|Shlomo Alperovich near the memorial for the
1050 Jewish people from Myadel street, Kurenetz (2001)
After the liberation of Belarus (including Kurenets) in 1944, Jewish people started returning to the area. Kurenets was almost completely destroyed and burned by the retreating German Army. Only a few houses were left standing. Most of the surviving Jews immigrated to Palestine and the United States in the next few years.
My father, Alperovich Aaron Abramovich (Orchik son of Abram, grandson of Chaim
Isar; born in 1896, died in 1974) returned home to Kurenets from Saransk
(Mordovia), where he had been sent in 1939 (when the Soviets came to the area).
He was sent there by decision of Stalin's court for 5 years of hard labor. When
he returned he found neither home nor family. His wife Mirel and 3 of his
children (Chaim Isar, another son, and a daughter) had been murdered.
Miron Meckler and Aaron Alperovich
|In the Red Army
Above: Benjamin-Yosef Sosensky, Yakov Alperovich (from Kurenets).
Sitting: Levi Koton and Dov, son of Chykel (lives in Minsk)
Yankel did not trust the Germans, and together with the sons of Pinia Alperovitz he escaped to the woods. They [the others] were killed. Yankel survived and later joined the partisans and saved many many Jews from Kurenets and Myadel and also his brother Shmuil.
In 1944 my mother, Botwinnik Evgeniya Samuilovna (Zelda daughter of Shmuil Botwinnik, born in 1920 in Rakov) came to Kurenets. After her release from the partisans she looked for her relatives. She found out that all of her family was killed in Rakov. She moved to Kurenets, following some of her Jewish friends from the partisans. And that is how two lonely people met each other and established a family. At first they lived in the house of Aaron's brother Hirsh, who was killed with his entire family (wife and two children). Here, in August of 1946, their first son, Abram, was born. At that time Arye Leibe (Lior's grandfather), the brother of Aaron [Orchik Alperovich] returned from evacuation to Russia; their two sisters, Hava and Feiga, also returned after being partisans during the war. They all married and started their own families. My father moved to a new house of his own, which he built with his own hands; he left the old house to his brother Leibe and sister Hava.
In July of 1948, in the new house, a new citizen of Kurenets was born
that was I. About my birth I will tell you the following story: My mother felt
that she was about to give birth, so my father took her to the Vileyka's
hospital, which was 8 km away, riding on a horse. However it was too early, and
after one day in the hospital she asked to be taken home because she had a lot
of work to do there. And so my father brought her back. A few days later he had
to set the horse again to take mother to the hospital. This time she was left
there for several days, while my father had to return home to take care of the
housekeeping chores. A few days passed and then a fellow Kurenets resident by
the name of Nikolay met my father and told him, Vorchik, I've visited my
wife in the hospital and saw your Zelda. You have a boy. Father took a
horse and went to meet us. Mother asked to go home right away, so father took
off his jacket, put me inside, and brought me home. That is how my life in
|Alperovich family Kurenets, 1959|
In 1955-56, many Jewish Kurenetsers started moving to Poland in order to
continue on their way to Israel. Since Kurenets was part of Poland before 1939,
the Soviets let the old Polish citizens cross the border to Poland. The first
family to take that step was my father's sister Hava and her husband Boris,
with their 5 children. The oldest child was 7 years old and the youngest,
Sholom, less than a year. I still remember his brit milah ceremony:
all the Jews of Kurenets gathered together in the small room and
then came the rabbi. All the Jews raised the money to pay for his services.
That is how the last Jewish child was born In Kurenets, and that happened in
|Surviving Jews from the area of Vileyka meet in Naarch'|
In 1958 a new school director arrived in Kurenets Catznelson. He lived
in Kurenets till 1963. The head doctor of the Kurenets regional hospital was
Dr. Nasis. He lived in Kurenets from 1960 till 1966. They both had children
younger than school age.
|Alperovich family in grandfather's house (1960)|
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