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[Pages 288-294]

Chapter 5

Historiography of the Holocaust

1. Jews in Borisov

Translated by Judith Springer

A new phenomenon can be noted in the historiography of the Holocaust at the end of the 1990's. Jews who had left the Soviet Union during the Exodus authored a number of works, which successfully supplement the picture formed in the West during the preceding period. Their articles, surveys, reminiscences, memorial publications, collections of documents, and monographs contain not only rich and original factual material[1], but the authors have proved to be experts in the milieu and atmosphere of the period. They notice signs and phenomena hidden from the attention of Western historians, who are not well-informed about the characteristics of Soviet conditions. At the same time, these works are notable for their professional level, depth of analysis, interpretation, and authenticity. Many of the facts cited are based on oral testimonies and often are not supported by documents.

We shall single out works written by those who repatriated to Israel[2]. Most of the authors lived through the Holocaust and their description of events is tendentious. Belorussia was one of the main places for the implementation of the Nazi program for the “solution of the Jewish question” in the occupied territories[3]. The western part of Belorussia was occupied over a period of several days to one and a half weeks, and the eastern part, in early September 1941[4]. Ukraine had almost three times as many Jews. The war arrived there after several months. Despite the silence of the Soviet Information Bureau, Jews were able to find out about it and evacuate. The truth about the tragedy of the Holocaust in Belorussia has begun to be discussed only recently.

Alexander Rosenbloom's book “Pamyat na krovi” [Memory sealed in blood], which was published in Petah Tiqwa in December 1998, stands out against this background. Rosenbloom, who is not a professional historian, has searched for information about the lives of Borisov Jews for many years. This book uses the materials of the Borisov Military Committee (lists of the dead and missing), the Borisov Museum of Local Folklore (a card file of important figures), the Borisov Affiliate of the State Museum of Minsk Oblast (lists of names of shot, hanged, and tortured USSR citizens), the National Archive of the Republic of Belarus (documents on synagogues and the partisan movement and a card file of important figures), the State Archive of Minsk Oblast (the occupation regime), the State Archive of Phono-, Photo-, and Film Documents of Belarus, and the KGB Archive of Belarus, and documents of the memorial institute Yad Vashem. Materials from the author's personal archive (correspondence, documents, testimonies, reminiscences, and so forth) collected over a period of several decades occupy an important place in the book.

This is not a scientific publication -- it lacks a traditional academic presentation of the material. The author, born in 1925, defined his work as a requiem to those who perished, an expression of gratitude to the righteous, and a curse on the traitors. In this he sees a tribute to the memory of the generation that went through the trials of the war, Soviet construction, and liquidation of national and religious life. The book consists of ten parts, which expose the tragedy of the Jewish population in the city and region of Borisov chronologically. Eliyahu Valk, the first Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the State of Israel to the Republic of Belarus (1993-1996), wrote the introduction. Valk compared the author's work to that done by whole teams in Israel. A felicitous aphorism, a familiar Latin expression, or an apt remark from Jewish folklore crown every chapter.

Such a book could not have appeared in a vacuum. Since 1991, when the independence of Belarus was proclaimed, conditions have emerged for the revival of national life. The Svet Menory Jewish Culture Society was formed in Borisov. With its support, in 1992-1996 A. Rosenbloom produced a whole series of publications and issued several booklets, including “Umershchevlennyye genotsidom” [Destroyed by Genocide] and the book “Sledy v Trave Zabveniya. Yevrei v istorii Borisova” [Traces in the Grass of Oblivion. Jews in the History of Borisov] (Borisov, 1996).

Alexander Rosenbloom came to Israel in 1996 and settled in Ariel. Through the internet, he established contacts with natives of Borisov now scattered throughout the world, in countries ranging from South Africa to the United States, Canada, and Germany and from France to Australia. They helped him collect materials for the book, shared reminiscences, and gave him useful advice.

It is unlikely that Rosenbloom's book could have come out in present-day Belarus. In 1997 the Belorusskaya Entsiklopediya [Belorussian Encyclopedia] Publishing House in Minsk issued a major volume of the Pamyat [Memory] series about the city and region of Borisov (800 pages). Detailed familiarization with this book shows regrettable errors, inaccuracies, omissions, and questionable appraisals. Jewish presence in Borisov is shown fragmentarily. This is especially apparent after familiarization with Rosenbloom's work.

The first chapter of the book “Pamyat na krovi” is entitled “Avenue and Lane”. It surveys Borisov's role in the history of Belorussia and recounts the most significant historical milestones connected with Jewish life. The distinctive and colorful names of the chapters are noteworthy: “Defiled and Destroyed” (liquidation of Jewish religious life and synagogues), “Years of the Devil” (the period of the Great Terror of 1937-1938), “Names of the Scum” (accomplices in Nazi crimes among the local population), and “Traces in the Grass of Oblivion” (important Jewish figures in Borisov). At the same time, the author misuses epithets, which lessens the general impression. Such terms and definitions as “to sling mud,” “zealous rioters,” “supreme apologists for cannibalism,” “abominable memory,” and so forth diminish the scientific perception of this work. An emotional outburst does not exhaust the scope of the Holocaust and Nazi crimes against humanity.

Of great value are the lists of Borisov Jews. In addition to the practical value (help to relatives in the search for family roots and disrupted genealogical connections), they give an idea of the social, age, sex, and professional composition. The first list is devoted to the victims of Stalin's purges (32 people) and includes their first names, patronymics, and last names, years and places of birth, and their posts, sentences, and often their fate after liberation. Familiarization with these materials conveys an idea of the people who left us, unjustly defamed and killed. The second list includes Jews who did not return from the war -- soldiers in the Red Army, partisans, and members of the underground (404 people). Entire families -- five, eight, twelve people and more -- left for the front. The years of their birth and death show the age composition of the conscripts and the number of losses in every year of military operations. The third -- the longest -- list (2,035 last names) is devoted to the prisoners of the Borisov ghetto and region. Listed separately are Jews in the Zembin ghetto, who were shot on August 18, 1941. The fourth list reveals the names of those who were directly involved in the genocide of Jews. They include senior staff (14 people) and rank-and-file members of the Police Administration (order service)(Ordnungsdienst) in Borisov: precinct (district) police inspectors in Borisov and Novo-Borisov (10 people) and rank-and-file policemen (73 people). The author checked off the last names of those sentenced to execution by a firing squad (5 people) or imprisonment (16 people). However, he was not able to determine the fate of most of them (74 people). Not all were called to the dock. Some fled West with the Germans, others changed their last names and remained in Belorussia under false documents; still others took advantage of an amnesty to join the partisans and -- after the liberation of Belorussia in the summer of 1944 -- the ranks of the advancing Soviet Army. Recently, some of them were exposed. Alexander Varfalomeyevich Mironchikov (Mironchik) had the aura and reputation of being an underground fighter, returning with orders and medals from the front. The book of the Pamyat series dedicated to the city and region of Borisov (p. 307) includes his reminiscences as the head of a police depot, underground fighter, and partisan in the Kommunar detachment. In reality, A.V. Mironchik was appointed chief of the police department in Novo-Borisov (paragraph 3, Order No. 1 of August 29, 1941 on the Borisov Police Administration), not a depot worker. Archival documents confirmed Mironchik's participation in the extermination of Jews[5]. Former policemen Stepan Buryy and Konstantin Mozalevskiy, who returned with Soviet medals from the front, were exposed and punished. However, during the period between May 26, 1947 and January 12, 1950 capital punishment was abolished in the Soviet Union. Owing to this, David Egof, head of the Borisov Police Administration -- one of the main organizers of the murder of Borisov Jews -- escaped being shot. After 25 years of imprisonment, he used to come to Borisov and meet his daughter Irina. Pyetr Logvin and Konstantin Pipin, members of punitive squads, returned home after serving their sentences. Sixty-eight-year old Fedor Petrovskiy, assistant police chief in Novo-Borisov, was relieved from responsibility due to his advanced age.

The fifth list is presented in the form of a short dictionary of names (515 people), which devotes from four to eight lines to each name. This, perhaps, is the most valuable part of the book. It includes information about revolutionaries, provocateurs, food detachment heroes, rabbis, party and Soviet officials, prisoners of Zion, Jewish “nationalists” who were arrested and sent into exile, entrepreneurs, and military figures -- all those who were born and lived in Borisov, or had some connection with its history. This list contains the most detailed information about victims of the Holocaust, their rescuers, and murderers. The sixth list reinforces the reader's impression of Jewish contribution to the fight against Nazism. It gives the names of Jews who were awarded the title of Hero of the Soviet Union (136) and of holders of the Order of Glory (12 people). Next to each first and last name is listed the person's military record. Asterisks indicate Borisov natives: Air Squadron Commander Yevel Belyavin, Tank Brigade Commander Yevsey Vaynrub, and Deputy Army Commander Matvey Vaynrub.

The sixth list is devoted to gentiles who saved the doomed. They include Belorussians, Russians, Ukrainians, Poles, ethnic Germans (Volksdeutsche), and a Wehrmacht officer of Austrian origin (37 people). These people saved 52 Jews in the city and region of Borisov. The memorial institute Yad Vashem awarded the title of “Righteous Among the Nations” to 9 of them[6].

A compact, but very informative, chapter devoted to the toponymies of Borisov streets (196 names) contains original material. The author traces the renaming of streets in connection with the Revolution and other political events witnessed by Borisov residents. We shall cite only one example. Mikhaylovskaya Street was renamed in honor of the Bolshevik Podbelskiy, after his arrest it became Studencheskaya, and now it is named after Hero of the Soviet Union Mikhail Morozov, a native of Borisov. The names of Khitrikovskaya, Milionnaya, Zarembovskaya, and Polotskaya streets were changed more than once. The city also had streets named after Trotskiy, Zinovyev, Bukharin, and Bela Kun, even though they had no connection with the history of Borisov. As they became Stalin's opponents, these political figures perished, and the streets with their names were renamed. The city's toponymies were no less extensively renamed during the years of occupation. Karl Marx Street became Tikhaya, Lenin Street - Mirnaya, Sovetskaya Street became Borisovskaya, Karl Libknekht - Kanifolnaya, Roza Luxemburg - Bolnichnaya, Krasno-Armeyskaya became Beregovaya, Parachutists' Street - Drovyanaya, and so forth. Even neutral names were changed. Tsvetnaya Street became Pestraya, Zemledelcheskaya - Rybatskaya, Planernyy Pereulok became Samoletnyy, and so forth. Changing geographical names in the occupied territories was a common policy. Not only Borisov, but also Minsk, the capital of Belorussia, as well as any other settlement in the republic, received new names[7].

The appendix includes an alphabetical list of the most common last names of Jews who lived in Borisov until 1941. It mentions the international group of more than 50 activists with roots in Borisov under the leadership of Barbara Krasner-Khait from the United States. They study their genealogy and the history of the city from where their ancestors came, and periodically publish the bulletin Borisov Brief. There is a list of memorial plaques put up by the Svet Menory Jewish Culture Society in the city and region of Borisov in 1991-1998. One placed on the site of gates of the Borisov ghetto -- the corner of Lopatin and Ruben Ibarruri streets -- in 1996 stands out among them. The inscription on it reads: “Here, from August 27 to October 27, 1941, were the gates of the ghetto, where 9,000 martyrs -- victims of the genocide --lived before they were killed.” In a short chronology of the Holocaust, Rosenbloom enumerates and comments on the results of Soviet rule (“November 7: A Holiday or a Day of Mourning?”), and also attempts to answer the question as to what prompted Jews to leave their native places (“Reasons for the Exodus, or Blots of Infamy in the History of the Soviet Union”). Three poems crown the book: “Peredelkino” (Russian Jews are leaving...) by Rimma Kazakova; “I Have the Honor of Belonging to this Persecuted People” by David Simanovich; and “Jewish Graves” by Maryan Duks.

In conclusion, a number of points, which ought to be corrected if A. Rosenbloom's book is reissued, should be noted. One cannot agree with the statement that “the state anti-Semitism of the tsarist period had only a religious basis” (p. 9). Such a simplification of the problem is inappropriate. The monograph by Ye. K. Anishchenko convincingly presents the specific historical conditions for the formation of the tsarist anti-Jewish policy in Belorussia[8]. There is no explanation for the traditional tolerance of Belorussians towards Jews and other national minorities in the empire's north-western region, which included Belorussian provinces. Unlike other European countries, Poland, and even Ukraine, here the Jews were never noted for their prosperity. Russian autocracy put them in the same rightless status as that of the local Belorussian population. There are also regrettable inaccuracies. Isaak Davidovich (Izya) Kharik (1896-1937) is mentioned as a pharmacist, man of letters, and public figure. In our opinion, formal education as a pharmacist and several months of work in a Borisov pharmacy do not give reason to describe Kharik first as a pharmacist and then as a man of letters. It would be more appropriate to point out that Kharik was one of the founders of Yiddish proletarian poetry in the Soviet Union, headed the largest Jewish section of the Union of Soviet Writers of the Belorusssian Soviet Socialist Republic, and was elected corresponding member of the republic's Academy of Sciences[9]. Gets Shayevich Genin was a government appointed, not community, rabbi in Borisov from 1894 to 1912, and so forth. It is regrettable that the author, who worked extensively to collect and analyze this important material, did not compile name and geographic indexes. The book lacks an academic apparatus and the bibliography is presented in the form of a general list of literature consulted.

Nevertheless, the book “Pamyat na krovi”, given the absence of modern historical literature on the Jewish past in Belorussia, marks a significant step forward. Despite the expressed criticism, the author has done original and valuable work. One can state that, if such a book existed for every city or small town where Jews had lived, the Jewish trace would be imprinted in the historical memory of Belorussia forever.


1.Ye. Golbraykh, Ispovedi Rishonskogo parka. Ocherki o geroyakh voyny i uznikakh getto [Confessions of Rishon Park. Essays on War Heroes and Ghetto Prisoners], (Tel Aviv, 1995); Samuil Gil, Krov ikh i segodnya govorit [Their Blood Speaks Even Today], (New York, 1995); V. Levin and D. Meltser, Chernaya kniga s krasnymi stranitsami. Tragediya i geroizm yevreyev Belorussii [Black Book With Red Pages. The Tragedy and Heroism of the Jews of Belorussia] (Baltimore, 1996); Grigoriy Ushpolis, Trevozhnoye vremya. Yevrei v Litve [Anxious Times. Jews in Lithuania] (Petah-Tiqwa, 1997); R. Davydov, Monolog Rafaelya. Vospominaniya voyennogo vracha [Rafael's Monologue. Reminiscences of a Military Doctor] (Tel Aviv, 1997); Zakhar Trubakov, Tayna Babyego Yara [The Secret of Babi Yar] (Tel Aviv, 1997); Basya Tsin, Vyzhit chtoby zhit [To Survive in Order to Live] (Tel Aviv, 1997); Yevdokiya Brailovskaya, Chudesa za kolyuchey provolokoy. Iz Vospominaniy shkolnitsy -- uznitsy getto [Miracles Behind Barbed Wire. From the Reminiscences of a Schoolgirl Ghetto Prisoner] (New York, 1997);

Skvoz ogon Katastrofy [Through the Flames of the Holocaust] (Ashkelon, 1997); Em. Korenblit, Zhestokiy vek. Zhizn yevreyskoy semi v gody voyny [A Brutal Century. The Life of a Jewish Family During the War Years] (Tel Aviv, 1998); Sima Lerner, Moy Rok. Dokumentalnaya povest uznitsy getto I kontslagerey [My Fate. A Documentary Tale of a Ghetto and Concentration Camp Prisoner] (Tel Aviv, 1998); Leonid Berenshteyn and Ster Yelisavetskiy, Yevrei-geroi Soprotivleniya. V podpolnoy i partizanskoy borbe protiv natsistskikh okkupantov na Ukraine, 1941-1945 gg. [Jewish Resistance Heroes. In the Underground and Partisan Struggle Against Nazi Occupiers in Ukraine, 1941-1945] (Tel Aviv, 1998); L.P. Sushon, Transnistriya: yevrei v adu [Transnistria: Jews in Hell] (Odessa, 1998); Yakov Khonigsman, Katastrofa yevreystva zapadnoy Ukrainy. Yevrei Vostochnoy Galitsii, Zapadnoy Volyni, Bukoviny i Zakarpatya, 1933-1945 gg. [Holocaust of the Jewry in Western Ukraine. Jews in Eastern Galicia, Western Volyn, Bukovina, and the Transcarpathian Region, 1933-1945] (Lvov, 1998); Berri Fallov, Bunt obrechennykh. Iz istorii Katastrofy yevreyev yuzhnoy Bessarabii [The Revolt of the Doomed. From the History of the Holocaust of the Jews in Southern Bessarabia] (Boston, 1998); Yulian Rafes, Dorogami moyey sudby [The Paths of My Fate] (Baltimore, 1997); Yulian Rafes, The Way We Were Before Our Destruction. Lives of Jewish Students From Vilna Who Perished During the Holocaust (Baltimore, 1998). Return

2.Vyacheslav (Tsalya) Tamarkin, Eto bylo ne vo sne [This Was Not in a Dream] (Moscow, 1998); Daniil Romanovskiy, “Kholokost glazami yevreyev -- yego zhertv: na primere Vostochnoy Belorussii i Severo-Zapadnoy Rossii” [The Holocaust in the Eyes of the Jews -- Its Victims: The Case of Eastern Belorussia and North-Western Russia], Vestnik yevreyskogo universiteta v Moskve, No. 1(17), 1998, pp. 84-119; Idem, “Otnosheniya mezhdu yevreyami i neyevreyami na okkupirovannykh sovetskikh territoriyakh glazami yevreyev: na primere Severo-Vostochnoy Belorussii i Zapadnoy Rossii” [Relations Between Jews and Non-Jews in the Occupied Soviet Territories: The Case of North-Eastern Belorussia and Western Russia], Ibid, No. 1(18), 1998, pp. 89-122; B. Mlynskiy, Stranitsy zhizni vremen Katastrofy [Pages of Life in the Times of the Holocaust] (Hadera, 1998); A. Rozenblyum, (Rosenbloom) Pamyat na krovi [Memory in Blood] (Petah Tiqwa, 1998); Basya Zhitnitskaya, Zhizn prozhitaya s nadezhdoy [Life Lived With Hope] (Ramat Gan, 1998); A. Rubenchik, Pravda o Minskom getto [The Truth About the Minsk Ghetto] (Tel Aviv, 1999); David Kagan, Rasskazhi zhivym. Belorusskaya madonna [Tell the Living. The Belorussian Madonna] (Tel Aviv, 1999). Return
3. Sh. Cholawski, The Jews of Belorussia During World War II, Harwood Academic Publishers (Amsterdam, 1998), p. 3. Return
4. M. Altshuler, “Escape and Evacuation of the Jews of Eastern Belorussia During the Holocaust,” Studies in Contemporary Jewry (Yahadut Zmaneinu), No. 3, 1986, Jerusalem, pp. 119-158, (Hebrew); M. Altshuler, Soviet Jewry on the Eve of the Holocaust. A Social and Demographic Profile (Jerusalem, 1998). Return
5.A.V. Mironchik died in 1986 and was buried in Borisov. Information about his complicity in Nazi crimes became known after his death -- L.S. Return
6.Righteous Among the Nations is a honorary title awarded to a person who during World War II saved one or several Jews at the risk of his own life. Return
7.L. Smilovitsky, “Zachem zhonglirovat nazvaniyami?” Iz istorii toponimiki Minska.” [Why Juggle Names? From the History of Minsk Toponymies], Vecherniy Minsk, August 16, 1990, No.189. Return
8.Ye. K. Anishchenko, Cherta osedlosti. Belorusskaya sinagoga v tsarstvovaniye Ekateriny Vtoroy [The Pale of Settlement. The Belorussian Synagogue During the Reign of Catherine II], ARTI-FEKS (Minsk, 1998). Return
9.In greater detail, see: L. Smilovitsky, “Izi Kharik: Pevets i zhertva epokhi” [Izi Kharik: A Singer and Victim of the Era], Novaya panorama (Jerusalem), September 19, 1991; “Dushoy i telom” [With Body and Soul], Yevreyskiy kamerton (Tel Aviv), October 6 and 13, 1995; “Pochemu v tvoyem vysokom dome takiye glubokiye podvaly?[Why Does Your Tall House Have Such Deep Cellars?], Ibid, November 7, 14, and 21, 1997. Return

[Pages 295-302]

2. Novogrudok: A Missing Chapter in the
History of the Holocaust in Belarus

Translated into German by Stefan Luedke

Donated by Stefan Luedke and Reinhild Philipps

Translated into English by Irene Newhouse

In the years before the war, the population of Western Belarus (in Eastern Poland) consisted primarily of Belarusians, Poles and Jews. As they were neighbors they lived and worked side by side, helped each other in times of need and shared joy and sorrow. Each group had its traditions, its culture and language. The Second World War became a common burden. The National Socialists (Nazis) brought Poles and Belarusians to their knees and executed resistors. The Jews were condemned to annihilation. After the war, there were virtually no Jews left in Western Belarus.

For various reasons, the tragedy of the Holocaust was not discussed in the Soviet Union or the Eastern Bloc states. The ideological circumstances, the official state-sanctioned antisemitism, and the traditional hatred of Jews all were involved. There was a separate literature of resistance to the Nazis: in Belarus on Belarusian partisans, in Poland about the Polish antifascists, members of the Armie Krajowa [AK], General Anders, and others. Works about the Holocaust were written primarily in the West [1] and in Israel [2] . Only in recent times have works dedicated to the fate of the Jews appeared in Belarus[3]. Nonetheless, the works of Belarusian historians are narrow in scope and limited to local issues. They are descriptive, emotional, contain no generalizations, and are in no way connected to the work of their colleagues in other countries [4]. Given this background, the book of Jack Kagan and Dov Cohen fills in the void in the history of the Holocaust in Belarusian territory during World War II. In many respects it supplements the Memory Book published in Tel Aviv in Hebrew by Joshua Jaffe and Itzak Alperovich in 1988 [5].

The authors' memoir Surviving the Holocaust with the Russian Jewish Partisans, is illustrated with documents and photographs from archives in Belarus, Russia, Israel, Germany and Czechoslovakia. Novogrudok is an historical monument for all three peoples, Belarusians, Poles and Jews. For Belarusians Novogrudok is one of the first centers of their independence, when it was known as the Duchy of Novogrudok in the 13th and 14th centuries; for Poles, Novogrudok is the home of Adam Mickiewicz [6]. Novogrudok, for Jews, it was one of the first Jewish settlements in the era of the Polish Republic (Rzeczpospolita Polska).

The authors, cousins Dov Cohen (Berl Kagan), born in 1922 and Jack (Idel) Kagan, born in 1929, were imprisoned in Novogrudok ghetto along with their relatives, and fled to the partisans under dramatic circumstances. Berl and Idel participated actively in the armed fight against the National Socialists in the legendary brigade of the Bielski Brothers. After the liberation of Belarus in 1944, fate separated the cousins. Idel, who spent eighteen months in a German displaced persons camp, emigrated to England, settled in London, and in 1952 opened his own business, which thrived. In 1945 Berl joined the Kibbutz movement in Poland, emigrated to Palestine, and joined the army of liberation of Israel. He served twenty-five years in the information service. He studied criminology, law and sociology. On his release from the reserve, he worked an additional fifteen years in the Israeli defense ministry.

The Kagan cousins wrote their book in two sections. The first, written by Dov (Berl), is called “My Life” and the second, by Jack (Idel) is entitled “How I Survived”. Each section complements the other, yet each can stand alone. The authors, with considerable skill, tell of parents, grandmothers and grandfathers, brothers and sisters, uncles and aunts. In concise but evocative prose, the cousins paint a picture of a typical Jewish settlement before WW II, in which lived 6,500 Jews - almost half the population of Novogrudok. The Jews lived in the town center and owned the majority of the businesses and small stores. They were artisans who supplied the needs of the entire neighborhood. Belarusian farmers from adjoining areas had everything from clocks to seeders repaired here. The Kagan cousins tell of Jews who found fulfillment in their work, discrediting the myth of the Jew as exploiter and blood-sucker. The contributions of the Jews were an important factor in the founding and maintenance of economic stability in Western Belarus.

In Novogrudok there were schools in the Hebrew (Tarbut) and Yiddish languages, as well as a school of the craftsmen's guild. There were agricultural courses, a religious school (Toshia), the well-known Yeshiva (Beit-Yosef Yeshiva), a theater, and a Jewish newspaper. The library contained seven thousand books in Yiddish, Hebrew, Polish, Russian and German. The sports club “Maccabee” was popular. There was a bank. The Jews adhered to the tradition of mutual aid. Every business had a synagogue; every businessman donated on behalf of the needy. There was an orphanage, a Jewish clinic (Hechdesh), a pharmacy, and a home for the aged (Moshav Skanim). The Committee of the Red Magen David distributed medicines and food to the destitute. A soup kitchen prepared meals daily for six hundred fifty people. Volunteers ran the legal aid committee and the Chevra Kaddisha. The Jewish population of the town supported various parties and movements,both religious (Mitnaggedim, Hasidim), and secular (Zionists, Revisionists, Communists, Bund) They were upstanding citizens; Novogrudok's crime rate was exceptionally low.

However, in Novogrudok there were also shlemiels, pariahs, and people who lived chaotically. Sometimes misunderstandings arose among Jews, Belarusians and Poles, but the groups maintained equilibrium. Nobody disturbed the Saturday peace of the community. The general situation for Jews in Poland worsened after the 1935 death of Pilsudski, and pogroms threatened [7]. In Novogrudok, Jews felt safe, although they did make generous gifts to the commander of the local militia and the town chief of police to increase security. Iin the years before the war, the polonization policies of the Polish state did not destroy the traditional national and cultural autonomy of the Jews.

The measured pace of events was interrupted on September 1, 1939 by Germany's attack. On September 17th, the Soviet Union annexed Western Belarus. The majority of Novogrudok Jews welcomed the arrival of the Red Army. A few of them were members of the illegal KPZB (Communist Party of Western Belarus); others considered the Soviet Union to be a society of social justice. The Soviet presence provided an alternative to the Nazis, whose politics regarding the Jews were known. Reality soon ended these illusions. The private sector was abolished, private property confiscated, Jewish customs were prohibited, clubs and public organizations dissolved, Yiddish and Hebrew were forbidden, attending synagogue became dangerous. The Novogrudok Yeshiva moved to Vilnius, the capital of then still independent Lithuania [8]. The next step was deportations and exile; denunciation bloomed [9].

The tragic later events are substantially chronicled by authors Dov and Jack Kagan. Although a Soviet-German war was anticipated, no one foresaw the horrific course of events. The first German bombardment of Novogrudok on June 24, 1941 caused only minor damage, but as a consequence of the second one, on June 28, 1941, almost the entire town center occupied by Jews burned. The Red Army retreated almost without a fight. On July 2, rumors circulated that the Nazis would occupy the town the next day. This didn't happen; instead groups of Belarusian and Polish hoodlums initiated a pogrom against the Jews. They plundered businesses and Jewish houses and chased the residents out, to prepare the streets for a festive reception of the new Nazi overlords. Novogrudok was occupied from July 4, 1941 to July 8, 1944. Soon persecution of the Jews began. Many regretted their misplaced trust. On July 26, 1941 the Germans openly shot fifty-two Jewish hostages. During the execution, an orchestra played classical music. When Dov and his parents, who had hidden in the cellar, asked a passing Pole what had happened, he responded, “Not much. The Germans shot a few rabid dogs”. As the bodies of the dead were loaded onto carts, a wounded Jew asked the driver to put him on top. A Belarusian policeman heard this and reported it to the Germans. The unfortunate Jew was killed on the spot. The Jews of Novogrudok lived in terror. Autumn brought news about the special SS units which carried out the “final solution to the Jewish question” in Belarus, Ukraine, Russia, Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia.

The Nazis carried out the first mass murders in Novogrudok in December 1941. They herded onto First of May Street, the city's entire Jewish population and made a selection. Names were called off from the Judenrat list. The elderly, ill, and members of large families were sent to the left; the young, healthy, those with work qualifications and craftsmen were sent right. The first group, over 5,000 people, were shot. The remaining 1,300 were temporarily allowed to live. A ghetto was established in the suburb Peresika. To carry out German orders, a Judenrat and a Jewish police force were created. In each house, someone was responsible for discipline. The ghetto was overcrowded with more than twenty people sleeping in each room. Every person aged twelve to sixty was made to do forced labor. Famine soon came, and prisoners died from malnutrition and dystrophy. One could get food from farmers, but it was difficult to leave the perimeter of the ghetto. All those returning from work were closely searched at the entrance. Twelve year old Jack (Idel, at great risk to his life obtained food for his family. In the spring of 1942, the Nazis herded 5,500 Jews from the nearby towns and villages of Lubcha, Stolovichi, Vselub, Deliatichi, Korelichi, Novay Mysh', Snov, Polonka, Nesnevichy, Razvodovo, Turets, Tsyrin, Kroshin and Eremichi, and moved them to the Peresika ghetto. The newcomers were housed in attics, cellars and storerooms. In the houses, three layer bunks were built. The newcomers' situation was horrifying; they were depressed and physically exhausted. The collapse of sanitary facilities and resulting illness killed many.

In the summer of 1942, it became clear that the days of the ghetto were numbered. In each house, cellars and hiding places were built at night. On August 7,1942, the Nazis carried out a “Kinderaktion”. On the orders of the commandant, all prisoners and their children were collected at the market place and children were separated from their parents. Those who tried to hide were killed on the spot, stabbed with bayonets, thrown out of windows, or their heads smashed against walls. After that, the adults were led out to be shot. On this day, 5,000 Jews from the Peresika ghetto died. They were buried in mass graves near the village Litovka. The National Socialists or Nazis, spared about 1,000 Jews, who were compelled to supply needs behind the front. These Jews were split up and housed in two places: the ghetto and the work camp. Two-hundred people died in a second “action” in May 1943.

The authors relate that the prisoners of Novogrudok never gave up thinking of escape. First, they hoped to obtain better work places or more food, or they sought to avoid the “Aktionen” with bribes. The devout awaited the Messiah, others believed the promises that exceptional workers and the most obedient would be permitted to live. Finally, it became obvious that flight to the partisans was the only possibility of survival. Still, only a few were prepared to flee. The first news of partisans reached Novogrudok in February 1942. Young Jews began to disappear into the forests. The German overlords became uneasy. They increased the guard around the ghettos, shot the old members of the Judenrat, and set up the staff of the Regional Commissar in Novogrudok's former city hall. The wonderful old gardens around it were fortified. Unnoticed by the staff within, resistance increased. Dov Cohen reports that the partisans captured the settlement Naliboki and occupied it a few days. When the Germans ordered reinforcements, the partisans retreated and left thirty-eight Jews there as guards. They retreated to the church and fought bravely. The Germans promised to let them live as prisoners of war, if they surrendered, but the Jews, preferred death in battle.

One of the most gripping accounts is the story of the unique flight of between one hundred seventy and one hundred ninety) prisoners from Novogrudok through a tunnel they had dug. After the Aktion of May 1943, the necessity of flight was obvious. It was too dangerous to organize an ambush of the guard and the prisoners were too exhausted. . Instead, the prisoners devised a plan for an underground route past the ghetto fence. This work had to be completed before the September 1943 harvest. Then the wheat, grown on a field just behind the fence, grew to 1.5 meters or five feet. A few dozen prisoners worked on the tunnel nightly for four months. The plan appeared absurd; many didn't believe that it could succeed. But participation in the work gave one hope, necessary for survival. The dirt was carefully carried out in sacks and dumped in store rooms, cellars of nearby houses, trash pits, and even toilets. The tunnel became a complex structure. It was laid out at a depth of 1.5 meters, a length of 250 meters, and a diameter of 60 centimeters. Light and air were in short supply; stones impeded progress. Electric light supplied the interior of the tunnel, supports against collapse were installed and air holes bored. When the tunnel was completed, participants waited two weeks for the next moonless night. No one had divulged the escape plan, and the flight succeeded.

Once they reached the forest, the majority of the escapees were taken up by the troop of the Bielski brothers, who came from the village Skridlevo in the Novogrudok region. The authors of Surviving the Holocaust with the Russian Jewish Partisans describe in detail the Jewish family camp of the brothers Bielski in the forest, and describe the character of the brothers Tuvia (1906-1987), Asael (1908-1944), Zus (1912-1995) and Archik (1928 -). The Bielski brothers set out to save first their families, then their neighbors, and thereafter other Jews. They were folk heroes. In comparing this work with already known information about the Bielski partisans , the reader learns much that is new [10]. The Jewish family camps in Belarus were a phenomenon unique in the history of genocide, unknown in other European countries. Their major task was to save Jews. Mostly they were founded auxiliary to partisan centers and collected those who had fled the National Socialists and were not capable of armed resistance: women, the elderly, and children.

Partisans supplied food to the majority of family camps and defended them. The Jews supplied the partisans with goods and technical assistance, kept guard, assisted in attacks, helped maintain contact to the underground, and participated in battles against the National Socialists and police. When Russians or Belarusians asked villages for supplies, they were helped. The farmers regarded Jews, however, as robbers, and villagers informed the police, and so Jews were ambushed. The Bielski troops retaliated, burning the farm of the denouncers and taking their livestock. The partisans and inhabitants of family camps were constantly under siege from the Germans. Many family camp members were murdered by punitive squads. Others, however, survived [11].

The book recounts the antisemitism of Belarusian partisans, the persecution of the Jews by the Armia Krajowa (AK, “Polish Home Army”, as distinct from the Army in Exile), and the group “Armed Force of the People” (Narodnye vooruzhennye sily]. One reason Belarusian partisans refused to accept Jews who had escaped the ghettos, was the fear that they might have been sent by the Gestapo. Although there was never substantial proof for this belief, dozens of Jews were shot for this reason. Yet the authors introduce the story of Chaim Lantzman, whom the Nazis planned to use as an informer. An advance squad from the Bielski troop stopped him in the forest in February 1943. Chaim's hand had a bullet wound. He described how he had fled Novogrudok during an Aktion, but his demeanor and story were suspicious. The newcomer was placed under observation, and when he tried to disappear during the night, he was arrested and forced to confess. The Gestapo had imprisoned his wife and promised to let her live if her husband were to find the partisan headquarters and betray its location. To make him seem more credible, they had shot him in the hand. Lantzman pleaded for forgiveness, but was condemned to death by the partisans.

The original German, Russian and Belarusian documents in the book are extremely interesting. To make these accessible to the English reader, they have been translated. They include written reports and communications, orders and decrees of the German military command, flyers, reports about military actions, military correspondence between partisan groups, and statistical data on the composition of the partisan groups in the Baranovichi area during 1942-1944. We learn, for example, that of 579 partisans in the “Vpered” (Onward!) Brigade, there were 247 Belarusians, 108 Russians, 27 Ukrainians, 7 Poles and 106 Jews. In the Brigade “Leninskii Komsomol” (Lenin Youth), 60 of the 222 partisans were Jews. In the “Chkalov” Brigade, of 1140 men, 239 were Jews; in the “Stalin” Brigade, 140 of 1404 were Jews, and in the “Kirov” Brigade, 150 of 601 partisans were Jews. The data contradict the allegation of Jewish passivity and lack of ability to resist.

The Kagan cousins visited Novogrudok in August 1993. They stirringly tell us in a separate chapter, (“A Visit”), their impressions.

The present generation in Western Belarus has no concept of the tragedy of the Jews during the Second World War. One can scarcely blame them for this. They had no way to learn that Novogrudok and numerous other towns and villages were, some sixty years ago, populated by thousands of Jews who had lived there for centuries.

Holocaust Deaths in Belarus [12]

TownNumber of
Jews Killed

Immediately upon the war's end, the Soviet state decided to suppress the truth about the genocide. This is confirmed by documents of the Extraordinary State Commission on the Determination of Crimes by the German-Fascist Occupiers and their Collaborators, which was handed down for Novogrudok on April 7, 1945. This decree states that during the occupation of Novogrudok, the Nazis murdered 17,000 people and deported a further 10,000 to “German slavery” (forced labor in Germany). The ethnicity of the victims is not mentioned; they all became depersonalized “Soviet citizens”. The word “Jew” appears nowhere in the document [13].

In the years 1989-1994, historical science was relatively liberalized in the Belarusian Republic. Researchers examined archival material regarding the politics of the Nazis genocide. Access was soon severely restricted. In 1996, the Republic of Belarus enacted a regulation entitled “Regarding the Management of Access to Documents, which Preserve Information on the Secret Private Life of Citizens”. No documents concerning the actions of citizens in the regions occupied by the fascist armies were to be released to historians. These included accusations of treason, desertion or collaboration, documents of the authorities and administration of the occupation which contained information about personnel (lists of policemen and citizens who went to Germany voluntarily, etc.) and data from arrest records and displaced person records of the KGB (MGB, MVD) about citizens who were returned home from Germany or German-occupied territories in the years 1945-46 [14].

Had the Kagan cousins tried to find out today, who among their relatives had been persecuted and shot in Novogrudok from 1941 to 1944, they would receive a refusal according to paragraph 28 of the new regulation of the Republic of Belarus regarding the protection of the honor of the citizenry and illegal interference in their private lives. The author of this review has searched at the archives of Yad Vashem for the names of those directly responsible for the organization of the mass murders in Novogrudok. Among them were the Regional Commissar Traub, the Gestapo officials Schit, Felgenhauer, Reuter and Schulz [15].

Dov and Jack Kagan write that their surviving the genocide was a matter of chance. Why fate spared them is a mystery. They showed tremendous will power, perseverance and strength to survive all these blows, to continue to live, to start over, raise children and create a hopeful future? How many Jewish roots were annihilated during the war in Novogrudok, Belarus, the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe? Which young seeds never sprouted? We must preserve the truth about the Holocaust. The Kagans, in Surviving the Holocaust with the Russian Jewish Partisans, have eminently fulfilled this task.

Bibliography and Sources

*Review of the book: Jack Kagan, Dov Cohen Surviving the Holocaust with the Russian Jewish Partisans Valentine Mitchell (London 1998), 274 pages
1.a. John A. Armstrong (ed.) “Soviet Partisans in World War II”, University of Wisconsin Press (Madison, Wisconsin,1964).
b. Lester Samuel Eckman, “The Jewish Resistance: the History of the Jewish Partisans in Lithuania and White Russia During the Nazi occupation, 1940-1945” (New York, 1977);
c.Charles Gelman, “Do Not Go Gentle: a Memoir of Jewish Resistance in Poland, 1941-1945”. Hamden, CT: Archon Books, 1989.
d. John Loftus, “The Belarus Secret”. Nazi War Crimes Trials and War Criminals, 1939-1945, New York, 1982).
e. Lucjan Dobroszycki, Jeffrey S.Gurock (eds.) “The Holocaust in the Soviet Union and the Sources on the Destruction of the Jews in the Nazi-Occupied Territories of the USSR, 1941-1945”. Armonk (New York, 1993).
f. Yehoshua R.Buchler, “Local Police Force Participation in the Extermination of Jews in Occupied Soviet Territory”. Shvut, № 4 (20), 1996, pp. 79-99.
g. V. Levin, D. Meltzer, “Chernaya Kniga s Krasn'mi Stranitsami. Tragediya i Geroizm Evreev Belorussii” (“Black Book with Red Pages. The Tragedy and Heroism of Belarusian Jews”), (Baltimore, 1996).
h. Hannes Heer, “Killing Fields: The Wehrmacht and the Holocaust in Belorussia, 1941-1942”, Holocaust and Genocide Studies (Washington), vol. 11, № 1 (Spring 1997), pp. 79-101. Return
2.a. Sefer ha-Partizanim ha-Yehudim (The Book of Jewish Partisans) Moravia, Yad Vashem, (Jerusalem, 1958); “Blackbook of the Localities Whose Jewish Population Was Exterminated by the Nazis”, Yad Vashem (Jerusalem. 1965)
b. Jack Nusan Porter (ed.) “Jewish Partisans". A Documentary Story of Jewish Resistance in the Soviet Union During WW II, Yad Vashem Memorial Institute (Jerusalem, 1968).
c. Aryeh Tartakower, (ed.) “Jewish Resistance During the Holocaust”, Yad Vashem Memorial Institute (Jerusalem, 1971).
d. Yitzhak Arad, Shmuel Krakowski, Shmuel Spektor (eds.), “The Einsatzgruppen Reports: Selections from the Dispatches of Nazi Death Squads' Campaign against the Jews, July 1941-January 1943”, Yad Vashem (Jerusalem), Holocaust Library (New York, 1989).
e. Moshe Kalchheim (ed.) “With Proud Bearing, 1939-1945": Chapters in the History of Jewish Fighting in the Naroch Forests (Tel Aviv, 1991), Hebrew.
g. Shmuel Spector, Bracha Freundlich,(eds.) “Lost Jewish Worlds: The Communities of Grodno, Lida, Olkieniki, Vishay”, Yad Vashem (Jerusalem, 1996). Return
3.a. V. Samovich Shot, Tortured and Hanged: The Fascist Genocide in Brest (Brest, 1994); Tragedy of the Jews in Belarus during the German Occupation 1941-1944. Collection of Documents and Material, 2nd Edition, edited by R. Chernoglanova (Minsk 1997).
b. E.Rosenblat, I Elenskaya The Jews of Pinsk 1939-1944 (Brest 1997);
c. G. Vinnica The Word of Memory (Orsha 1997);
d. S. Margolina Surviving (Minsk 1997);
e. M. Ryvkin, A. Shul'man Related by War (Vitebsk 1997);
f. B. Sherman The Ghetto of Baranovichi. Koldychevskii – Death Camp (Baranovichi 1997). Return
4. Exceptions are the collections of documents under the editorship of the Partisan Division of the State Museum of Belarus for the History of the Great Patriotic War (World War II - IN) by Raisa Chernoglasova (398 pages) and the book by Evgeni Rosenblat, Irina Elenskaya (308 pages), which were prepared at the requisite scientific level. Return
5. Yehoshua Jaffe, Yitzhak Alperovich (eds), “In the Novogrudok and the Partisan Movement.” The Memorial Book (Tel Aviv, 1988) (Hebrew). Return
6. Adam Mickiewicz (1798-1855) was a poet, author, and patriot who helped preserve Polish identity after the final partition of Poland, when there was no Polish self-rule. Return
7. Pilsudski, Jozef Klemens (1867-1935), Polish government official, 1920 Marshall, 1919-1922, Chief of the Polish State, in 1926 established an authoritarian regime, in 1931 he abolished all Polish laws discriminating against Jews, made efforts to reduce the number of Jews in Poland and made contact with Zionist organizations. He eased emigration to Palestine, sent arms there for Jewish military organizations and tried constantly to influence the English government to permit increased Jewish emigration. Return
8. The members of Novogrudok community who received permission to come to Lithuania and survived the war. In: Zerakh Vargaftig, “Utselevshie v gody Katastrofy.” (Translation from Hebrew) (Jerusalem, 1994), pp. 61-63, 65-66, 74-76. Return
9.a. Shalom Cholawski, “Soviet Rule in Western Byelorussia, 1939-1941, and the Repercussions for the Jewish Community during the Holocaust”, World Congress of Jewish Studies (Jerusalem, 1980), Hebrew;
b. Ben-Zion Pinchuck, “Shtetl Jews under Soviet rule Eastern Poland on the eve of the Holocaust”, Jewish society and culture. Oxford, UK; Cambridge, Mass., USA: B.Blackwell, 1990;
c. “Jewish Refugees from Poland in Belorussia, 1939-1940”. Documents. Introduced and annotated by Emanuel Ioffe and Viacheslav Selemenev, Jews in Eastern Europe, № 1 (32) 1997, pp. 45-60. Return
10. Nechama Tec, “Defiance. The Bielski Partisans”. The Story of the Largest Armed Rescue of Jews by Jews During WW II. Oxford University Press (New York, 1993). Return
11.a. L. Smilovitsky “Jewish Family Camps and Brigades in Belarus 1941-1944” The Jews of Belarus. History and Culture. Collection of articles, Volume 2, (Minsk 1998), pp 126-138;
b. S. Shveibish “The Jewish Family Partisan Brigade of Sholom Zorin”, Journal of the Jewish University in Moscow No. 3 (13) pp 88-109. Return
12. The Soviet Extraordinary Commission (ESC) was called into existence on November 2, 1942 per decree of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR under chairmanship of N. M. Shvernik. In Belarus an auxiliary commission of the ESC was formed early in 1944 under the chairmanship of P. K. Ponomarenko, which was active until December 1945. In Baranovichi, Bobruisk, Brest, Gomel', Grodno, Minsk, Molodechno, Mogilev, Pinsk, Mozyr and Polotsk, there were working regional commissions in support, which collected documentary data and witness testimonies. In each section of the city there were auxiliary commissions. The minutes and communications of the ESC were frequently used in the Nuremberg Trials, and in trials in Minsk, Bobruisk, Gomel' and other cities. Return
13. Gosudarstvenny Arkhiv Rossiiskoi Federatsii (GARF) [State Archive of the Russian Federation] F. 7021, op. 81, d. 102, l. 103. Return
14. This instruction was admitted by the order of the Chairman of the Belarus State Archive Service No. 21, on July 3, 1996 g. in Minsk Return
15. Yad Vashem Archives (Jerusalem), collection M-33/1159. Return

[Pages 303-313]

3. New Approaches to the Study of the Holocaust

Translated by Judith Springer

The second half of the 1990s was marked by a steadily growing interest in the history of the Holocaust in Belorussian territory[1]. The studies dealing with it appeared consistently not only in this republic of the former USSR, but also in Israel, the United States, England, and Russia. In a way, this is natural. On the one hand, a new generation of researchers, less biased toward the events of World War II, has emerged. On the other, participants in and contemporaries of those events are still alive. Under the conditions of rejection of totalitarian thinking, attempts are being made to more fully understand the lessons of the Holocaust. The opened archives have enabled the former to verify their conjectures and the latter, to fill the gaps in the history of the war, which in the Soviet Union had been hastily declared to be already written.

The articles, reviews, reminiscences, and collections of documents and monographs published in 1996-1999 greatly differ in their professional level, depth of analysis, interpretation, and authenticity. Works written in Belorussia present the most striking contrast. Memoirs and memorial publications constitute the first group[2]. They are emotional and contain a great deal of new factual material and information, as well as many examples. Gennadiy Vinnitsa tells about the ghettos in Bayevo, Baran', Bogushevsk, Dubrovno, Kopys', Kokhanovo, Obol'tsy, Orsha, Rossasna, Senno, Slavnoye, Smol'yany, Tolochin, and Tuchin. He collected the material by means of numerous interviews with his fellow countrymen who lived through the Holocaust. Each essay ends with a list of the names of Jews who died at the hands of the Nazis and their accomplices. An appendix to the book lists the Jews (89 names) who were drafted into the Red Army by the Military Commissariat in Orsha and fell in battles with the Nazis. At the same time, while being carried away by the description of the genocide, Vinnitsa depicts an almost ideal picture of the life of Soviet Jews during the prewar years.

Sima Margolina tells about the Uzda ghetto in Minsk Oblast. She writes about her relatives, acquaintances, and neighbors who stayed there and died during the Aktion in October 1941 (300 families, 1,740 people). After the pogrom, the Nazis took some of the prisoners into the Minsk ghetto, from where the witness ran away, wandering through various Belorussian farmsteads, villages, and settlements. Margolina's small book (66 pages) is a typical story of a person traumatized by the Holocaust who carried this experience with him throughout his entire life. M. Ryvkin and A. Shul'man write about the “righteous among the nations of the world.” They present 11 brief accounts of the rescue of Jews in Vitebsk Oblast: Braslav, Bykovshchina, Glubokoye, Gorodok, Druya, Dunilovichi, Kublichi, Shumilino, and Yanovichi. Despite the modest volume (61 pages), the authors were able to achieve their objective. The book is written in a vivid style. It contains unknown examples, facts, and details characterizing the atmosphere of anti-Semitism and racial intolerance created by the Nazis. In essence, this is the first publication in the republic especially devoted to the “righteous.” Vyacheslav (Tsal') Tamarkin's reminiscences[3] represent a chronicle of the life and destruction of the town of Lyady, one of the many settlements on the Belorussian and Russian border in the former “Pale of Jewish Settlement.” Episodes from the history of the community (more than 2,000 people) before the Revolution of 1917, in the first decades of Soviet rule, and during the prewar and war periods are interwoven in the book. The author, who miraculously escaped death during an Aktion, ended up in a partisan detachment, became a student at the Suvorov School and then a cadet at an officers' school, fought on the front, and became disabled. His account of his experiences is written simply, truthfully, and vividly.

The memoirs of Boris Mlynskiy, a former prisoner of the Minsk ghetto and a partisan, merit attention. The author began working on his manuscript in Leningrad as far back as 1980, not intending to publish it. Therefore, he was not subject to censorship requirements. His reminiscences are noted for their authenticity, sincerity, truthfulness, and vividness. He begins his narrative with his childhood and describes the way of life of Jewish Slutsk. Mlynskiy cites details, which are valuable as a source of the history of Jews during the interwar period. The war destroyed most archives, and this aspect of the life of the Belorussian Jewry remains the least studied. The author is not a historian or a man of letters, but his story is captivating. The section on the Nazi blockade of the partisan zone in the spring of 1944 and the partisans' extraordinary efforts to survive is the strongest. Unfortunately, Mlynskiy did not check his reminiscences against the historical literature and committed a number of errors and inaccuracies. The book omits such an important point as the partisans' very contradictory attitude toward Jews.

Among the memoirs and reminiscences, the work by Roman Levin, a former prisoner of the Brest ghetto and now a writer in Khar'kov, is the most interesting. More than 12,500 questionnaires of prisoners of the ghetto destroyed in October 1942 were found in the Brest State Archive. Such a number of documentary testimonies filled in with the hands of the doomed were not preserved anywhere in the world. Photographs torn out of Soviet passports, snapshots from prewar years, and pictures taken in the ghetto were attached to the questionnaires. Menachem Begin's mother, Rabbi Soloveychik's family, physicians, teachers, craftsmen, housewives, and children under the age of 14 inscribed in their parents' questionnaires were among them[4]. All of them perished in the ghetto and were shot in the territory of the Brest Fortress and at Bronnaya Gora. Only 19 out of the more than 20,000 Brest Jews survived, Roman Levin being one of them. Sergey Smirnov (1915-1976), a well-know researcher on the history of the defense of the Brest Fortress, was the first to describe Levin's unusual fate. A documentary on the life and death of the Brest ghetto based on Levin's script was made in Russia and a book was published in France[5]. Unfortunately, the book Mal'chik iz getto [A Boy from the Ghetto] contains an inaccuracy: L.F. Tsanava was not chief of the Headquarters of the Partisan Movement in Belorussia. K.Z. Kalinin held that post, while Tsanava was his deputy and headed the counterintelligence department of the headquarters.

The work by jurist B.P. Sherman represents a combination of reminiscences and archival documents. It describes the main Nazi crimes in Baranovichi and the Koldychevo camp, to which German sources refer as a “place of detention with an especially harsh regime for prisoners-of-war, convicts, and civilians under suspicion.” According to the author's calculations, 18,750, not 12,000, Jews -- as believed earlier -- perished in Baranovichi. In the Koldychevo concentration camp, from March 1942 until early 1944, more than 22,000 people were killed. A total of 600 bodies of prisoners from Baranovichi and Stolbtsy prisons were burned in the crematorium built in the camp. Of special interest is the information on the death in Baranovichi of Jews deported from Germany (2,000 people), Czechoslovakia (3,000), Poland (500), and Austria (300). A total of 52,510 people of all nationalities died in Baranovichi and its environs during the war years. Sherman publishes two lists of Jews. The first contains the names of Soviet Army soldiers, natives of Baranovichi, who died on the fronts of World War II (49 names), as well as the year of birth, military rank, time of death, and place of burial; the second, Jews who died in partisan units (85 people). The chapter “They Did Not Escape Accountability” is the summation of the book. It is about the trials of German war criminals and their collaborators in Baranovichi, which were held in 1945, 1962, 1967, and 1971.

Collections of documents and materials make up the second group of books. The second edition of the collection Tragediya yevreyev Belorussii v gody nemetskoy okkupatsii, 1941-1944 [Tragedy of the Jews of Belorussia during the Years of German Occupation, 1941-1944] was published in Minsk in 1997[6]. As compared with the first edition, it was supplemented, corrected, and expanded considerably. The compilers included in the collection such new chapters as “Anti-Jewish Propaganda on the Pages of Fascist Publications in the Occupied Territory of Belorussia,” “From the Shorthand Report of the Trial of Hitlerite Crimes against the Jews of Belorussia in Minsk (1946),” and ”The Belorussian Righteous Among the Nations of the World,” as well as a table of 124 surnames of rescuers. Reminiscences of Jews from Hamburg supplement the fifth chapter, and testimonies of five prisoners of Minsk and Belostok ghettos, the eighth chapter. Many new photodocuments appeared in the reprinted collection. Unfortunately, it contains some inaccurate facts and errors in translation from German to Russian. One cannot always agree with the comments in some documents.

Valuable research was carried out by two authors who emigrated to the United States in the early 1900s -- Chernaya kniga s krasnymi stranitsami [Black Book with Red Pages]. They are David Mel'tser, former professor at Belorussian State University, and Vladimir Levin, a member of the Union of Belorussian Writers and of the USSR Union of Journalists[7]. The appearance of this voluminous work (573 pages) was largely due to the increased interest on the part of emigrants from the former USSR in their history, roots, and Holocaust experience. Mel'tser and Levin tried to fill this gap. The authors demonstrate that the extermination of Jews was not merely part of the tragedy of all the inhabitants of Belorussia, but one of its central events. It was in Belorussia that the Nazis, for the first time, tested in practice the mechanism of total extermination of Jews. In many respects, the authors were able to reinterpret already known documents and included in their work the reminiscences of 96 witnesses to the Holocaust, a significant number of whom they themselves interviewed in the United States. Along with its indisputable merits, Chernaya kniga s krasnymi stranitsami contains a number of omissions, the main one being the lack of references to sources and of geographical and name indices. The impossibility of checking the disputable passages in the book at times makes one doubt the authors' objectivity. It is not clear on what Levin and Mel'tser based their conclusion about the existence in Belorussia of 30,000 Jewish partisans, one third of whom -- according to them -- died in the struggle against the Nazis. This greatly exceeds the data of Israeli historians Yitzhak Arad, Shmuel Krakovski, Shmuel Spector, and others[8]. The statistics of losses during the Holocaust years remains one of the most complex problems, which will have to be solved in the future[9].

The book by Fedor Sverdlov, professor at the Frunze Military Academy, was the result of lengthy work in the Central Archive of the Russian Federation Ministry of Defense[10]. It contains reports drawn up in 23 armies (120 archival storage units, each holding 300 to 350 folios), which were sent to political front administrations, or to the Main Political Administration of the Red Army (fond 32). Documents on the shooting of Jews, declarations of prisoners of war, excerpts from “Bulletins on the Atrocities of German Occupiers” published in the armies, and so forth were attached to them. Sverdlov introduces into scientific circulation sources never before used in the historiography of the Holocaust. The collection provides information on the participation of Wehrmacht soldiers -- not only of the SS and Einzatskommandos, as previously thought -- in the extermination of Jews. These documents paint a picture of a carefully planned murder of Jews even before the decision of the Wannsee Conference of January 20, 1942. This was murder before the very eyes of local inhabitants, which the Nazis avoided in Germany and other occupied countries in Europe. The author demonstrated that, as early as the autumn and winter of 1941, the political leadership of the Red Army knew about the total annihilation of Soviet Jews by the Nazis, but took no special steps to save them. He shows that, during the war years, USSR authorities hushed up the scale of the Holocaust, whose victims were called abstract “Soviet citizens.”

Undoubtedly, Yevgeniy Rozenblat and Irina Yelenskaya did the most important work in the mentioned group[11]. They gave their version of the life of Pinsk Jews in the context of the general historical events of 1939-1941. The authors dwelled on the relations between Jews in Western Belorussia and the Soviet Government and demonstrated that the suppression of national self-consciousness became a kind of preparation for the Holocaust. The policy of genocide as exemplified by Pinsk in 1941-1944 is shown in detail in the second part of the book. Archival documents and materials are presented extensively. They include reports of Pinsk oblast and city committees of the Communist Party (Bolsheviks) of Belorussia, memorandums of the procuracy, NKVD reports, communiqués by German occupation authorities kept in the Brest State Archive, orders, regulations, and instructions by the German commandants' offices with regard to the Jewish population before and after the establishment of the ghetto, and materials of the periodical press of collaborators. The correspondence of the Judenrat, decrees on fines, levies, and the participation of Jews in forced labor, lists of Jewish property, and written appeals by Jews to the Judenrat and departments of the Pinsk City Council (applications, complaints, and petitions) are of great value. Reminiscences of contemporaries successfully supplement all this. A special section is devoted to relations between Jews and non-Jews. Detailed demographic tables are included in the book. The analysis, generalizations, scientific authenticity, and convincing comments indicate that a monograph meeting the requirements of Western historiography has, finally, appeared in Belorussia.

Books dealing with the Holocaust, which were published far beyond Belorussia's borders, represent the third group of publications[12]. Three authors –- Shalom Cholawski, Jack Kagan, and Dov Cohen –- directly participated in the described events. Dr. Cholawski (1914) is a happy example of a long-lived historian, whose fate enabled him to be a contemporary and a chronicler of the Holocaust. He was born in Lida in 1935, graduated from the Tarbut Seminary in Vilnius, and became the director of and teacher at the Hebrew school in Rakov. In 1941-1942 Cholawski actively participated in the work of the Nesvizh ghetto underground. He was one of the organizers of its prisoners' revolt and the commander of Zhukov's Jewish Partisan Detachment. After the war, he headed the PHH [Partizanim-Hayalim-Halutzim –- Partisans-Soldiers-Pioneers] movement in Poland and Germany. In 1948 Cholawski came to Israel and joined Kibbutz Ein Hashofet, with which his entire creative life has been connected. In his last monograph published in Amsterdam in 1998[13], the author accumulated the best of what he had written in Hebrew[14] and English[15] during the preceding years. Professor Yehuda Bauer, director of the International Center for Holocaust Studies, wrote a moving foreword to the book. Dr. Cholawski does not adhere to a strict academic scheme in the monograph. His book is carefully thought out, presenting events in a convincing and authentic manner. The author skillfully uses a method, whereby the propositions put forward are proven through testimonies of contemporaries and the quoting of documents. The book is written in a readable, professional, and, at the same time, popular style. From the beginning, the presentation of the material was intended for wide readership. The main events, on which the author's attention is focused, unfold in the territory of Western Belorussia. Chapters dealing with the role of the Judenrat and the underground, the attitude of the non-Jewish population toward Jews during the Holocaust years, and the armed resistance to the Nazis contain original material.

Utrachennyye Yevreyskiye Miry [Lost Jewish Worlds], the book by Shmuel Spector and Brakha Freyndlikh, discusses the life of four communities in Poland, Lithuania, and Belorussia. The authors chose them as examples of many thousands of communities scattered in Eastern Europe. Jews, who had come there in the remote past, for centuries pursued their own way of life, strictly observing the tradition and religious laws. From the 17th through the 19th centuries, the elders of Grodno, Brest-Litovsk, Pinsk, and Vilnius headed Va'ad Medinat Lita (Lithuanian Communities Council). Between the two world wars, Grodno, Lida, and Olkieniki were part of Poland, while Vishay was part of independent Lithuania. Nowadays Grodno and Lida form part of the Republic of Belarus. The narrative describes the life of two large Jewish families – the Freydoviches and the Zandmans. They are depicted as hard workers and followers of the faith of their ancestors. The German invasion and the policy of genocide doomed this world to destruction. Despite the pronounced judgment, Jews resisted and some were lucky to survive. Young Feliks Zandman was among those who survived the Holocaust. Having lost his parents and most of his relatives, he found in himself the strength to continue to live, to get married, to bring children into the world, and to tell the world about what he had gone through. The book is published in a beautiful edition with rare photographs.

Scientific reports by historians engaged in the study of the Holocaust should be discussed separately. Yitzhak Arad, Mordekhay Al'tshuler, Yakov Tsur, Yehoshua Buchler, and Daniel Romanovskiy (Israel), Hannes Heer (Germany), Nechama Tec and Christian Gerlach (USA), Emmanuil Ioffe, Arkadiy Leyzerov, Marat Botvinnik, and Vyaceslav Selemenev (Belorussia), and some others conducted the most valuable research[16]. Familiarization with it shows how scholars have advanced in the study of the history of the Holocaust. The possibility of working with original sources and the skillful use of colleagues' preceding experience produced positive results. Most publications are characterized by objectivity, persuasiveness, and thoughtful analysis and comments. The authors try to avoid categorical assertions and refrain from using an apologetic, defensive tone with respect to Jews. However, the deeper the penetration into the history of the Holocaust, the more questions arise. To what extent were Jews aware of the policy of genocide on the eve of the Soviet-German War? What were the reasons and motives of the Jewry that refused to evacuate at the proper time? What determined the attitude of the Soviet leadership toward the Holocaust? What was life in the ghetto like? What, in fact, was the Judenrat? Was it a form of passive resistance to, or of cooperation with, the Nazis? What did anti-Semitisn represent in the occupied territory and to what extent was it the consequence of the Nazi propaganda? What was the attitude of local residents, partisans, the personnel, and the command toward Jews? Did the Soviet leadership make attempts to interfere in this issue? These and similar questions can become topics of independent monographic research.

Beginning in 1997, the scientific collection Yevrei Belorussii. Istoriya i kul'tura [Jews of Belorussia. History and Culture][17] began to be published in Minsk. It contains articles, investigations, essays, and bibliographic material dealing with Judaica. World War II and the Soviet-German War occupy a significant place in it. The most informative papers are by D. Romanovskiy, I. Gerasimova, E. Ioffe, A. Gurevich, R. Chernoglazova, A. Mayzel, and so forth[18]. In 1995-1999 the literary-historical almanac Mishpokha continued to be published in Vitebsk. It was intended for the readership of the Jewish Belorussian Diaspora and was distributed in the CIS, Israel, the United States, Sweden, Poland, and Germany, as well as in the Baltic states and Moldova. The Holocaust is one of its central topics. Anatoliy Kardash, Feliks Lipskiy, Isaak Borovik, Vladimir Smolyar, Arkadiy Podlipskiy, Zalman Pruslin, Grigoriy Kanovich, Arkadiy Shul'man, Yakov Basin, Vladimir Livshits, Boris Blyakhman, Varlen Strongin, David Simanovich, Zeev Abramson, Girsh Reles, Anatoliy Aleksin, and others presented important reports. Most authors are thoughtful researchers, but many do not adhere to the academic style. Mishpokha always has many rare photographs and documents and old portraits and sketches. It often contains letters from Holocaust survivors with stories about their rescuers.

In Belorussia the topic of the Holocaust has ceased to be an abstract, new phenomenon. It has made itself fully felt and it is no longer necessary to prove its significance. All publications about the war consider it their duty to report on Nazi policy with regard to the Jewish population[19]. The level of coverage of this issue and its depth, as well as the degree of objectivity of the presented information, undoubtedly, differ, but to hush up the tragedy of the Jews in Belorussia, as was done for almost 50 years, is no longer possible. In 1996-1999 a number of republic and international conferences, symposiums, and meetings of scholars, whose works are devoted to problems of interethnic relations and the Holocaust, were held[20]. In May 1997, the Second International Symposium “Lessons of the Holocaust and Contemporary Russia”[21] was held in Moscow. Director Steven Spielberg from Los Angeles, chairman of the Survivors of the Shoah Visual History Foundation, and Avner Shalev, chairman of the Board of the Yad Vashem National Institute in Jerusalem, sent their greetings to its participants. Arkadiy Blyakher, director of the Holocaust Center in Brest, Sergey Zhumar, head of a department at the Institute for Archival Affairs of the Republic of Belarus, Professor E. Ioffe, and Mikhail Ryvkin, docent at Vitebsk Pedagogical University, gave lectures on the history of the Holocaust of Jews in Belorussia[22]. Israeli historians Yitzhak Arad, Pinchas Agmon, Shmuel Spector, Vadim Dubson, and Iosif Begun presented important reports[23]. Reports by the following researchers were heard with great interest: Karl Modig, Erich Goldhagen, Bella Baram, Gordon Mork, James Pellechia, and Jolene Chu (USA), Johannes Wrobel (Germany), Paul Zawadski and Martine Cohen (France), Monika Adamchyk-Garbowska (Poland), Leonid Koval' (Latvia), Yefim Tkach (Moldova), Ster Yelisavetskiy, Yuliya Smilyanskaya, and Aleksandr Nayman (Ukraine), Il'ya Al'tman, Tankha Otershteyn, Alla Gerber, and Natal'ya Basovskaya (Russia), and others. These scholars appealed for the perpetuation of the memory of the Holocaust by means of the establishment of memorials and museums, expansion of scientific research, instruction in educational institutions, and criminal and civil prosecution for inflaming interethnic discord, including denial of the Holocaust.

Thus, despite a certain abundance of literature on the Holocaust in Belorussia, which has appeared in recent years, this work is only at its inception. A process of accumulation of factual material and of its initial interpretation is going on and the first collections of documents are being published. The problem of the Holocaust is not reflected in the programs of the republic's educational institutions[24], scientific conferences are not being held, and dissertations are not being defended. Thus far conceptual works have been absent. Almost all of them are descriptive, do not explain the essence of the phenomenon, and do not examine events at depth. At best, individual scholars, most of whom remain “amateurs,” are engaged in the history of the Holocaust. The lack of international cooperation among historians leads to a certain “running in place.” Their joint work could strengthen mutual trust and help arrive at common conclusions. The question of the difference between the Holocaust in Belorussia and the tragedy of the Jewry in other regions of the Soviet Union and Eastern European countries will have to be answered. Relations between Jews and non-Jews in the occupied territory will have to be explained. The contribution of Jews to the Resistance Movement and the scale of the losses of the Jewish population in Belorussia will have to be shown. These and other problems await their objective research. The history of the Holocaust should become an independent direction in Belorussian historiography.


1.l. L. Smilovitsky, “Revival of the Historiography of Belarus's Jews, 1992-1995,” Shvut, No. 3(19), 1996, pp 209-219. Return
2.R. Levin, Mal'chik iz getto [A Boy from the Ghetto], Rossiyskaya biblioteka Kholokosta, (Moscow, 1996). A. Rosenbloom, Sledy v trave zabveniya. Yevrei v istorii Borisova [Traces in the Grass of Oblivion. Jews in the History of Borisov] Svet menory, (Borisov, 1996); G. Vinnitsa, Slovo pamyati [The Word of Memory] (Orsha, 1997); S. Margolina, Ostat'sya zhit' [To Stay Alive] (Minsk, 1997); R. Ryzhik, Spasi I pomiluy [Save Me and Have Mercy Upon Me] (Vitebsk, 1997); M. Ryvkin and A. Shul'man, Porodnennyye voynoy [Made Brothers by War] (Vitebsk, 1997); B. Sherman, Baranovichskoye getto. Koldychevskiy lager smerti [The Baranovichi Ghetto. The Koldychevo Death Camp] (Baranovichi, 1997); B. Mlynskiy, Stranitsy zhizni vremen Katastrofy [Pages of Life in the Times of the Holocaust] (St. Petersburg – Hadera, 1998). Return
3.V. Tamarkin, Eto bylo ne vo sne [This Was not in a Dream] (Moscow, 1998). Return
4.The questionnaires were found in the archives of the city of Brest in 1994. In 1995 officials of the Yad Vashem Institute copied this material and brought it to Israel. One can get acquainted with it in Jerusalem: Fond M-41, files 299-620. Return
5.Rem, L'enfant du ghetto: Brest-Litovsk, 1941 [A Child of the Ghetto: Brest-Litovsk, 1941], Moscow, 1996: Recit (Paris, 1996): Stok. Return
6.Tragediya Yevreyev Belorussii v gody nemetskoy okkupatsii, 1941-1944 gg. Sbornik dokumentov i materialov [Tragedy of the Jews of Belorussia during the Years of German Occupation, 1941-1944. Collection of Documents and Materials], second edition, edited by R. Chernoglazova (Minsk, 1997). Return
7.V. Levin and D. Mel'tser, Chernaya kniga s krasnymi stranitsami. Tragediya i geroizm yevreyev Belorussii [Black Book with Red Pages. Tragedy and Heroism of the Jews of Belorussia] (Baltimore, 1996). Return
8.A total of 15,000 to 20,000 Jewish partisans in the territory of Ukraine, Belarus, Volyn' (Western Ukraine), and the Baltic states. See Yevrei v boyakh s natsistskoy Germaniyey vo vtoroy mirovoy voyne [Jews in Battles with Nazi Germany during World War II] (Jerusalem, 1995), pp. 35-37. Return
9.Mesta prinuditel'nogo soderzhaniya grazhdanskogo naseleniya na vremenno okkupirovannoy territorii Belorussii v gody Velikoy Otechestvennoy voyny. Spravochnik [Places of Compulsory Detention of the Civilian Population in the Temporarily Occupied Territory of Belorussia during the Years of the Great Patriotic War]. Handbook (Minsk, 1997), pp. 8-13, 20-25, 34-36, 39-44, 49-54, and 63-65. Return
10.Dokumenty obvinyayut. Kholokost: svidetel'stva Krasnoy Armii [Documents Accuse. Holocaust: Testimonies of the Red Army]. Compiler: F.D. Sverdlov (Moscow, 1996). Return
11.Ye. Rozenblat and I. Yelenskaya, Pinskiye yevrei, 1939-1944 [Pinsk Jews, 1939-1944] (Brest, 1997). Return
12.Sh. Spector and Br. Freundlich (eds.), Lost Jewish Worlds: The Communities of Grodno, Lida, Olkieniki, and Vishay, Yad Vashem (Jerusalem, 1996); L. Eckman, The Jewish Resistance in Lithuania and White Russia during the Nazi Occupation, 1941-1944 (New York, 1997); Jack Kagan and Dov Cohen, Surviving the Holocaust with the Russian Jewish Partisans, Valentine Mitchell (London, 1998). Return
13.Sh. Cholawski, The Jews of Belorussia during World War II, Hardwood Academic Publishers (Amsterdam), 1998). Return
14.Na rekakh Neman i Dnepr: yevrei Belorussii vo vtoroy mirovoy voyne [On the Neman and Dnepr Rivers: The Jews of Belorussia during World War II] (Tel-Aviv, 1982); V bure istrebleniya. Yevreystvo vostochnoy Belorussii vo vtoroy mirovoy voyne [In the Storm of Destruction. The Jewry of Eastern Belorussia during World War II] (Jerusalem, 1988); “The Holocaust and the Armed Struggle in Belorussia as Reflected in Soviet Historiography and in Works by Belorussian Emigres,” Yalkut Moreshet (Tel Aviv), No. 38 (December), 1984, pp. 147-164; “Underground and Partisans from the Slonim Ghetto,” Massuah, 23 (1995), pp. 185-198. Return
11.Ibidem, “Judenrat in Minsk.” Patterns of Jewish Leadership in Nazi Europe 1933-1945; Proceeding of the Third Yad Vashem Conference, Jerusalem, April (1977); “Soviet Rule in Western Byelorussia, 1939-1941 and the Repercussions for the Jewish Community during the Holocaust,” World Congress of Jewish Studies (Jerusalem, 1980). Return
16.“Jewish Refugees from Poland in Belorussia, 1939-1940.” Documents Introduced and Annotated by Emanuel Ioffe and Viacheslav Selemenev, Jews in Eastern Europe, No. 1 (32), 1997, pp. 45-60; Yehoshua R. Buchler, “Local Police Force Participation in the Extermination of Jews in Occupied Soviet Territory,” Shvut, No. 4 (20), 1996, pp. 79-99; Christian Gerlach, “Failure of Plans for an SS Extermination Camp in Mogilev, Belorussia,” Holocaust and Genocide Studies (Washington), Vol. 11, No. 1 (Spring 1997), pp. 60-78; Hannes Heer, “Killing Fields: The Wehrmacht and the Holocaust in Belorussia, 1941-1942,” ibidem, pp. 79-101; Nechama Tec and Daniel Weiss, “A Historical Unjustice: The Case of Masha Bruskina,” ibidem, No. 3, Vol. 11, Winter 1997, pp. 366-377; D. Romanovskiy, “Kholokost glazami yevreyev – yego zhertv: na primere Vostochnoy Belorussii i Severo-Zapadnoy Rossii” [The Holocaust in the Eyes of the Jews –- Its Victims: The Case of Eastern Belorussia and Northwestern Russia], Vestnik yevreyskogo universiteta v Moskve, No. 1 (17), 1998, pp. 84-119, and some others. Return
17.Yevrei Belorussii. Istoriya I kul'tura, issues 1 and 2 (Minsk, 1997 and 1998). Return
18.D. Romanovskiy, Kholokost na territorii Belorussii v zapadnoy istoriografii [The Holocaust in the Territory of Belorussia in Western Historiography]; E. Ioffe, Katastrofa belorusskogo yevreystva v otechestvennoy istoriografii [The Holocaust of Belorussian Jewry in Belorussian Historiography]; A. Gurevich, Sud'by yevreyskikh detey v gody okkupatsii [Fates of Jewish Children during the Years of Occupation]; A. Leyzerov, Za stenami getto: praktika i metody istrebleniya belorusskikh yevreyev [Behind Ghetto Walls: The Practice and Methods of Extermination of Belorussian Jews]; R. Chernoglazova, Novyye dokumenty o getto v g. Glubokoye [New Documents on the Ghetto in the Town of Glubokoye]; Ye. Rozenblat and I. Yelenskaya, Sotsial'no-ekonomicheskaya struktura Brestskogo getto po materialam pasportizatsii yevreyskogo naseleniya [The Social and Economic Structure of the Brest Ghetto According to the Materials of the Passportization of the Jewish Population], and so forth. Return
19.Ye.L. Abetsedarskaya, P.I. Brigadin, et al., Istoriya Belarusi [History of Belarus], IP Ekoperspektiva (Minsk, 1997); Ya.K. Novik and G.S. Martsul', Gistoryya Belarusi [History of Belarus], Part II (Minsk, 1997); Nyametska-fashystski genatsyd na Belarusi, 1941-1944 gg. [The German-Fascist Genocide in Belarus, 1941-1944]. Edited by Prof. W. Mikhnyuk (Minsk, 1995); Staronki vayennay gistoryi Belarusi, Issue 2, Institute of History of the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus (Minsk, 1998); Belarus' w Vyalikay Aychynnay vayne, 1941-1945 gg.: Bibliyagrafichny pakazal'nik [Belarus during the Great Patriotic War, 1941-1945: Bibliographic Index] (Minsk, 1995-1996); Natsistkoye zoloto iz Belarusi. Dokumenty i materialy [Nazi Gold from Belarus. Documents and Materials], NARB [National Archive of the Republic of Belarus](Minsk, 1998). Return
20.National'nyye men'shinstva Belorussii: put' sotrudnichestva i soglasiya [National Minorities of Belorussia: The Path of Cooperation and Consent], Vitebsk, May 21-22, 1996; Yevrei v menyayushchemsya mire [Jews in a Changing World]. International Scientific Conference], Minsk, October 14-16, 1996; Istoricheskoye obrazovaniye v Respublike Belarus: sostoyaniye i perspektivy razvitiya [Historical Education in the Republic of Belarus: State of and Prospects for Development]. Second All-Belorussian Conference of Historians, Minsk, April 10-11, 1997; Politicheskiye repressii v Belorussii v XX v. [Political Repressions in Belorussia in the 20th Century], Minsk, February 27-28, 1998. Return
21.Ten' Kholokosta [The Shadow of the Holocaust]. Materials of the Second International Symposium “Lessons of the Holocaust and Contemporary Russia,” Moscow, May 4-7, 1997. Russkaya biblioteka Kholokosta (Moscow, 1998). Return
22.E. Ioffe, Perspektivy issledovaniy po istorii Kholokosta v Belorussii [Prospects for Research on the History of the Holocaust in Belorussia]; S. Zhumar, Yevreyskiy vopros v okkupatsionnykh izdaniyakh na territorri Belorussii [The Jewish Question in Publications during the Occupation in the Territory of Belorussia]; M. Ryvkin, Tema Kholokosta v okkupatsionnoy presse Vitebska [The Topic of the Holocaust in the Occupation Press of Vitebsk]. Return
23.Y. Arad, Unikal'nyye cherty Kholokosta na territorii SSSR [Unique Features of the Holocaust in USSR Territory]; V. Dubson, Natsistskaya antisemitskaya propaganda v Tsentral'noy Rossii, 1941-1943 [Nazi Anti-Semitic Propaganda in Central Russia, 1941-1943]; P. Agmon, Sbor i ispol'zovaniye videosvidetel'stv po istorii Katastrofy [Collection and Use of Video Testimonies of the History of the Holocaust]; I. Begun, Zapret na pamyat' o Kholokoste [Ban On the Memory of the Holocaust]. Return
24.An exception is the academic course “The Holocaust of Eastern-European Jewry,” which is given within the framework of Israel's Open University in Minsk –- L.S. Return

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