshmyany Rayon (573), and in the urban settlement of Kozlovshchina, Dyatlovo Rayon (770); obelisks, in Lida (5,670); steles in Slonim (22,800), in the village of Vasilishki, Shchuchin Rayon (2,159), in Drogichin (3,816), and in the village of Khomsk, Drogichin Rayon (3,000); in 1972, in Baranovichi[26]. In 1974-1975 an obelisk was erected in the village of Petrovichi, Zhabinka Rayon (30), but there are no memorial markers in Ivanovo Rayon in the village of Rudsk (2,000 Jews), in the village of Motol' (1,500), in the village of Osovnitsa (1,400), and in the village of Pervomaysk (2,500)[27]. In 1979 a stele was put up in Slonim (2,000). In 1987 a monument was installed at the Ploska Cemetery in Brest (5,000 Jews); in 1990, a stele in the village of Stonevichi, Iv'ye Rayon (2,524); in 1993, a stele in the Bronnaya Gora settlement, Bereza Rayon (50,000 Jews and others)[28]. At the same time, the national affiliation of the victims was not indicated. All of them were referred to as “Soviet citizens”. Monuments and memorial markers mentioned only “Soviet citizens” who perished, without pointing out their nationality.

Beginning in 1991, when Belorussia proclaimed its state independence, new opportunities appeared. For the first time after a long interval, magen davids and inscriptions in Yiddish and Hebrew, indicating the victims' nationality, appeared on Jewish burial places. In October 1993, Belorussian and Jewish public figures made a joint appeal for the perpetuation of the memory of victims of the genocide and heroes of the Resistance and condemnation of those who killed people on the basis of ethnicity. Monuments were put up in places of mass extermination of Jews in Minsk, Brest, Gomel', Mogilev, Pinsk, Polotsk, and Zhirovichi.

In 1995 Lev Soliterman from Minsk, in the forest not far from the settlement of Kryzhovka near the Minsk-Molodechno railroad station, came across a pine tree, onto which a crudely made metal plaque was affixed. It read that in 1944 Jews from Zaslavl' were shot at that site. When the grave was opened, 40 skeletons were found. Bronislava Potrebko, a local resident, who had accidentally witnessed those events, confirmed the fact of the execution. An obelisk was put up at the site of execution of Zaslavl' Jews. In 1995-1999 Jewish cemeteries were restored in Volozhin, Pukhovichi, Rubezhevichi, and Ivenets. Common graves and monuments in Smolevichi, Zhitkovichi, Lenin, Mogilev, Kalinkovichi, Ozarichi, and Ostrovets, in Gorodok, Lakhva, and Luninets rayons, and in other places were put in order[29].

Despite this, Jewish cemeteries in Belorussia continue to remain objects of outrage and vandalism. There are several reasons for this. The economic and political situation in Belorussia remains unstable, which affects Jews. Radical and conservative associations and groups (“Pravyy Revansh” [Right Revenge], “Belorusskiy Narodnyy Front” [Belorussian People's Front], “Belorusskaya Partiya Svobody” [Belorussian Freedom Party], “Belyy Legion [White Legion], Slavyanskiy Sobor-Belaya Rus' [Slavic Assembly White Rus], “Slavyanskiye sokoly” [Slavic Eagles], the Belorussian regional organization of “Russkoye Natsional'noye Yedinstvo” [Russian National Unity], and “Narodnoye dvizheniye Belarusi” [People's Movement of Belarus], which for now are not very numerous, view the Jewish factor as an important tool, which can be used at the necessary moment. Overt expressions of hostility were replaced by opinions on the negative influence of Jews on the political situation in Belorussia[30]. In the republic, one can purchase “Protokoly sovetskikh mudretsov” [Protocols of the Soviet Sages] and Krasnaya Kabala [Red Kabbalah] and subscribe to the anti-Jewish press from Russia: journals Molodaya gvardiya and Nash Sovremennik; newspapers Zavtra, Russkiy poryadok, Russkiy vestnik, Rus' derzhavnaya, Slavyanskiy nabat, and so forth. Antisemitic inscriptions, slogans, and swastikas have been noticed in public places – the most damage is done to Jewish cemeteries and synagogues. In 1991 in Borisov, 70 monuments were broken; in 1994 in Gomel', 94; in Novo-Belitsa, 8; in 1996 in Minsk, the common grave of 5,000 victims of Nazi execution was desecrated. In 1998 in Gomel', 14 graves were desecrated at the Novozybkov Cemetery; in Borisov, 8; in Osovtsy, 94; in Berezino, 46. In February 1999 in Rechitsa, 27 graves were desecrated. The guilty ones were not found. The cemetery in Mogilev remains under the threat of destruction. Granite plates are being stolen from Jewish graves. They are polished and installed at Christian burial places. Cemeteries in Vitebsk, Druya, Disna, Myadel', and Sharkovshchizna are under the threat of destruction. Synagogues are not being returned in Baranovichi, Kalinkovichi, Bobruysk, and a number of other places[31].

Anti-Jewish attacks in the press and on state television and radio, the failure to take proper measures to search for and punish those guilty of vandalism at Jewish cemeteries, and the ecological collapse force Jews to leave. In 1996 a total of 4,397 Jews emigrated from Belorussia to Israel; in 1997 – 3,369; in 1998 – 2,235; from 1989 through 1998 – a total of 63,131. In addition, the annual natural decline in the Jewish population constitutes about 1,300 persons[32]. Will Belorussia remain without any Jews at all? Or will this process stop at some stage? If so, by whom and when? In one way or another, the experience of joint existence over many centuries invariably enriched both nations. One would very much wish that all concerned parties draw the necessary conclusions in a timely manner.


Footnotes

  1. Yevrei Belarusi. Istoriya i kul'tura [Jews of Belarus. History and Culture]. Collection of Articles, No. 1 (Minsk, 1977), p. 135 Return
  2. “Jewish Graves in Belarus”, Mishpokha (Vitebsk), No. 2, 1996, pp. 121-122. Return
  3. Mezuza (Minsk), Nos. 7-8, 1997, p. 10. Return
  4. Kratkaya yevreyskaya entsiklopediya [Concise Jewish Encyclopedia] (Jerusalem, 1988), vol. 4, p. 338. Return
  5. Mishpokha, No. 3, 1997, p. 37. Return
  6. National Archive of Republic of Belarus (NARB), f.952, op.1, d.5, l. 319. Return
  7. State Archive of the Russian Federation (GARF), f.6991, op.3, d.335, l.44. Return
  8. Yevreyskiy kamerton (Tel Aviv), September 16, 1999. Return
  9. “Black Obelisk”, Mezuza, No. 1, 1997, p. 5. Return
  10. Author's archive. Return
  11. Yad Vashem Archives (YVA), collection P-21/6-7. Return
  12. Soon Ruderman first went to Poland and then to the United States, Mishpokha, No. 3, 1997, pp. 40, 76. Return
  13. An image of a menorah appeared on it only in 1995. See: A. Rosenbloom, Pamyat' na krovi [Memory Sealed in Blood] (Petah Tiqwa, 1998), p. 64. Return
  14. Beginning in 1956, at the site of execution, a quarry was built – construction sand was taken from it. The grave was uncovered and the remains of the dead were left on the surface – no one removed them. In August 1998 in Plissa, a monument to the victims of the genocide was put up with the personal savings of Moshe Tsimkind, who emigrated to Israel in 1980. See: Yevreyskiy kamerton, March 11, May 19, 1999. Return
  15. YVA, P-21/38-40. Return
  16. The Central State Archive of Public Associations of Ukraine (Kiev), f.1, op.23, 4.4556, l.130. Return
  17. Khadashot (Kiev), No. 6, March 1995. Return
  18. BGA, f.952, op.1, d.2, l.309. Return
  19. YVA, M-46/31, p. 52. Return
  20. BGA, f.952, op.1, d.9, l.160. Return
  21. GARF, f.6991, op.3, d.257, l.312. Return
  22. Ibid., d.277, l.250. Return
  23. Author's archive. From the letter of Faina Naumovna Babitskaya (Vayner) of May 23, 1989. Return
  24. M. Botvinnik, “Memorials of Genocide in the Grodno Region”. See: Yevreyskaya kul'tura i eye vzaimodeystviye s belorusskoy i drugimi kul'turami [Jewish Culture and its Interaction with Belorussian and other Cultures]. Materials of the Scientific Conference, May 1994. In the book Belarusika-Albaruthenica (Minsk, 1995), pp. 136-147. Return
  25. In Brest, an obelisk was installed at the city's southern outskirts – the “Dubinka” Fort. In 1983 and 1987 it was reconstructed. In 1992 a stele was erected on 126 Kuybyshev Street. See: NARB [National Archive of the Republic of Belarus], f.750, op.1, d.2131, ll.9-10. Return
  26. In Baranovichi in 1972, a memorial complex in memory of 3,000 Jews deported from Czechoslovakia was built at the western outskirt of the city, in the Gay settlement. At the same time, at the Jewish cemetery in Baranovichi, there are no monuments in memory of 3,719 Jews – victims of the genocide – executed on September 22, 1941. Nor are they at Kotel'naya Street and Zelenyy Most [Green Bridge], where 7,000 Jews were executed from December 17, 1942 through January 1943, nor at the Lida-Luninets and Brest-Minsk railroad crossing in honor of 3,400 Jews shot on March 4, 1942. See: NARB, f.861, op.1, d.6, ll.19-21; f.845, op.1, d.6, ll.21-22. Return
  27. Svod pamyatnikov istorii i kul'tury BSSR [Compilation of BSSR Historical and Cultural Monuments]. Grodno Oblast (Minsk, 1986), p. 265; ibid., Brest Oblast (Minsk, 1990), pp. 163, 173. NARB, f.845, op.1, d.13, l.23; f.861, op. 1, d.7, ll.7, 8, 38, 43, 67; d.11, l.45. Return
  28. NARB, f.845, op.1, d.No., l.71; d.5, l.11; d.6, ll. 53, 57, 60, 67; d.8, ll.52-53. Return
  29. Aviv (Minsk), No. 1, 1994, No. 5, 1999; Akhdut-Yedinstvo (Gomel'), No. 4, 1995; Polatski vesnik (Polotsk), May 6, 1994; Aliya (Minsk), No. 4, 1995; Aviv, Nos. 3, 4, 1996; No. 2, 1998; Mezhdunarodnaya yevreyskaya gazeta (Moscow), Nos. 13, 14, 15, 1996. In 1996-1997 the Third Congress of the Republic Organization of War Veterans (more than 1,500 people) and a congress of former Jewish prisoners of ghettos and Nazi concentration camps were held. In May 1997, President of the Republic of Belarus A. Lukashenko for the first time visited the Yama Memorial in Minsk, where he stated that “Jews would no longer be social outcasts in this land.” See: Aviv, Nos. 3, 5, 1997. Return
  30. Slavyanskiy nabat (Minsk), October 30–November 5, 1997, No. 25; the newspaper Tserkovnoye slovo (Minsk) publishes a series of articles “Murdered by a Jew” under the heading “History of Persecutions of the Orthodox Church.” Return
  31. Mishpokha (Vitebsk), No. 2, 1996, pp. 122-124; Aviv, No. 6, 1998; No. 1, 1999. Return
  32. The Jews of the Soviet Union in Transition, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, No. 18, 1997, p. 157; Central Bureau of Statistics of Israel. Updated to 3.01.1999. Return
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