A Memorial to the
Jewish Community of Zhetl
(Dzyatlava, Belarus)

53°28' / 25°24'

Translation of
Pinkus Zhetl

Edited by Baruch Kaplinski

Published by the Zhetl Association in Israel



Project Coordinator

Sam Bayer


Emerita Project Coordinator: Becky Diamond


Our sincere appreciation to Stefanie Holzman for extracting the pictures
from the original book, enabling their addition to the project.


This is a translation from Pinkus Zhetl,
(A memorial to the Jewish community of Zhetl),
Editors: Baruch Kaplinski, Published by the Zhetl Association in Israel,
Tel Aviv 1957 (H,Y 482 pages).

Note: The original book can be seen online at the NY Public Library site: Dziatlava

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Pinkas Zhetl


A memorial to the Jewish community of Zhetl


Published by the Zhetl Association in Israel
in Participation with the Zhetl Attociations
in the United States of America, Argentina and Canada


Tel-Aviv 1957
(in alphabetical order)


Zhetl Acknowledgements Sam (Shmuel) Bayer
Introduction   9
Pictures tell Stories Borukh Kaplinsky 12
Merciful God in Heaven   18
Zhetl Martyrs   19
The old Zhetl  
The History of the Jews of Zhetl Borukh Kaplinsky 33
Zhetl in the Budget of the Jewish Council of Lithuania Mordkhai V. Bernshteyn 40
Zhetl From the Past Avrom Ivenitsky of blessed memory 47
Zhetl's Rabbis Avrom Shepetnitsky 49
The Great Miracle of the Author of “Machane Yehuda” Mordkhai V. Bernshteyn 53
Books by Zhetl Authors   54
Articles about Zhetl in Encyclopedias   55
Zhetl in the Hebrew Press M.Tzinurit, B. Kaplinski 58
Dates From the History of Zhetl   65
Geographic and Climate Conditions in Zhetl Dr. A. Y. Braver 67
Population and Occupations Borukh Kaplinsky 69
On the Verge of the 20th Century  
On the Verge of the 20th Century   72
Zhetl Fifty Years Ago Moishe Bitan – Bitensky 73
Zhetl Fifty Years Ago Moishe Bitan – Bitensky 73
Fifty Years Ago Moshe Bitan 75
I Left Zhetl in 1900 Yitzkhak Gvori 76
My Memories of Zhetl Avrom Shepetnitsky 78
The Excellent City Rabbi Yitzkhak Veynshteyn 80
Navahredok Kollel in Zhetl I.L. Nakric 82
For These Are the People of Zhetl! Rabbi Yitzchak Weinstein 82
My Home Town Nekhemiah Aminoach 83
Zhetl Until 1905 Zalmen Mirsky 85
From Everything to Very Little Avrom Yitzkhak Medvedsky 87
Jews Living in Rural Villages and Conscripts Avrom Leyzerovitch 93
During the First World War   98
The First World War  
Zhetl During My Rabbinate Rabbi Zalmen Saratzkin 99
During the German Occupation Yosef Vinyetzky of Blessed Memory 109
An Appeal to Zhetl Jews in America Menachem Vernikovsky OBM 111
Only Memorial Books Have Remained Avrom Zak 112
During the First World War Moishe Mirsky 113
The Jewish Republic in Zhetl Efraim Hermoni of blessed memory 116
From One Rule to Another   117
The Transition from Ruler to Ruler Nekhemiye Aminoakh 118
The Transition Period Yitzkhal Epshteyn 122
This is How I Remember You, Zhetl Soreh Medvetzky 124
Between Two World Wars   126
Between the two world wars  
Cultural and Economic Life Avrom Ivenitsky of blessed memory 127
Zhetl and the Zhetl Craftsman Moishe Mendl Leyzerovitch 132
The Ban in Zhetl Rabbi Elkhanan Saratzkin 136
The Great Fires Soreh Epshteyn – Shoer 138
The National Democrats (Endecja) Rage** Moishe Mirski 140
Political Parties  
Political Parties in Zhetl   142
Hovevei Zion (Lovers of Zion) and the Zionist Movement Borukh Kaplinsky 143
Zhetl's Revolutionaries Moishe Mirsky 148
Attacks   149
Memories of the “Bund” Yekhiel Kuznietzky 150
Memories of the Zhetl S.R. (Socialist Revolutionaries) H. Lubchansky – Khabibi 151
The Zhetl Worker After the First World War Dov Arzhekhovsky 152
We are Striking   154
The HeChalutz (The Pioneer) Yosef Berman 155
Poalei Zion (Labour Zionists) – Z.S (Zionist Socialists) Eliezer Namiyat 159
Hashomer Hatzair Yakov Indershteyn 163
Revisionists and Betar in Zhetl Avrom Alpert 165
Agudas Yisroel Yisroel Karpl 166
The Bund Sholem Lisogursky 167
The First Jewish National Fund Bazaar Lize Kaplinsky 169
The Last Jewish National Fund Bazaar Sarah Gal – Begin 170
Communal Life in Zhetl Collected by Soreh Gal– Begin 171
Institutions in Zhetl   176
Societies and Institutions Baruch Kaplinski 177
Volunteer Firefighters Dov Arzhekhovsky 179
Our Fire Brigade Orchestra Philip Zabitz 180
The Drama Club Hindke Mirsky 184
Medical and Social Institutions Dr. Avrom Alpert 187
The Society to Spend the Night with the Sick and the Medical Aid Society Henie Piekelny – Rozenblum 192
The Orphans Committee Shifra Medvedsky 194
Social Women's Aid Soreh Gal – Begin 194
The Popular Bank Arye Zelikovitch 195
Balances of the Zhetl Cooperative Popular Bank   196
The Interest Free Loan Society Sore Gal-Bigin 197
TOZ (Society for Preservation of Health) in Zhetl   197
Remember! Moishe Man 198
The Schools   200
The Talmud Torah Alexander Ziskind Silverman 201
The History of the Yiddish School Binyomin Kaplinsky of blessed memory 203
How Can I Grasp This? Avrom Savitsky 212
We Are Building a Yiddish School Moishe Mirsky 213
The Tarbut School Dvoyre Gorodaysky–Shkolnik 215
Tarbut School D. Gorodieski-Shkolnik 218
Memoirs of a Student Soreh Epshteyn – Shoar 219
Rabbis   222
The Rabbi Reb Yakov Krantz – The Dubner Preacher I. Mandelbaum & I. Trunk 223
Rabbi Yisroel Meir Hakohen – The Khafetz Khaim Rabbi Moishe Meir Yashar 225
My Meetings with the Khafetz Khaim Shabbtai Mayevsky 227
The Wise Men of Zhetl Moshe Tzinovitz 228
Rabbi Reb Baruch Avraham Mirsky OBM Rabbi Y.L. Maimon 230
Rabbi Borukh Avrom Mirsky the Lover of Zion Moishe Tzinovitch 231
The Rabbi Reb Shmuel Rabinovitch Moishe Tzinuvitz 232
The Life Journey of Rabbi Zalmen Saratzkin Rabbi Elkhanan Saratzkin 233
Rabbi Zvi Hirsh Khurgin of Blessed Memory Yosef Eliyahu Piekelny – Pniel 236
Communal Leaders and Men of the People  
Communal Leaders and Activists   238
Reb Avrom Patzovsky – The Elder (Starosta) of Zhetl Moishe Man 239
Reb Hertz – Leyb Kaplinsky of blessed memory Yudis Ostrovsky (Tel Aviv) 240
Reb Shmuel Kustin of blessed memory Dvoire Shkolnik 240
Reb Menakhem Vernikovsky of blessed memory   240
Reb Shlomo Zalmen Dunetz, of blessed memory Mordecai Dunetz 241
Reb Yisroel Ozer Barishansky of blessed memory Avrom Ivenitzky of blessed memory 245
Two Brothers Moishe Mirsky (Man) 246
My Grandfather Reb Yisroel Elkhanan Piekelni of blessed memory Leah Rozenblum 247
Characters and Facts Moishe Man 248
Reb Avrom the Recluse Efraim Pasaf 249
Reb Moishe Ruven Markovsky of blessed memory Avrom Iveniecki OBM 250
Reb Yosef Mutchnik of blessed memory Shloime Mutchnik 250
Reb Yosef Vinetzky Avrom Ivenitsky 250
Reb Shaul Kaplinsky of blessed memory Borukh Kaplinsky 250
Reb Mendl Mirsky of blessed memory Ruven Mirsky 251
Reb Avrom Langbart of blessed memory Yitzkhak Rabinovitch 251
Reb Avrom Gal of blessed memory Sarah Gal 252
Noyekh Mikulitzky of blessed memory Khaim Lusky 252
Yehuda Lusky of blessed memory Khaim Lusky 252
Yehoshua Ovseyevitch of blessed memory Moishe Man 253
Alter Gertzovsky of blessed memory Shmuel Mnuskin 253
Motl Man of blessed memory Moishe Man 253
Reb Yakov Obershteyn of blessed memory Moishe Man 254
In My Father's House Binyomin Kaplinsky of blessed memory 254
Niameh Kaplinsky the Bundist and Cultural Activist Rishe Kaplinsky – Kovensky 257
Neighbours, Friends, Teachers and Acquaintances Yitzkhak Epshteyn (Kfar Neter) 259
Communal Activists and Public Figures Yitzkhak Epshteyn (Kfar Neter) 265
Lost Talents Soreh Epshteyn – Shoar 268
Public Figures Shabsai Mayevsky 269
The Tailor from Zhetl Yakov Indershteyn 271
Zaydke Yakov Indershteyn 275
The Last Badkhn Yankef Indershteyn 276
The Shiluvsky Family from Haleli Moishe Mirsky 278
My Mother Leah Hinde Merim's of Blessed Memory Miriam Izraelit – Davidovsky 278
Efraim Belagolovsky – Kharmoni of blessed memory Nekhemia Aminoakh 279
Zhetl Writers M. Dunetz 280
Memories   283
Why Does our Heart Cry so Much? Borukh Kaplinsky 283
Once There Was a Town… Mordechai Dunetz 286
The Seder Night Mashe Rozovsky – Shvartzman 287
A Week in Zhetl Sarah Gal – Begin 288
Tuesday   292
My Home Rivka Valdman 293
Friday at the Marketplace Khaya Alpert 295
Slonimer Street Sarah Gal – Begin 296
Memoirs Yehudit Ostrovsky 297
The Famous Zhetl Shmuel Rabinovitch (Herzliya) 298
Impressions Lize Rozvosky of blessed memory 299
The Hasidic Rebbe in our Home Rachel Rabinovitch 300
Customs Mordechai Dunetz 301
My Small Jewish Town Pesieh Mayevsky 304
The folklore of Zhetl  
The Dzyatlava Folklore Baruch Kaplinski 305
The Dzyatlava Nicknames Baruch Kaplinski 306
Dzyatlava folklore Avraham Iventzki, may his memory be for a blessing 308
Under Soviet Rule  
Under Soviet Rule   310
Under the Soviet Regime Efraim Shepshelevitch 311
The Tailor's Cooperative Lize Rozvosky 313
During the Years of Soviet Rule   314
On the Verge of the Destruction   316
The extermination of Zhetl  
Under the Yoke of the Germans Azriel Shilovitsky 317
Hunger Pesie Mayevsky 320
The First Murderous Act Miriam Shepshelevitch 325
The First Murder M. Shepelevitch 326
The First 120 Victims Pesie Mayevsky 327
Zhetl at the end of 1941 Sarah Nashmit 329
From the Mouth of a Refugee who Found Herself in Zhetl Sarah Nashmith 331
The First Slaughter Basieh Rabinovitch – Yashir 332
Kaddish – The Memorial Prayer Kahim Veynshteyn 333
Returning from the Graves Yitzkhak Rubinshteyn 334
How Was I Saved? Lize Kaplinsky (Tel Aviv) 335
The Tragedy of My Brother's Family Mashe Rozvosky – Shvartzman 336
A Sad Summary Khane Mayevsky – Klar 337
Two Children Fight for Their Lives Kalmen Mnuskin 342
He Escaped From the Grave Shifra Medvedsky 347
Zhetl Cleansed of Jews Tzile Zernitsky – Yoselevsky 349
How Did I Save My Children? Shaynke Mnuskin 353
I Lost My Entire Family Yitzkhak Goldshteyn 356
From the House of Study to the Forest Bashe Mnuskin 358
In the Workshops of the Novogrudek Ghetto Pesieh Mayevsky 359
The Zhetl Glaziers in Novoredok Zavl Mordkovsky 361
I Escaped from the Novogrudek Camp Moishe Mendl Leyzerovitch 363
My Sad Childhood Avrom Leybovitch 366
The Path of my Suffering Kalmen Shalkovitch 367
The Extermination of Zhetl's Gypsies Yitzkhak Epshteyn 368
The Underground Movement in Ghetto Sh. Gerling 369
The Underground in the Zhetl Ghetto S. Gerling 372
The way we lived in the Zhetl Ghetto Pessya Mayevsky 373
Remember! Pesie Mayevsky 375
Kaddish – The Mourner's Prayer Mordkhai Epshteyn 376
In the forests  
In the forests   378
The Participation of People from Zhetl in the Liptchanska Partisans A group of partisans 379
Revenge for the Blood of our People! Eliyahu Kovensky 391
We Fight! Azriel Shilovitsky 395
Years in the Forest Khane Mayevsky – Klar 397
Between Life and Death Tzile Zernitzky – Yoselevsky 401
Taking Revenge on a Maytchet Murderer Yekhiel Yoselevitch 404
We Take Revenge on a Murderer from Maldutch Zavl Mordkovsky 405
The Battle in Dubrovke Sholem Gerling 406
Four Victims Lialeh Kalbshteyn – Yakhas 407
In the Family Camps Shmule Mnuskin 408
The Partisan Hospital Sholem Gerling 412
Partisan Heroes Sholem Gerling 414
Short Biographies of Zhetl's Partisan Heroes Who Fell Fighting Hitler's Bandits Group of partisans 420
“Kokes and Shakhmaniyes” Tzila Zernitzky – Yoselevsky 428
Before Liberation Lizeh Kaplinsky 430
The Last Months in the Forest Soreh Ovseyevitch 431
My Last Day in the Forest Hindke Mirsky 433
Zhetl Partisans in the Soviet Army Khaim Sovitsky 434
A Zhetler in the Red Army Recounts Shloyme Sharlat 439
In a German Prison Camp Berl Goldberg 439
Partisan Heroes From Zhetl   440
People From Zhetl Throughout the World  
Zhetlers in the World   442
Jews From Zhetl in the United States Efraim Pasaf 443
Jews From Zhetl in Argentina Moishe Man 445
Jews From Zhetl in Israel Borukh Kaplinsky 447
The Zhetl Interest Free Loan Society in Israel Shabtai Mayevsky 451
The Zhetl Forest Yehuda Ostrovsky 452
At a Memorial Gathering in Tel Aviv Shimon Berniker 453
From Zhetl to Petach – Tikva Pesiye Mayovsky 454
Remember! Mordecai Dunetz 458
Zhetl in April 1957 Mireh Volpovsky – Gontchorovsky 459
Bricks have Fallen – We will Rebuild with Hewn Stone Baruch Kaplinsky 461
List of former Dzyatlava residents living in Israel Addresses 464
List of former Dzyatlava residents living in the USA Addresses 467
List of former Dzyatlava residents living in South America Addresses 469
List of former Dzyatlava residents living in Canada and elsewhere Addresses 470
Families From Zhetl Pictures 471


* Note from the Coordinator: This is an error in the original. return
** ND Narodowa Demokracja. return

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