Wolkovisker Yizkor Book
(Volkovysk, Belarus)

53°10' / 24°28'


A Trilogy Comprised of

Wolkovisker Yizkor Book - Edited by Dr. Moses Einhorn, New York 1949

Hurban Volkovysk - Published by the Committee of Volkovysk Émigrés, Tel-Aviv 1946

Volkovysk - Published by Katriel Lashowitz, Tel-Aviv 1988


English Translation Prepared and Published by

Jacob Solomon Berger

Mahwah, New Jersey, USA 2002




Our sincere appreciation to Jacob Solomon Berger who has kindly donated
his original book to JewishGen for online presentation

Our thanks to Sondra Ettlinger for extracting the pictures from the original book,
enabling their addition to the project.


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The complete translation of these books are also available here:
Introductory section  
Wolkovisker Yizkor Book  
The Destruction of Volkovysk  



Part I

וואלקאוויסקער יזּכר-בוך

Wolkovisker Yizkor Book


Dr. Moses Einhorn

New York 1949


Initial pages
Table of Contents i
Foreword xi
Plan of the City of Volkovysk in 1887 xiv
Plan Legend xv
My Family Dr. Moses Einhorn  
The Einhorn Family 1
     My Father 3
     My Mother 3
     My Sister Lisa 4
     My Brother Oscar 4
     My Sister Rosa 5
     My Sister Dora 5
     My Sister Paula (Pes'shka) 6
Volkovysk, My Home City Dr. Moses Einhorn 7
The History of the Jews in Volkovysk and The Towns   11
The “Symphony” of Erev Shabbat 14
     The Food Center 15
     The Butchers 15
     The Fish Market 16
     The Fruit Peddlers 16
     The Grinder 16
     The Bakers 17
     The Dog-Catcher 17
     Sweets and Dairy Products 18
    The Weekly Torah Portion is Reviewed in the Heders 18
    The Musicians Escort the Bride and Groom 19
    Herschel the Scribe and Chana-Chaya the Yoreshteh 20
    The Promenade to the Synagogue 20
    The Youth Promenades and Sings 21
The Volkovysk Rabbis & Dayans 23
    The First Rabbis in Volkovysk 23
    Rabbi Isaac Elchanan ז”ל, in Volkovysk 23
    The Rabbis Rabbi Yitzhak Aizik Khaver ז”ל, & Rabbi Yekhiel Ben-Aharon Heller ז”ל 24
    Rabbi Abraham Shmuel [Diskin], ז”ל 25
    Rabbi Jonathan Eliasberg, ז”ל 25
    Rabbi Abba Yaakov Borukhov, ז”ל 26
    Rabbi Yitzhak Kossowsky 30
    Rabbi Yitzhak Rabinovich, ז”ל 32
    The Volkovysk Dayans 32
    The Dayan Rabbi Yaakov Abraham Stein, ז”ל 32
    The Dayan, Rabbi Menachem Joseph Volp (Reb Mendele), ז”ל 33
    The Dayan, Rabbi Tuvia Ravitzky (Reb Teveleh), ז”ל 33
    The Dayan, Rabbi Yaakov Berestovitsky, ז”ל – The Last Dayan 33
A Jewish Education in Volkovysk 37
    The Elementary Teachers 37
    The Writers 37
    The Regular Teachers (Melamdim) 38
    Modern Heders 40
    The Real Schul 41
    Private Teachers 42
    The Talmud Torah and The Yeshiva 42
    The Yiddish Volksschule 45
    The Hebrew School System in Volkovysk By Yud'l Novogrudsky 47
    The “KadimaVolksschule 51
    The “Yavneh” Hebrew School 51
    The “Herzteliya” Hebrew Gymnasium 52
    Private Trade Schools, The Tarbut Gymnasium, The T.K.A. Gymnasium and the “Yavneh” Trade School 54
Zionist Movements in Volkovysk 56
The Volkovysk Bund 69
    The History of the Volkovysk Bund 69
    The Struggle of the Apprentices with the Tradesmen 70
    The Volkovysk Cell 70
    The Activists of the Cell 71
    The Bund Prior to the Second World War 73
The Social-Medical Institutions in Volkovysk 74
    Khevra Lina 74
    Linat Kholim 76
    The Jewish Hospital in Volkovysk 78
    The TOZ Organization in Volkovysk 81
    A Report from Sioma Gallin Concerning TOZ Activities in Volkovysk For the Year 1939 83
The Volkovysk Old Age Home 84
The Volkovysk Fire-Fighters 89
    Establishment of the Fire-Fighters Organization and Command 91
    Founding of the Fire-fighters Orchestra 92
    The Jewish Fire Chiefs 93
    The Fire Brigade Under the Leadership of Melekh Khantov 94
    Celebration of the Thirtieth Anniversary in the Year 1929 94
    The Role of the Fire-fighters Organization in the Unrest After the First World War 96
    The Fire Brigade Under Polish Rule 97
The Volkovysk Maccabi 99
    Establishment of Maccabi 99
    Maccabi Divisions 100
    The Maccabi Activists 100
    The Soccer Team 101
    Other Maccabi Divisions 101
    Soccer Matches 103
Amateur Theater in Volkovysk 105
    The Establishment of the Amateur Theater 105
    The Amateur Theater Up to the First World War 106
    Amateur Theater Under the German Occupation During the First World War 107
    Amateur Theater after the First World War 109
    HaZamir under the Direction of Yaakov Fisher 110
Personalities 111
    Nakheh & Hinde Heller 111
    Eliyahu Shykevich 112
    Rabbi Abraham Zalman Kurtz 115
    Sarah Perliss (Sarah the Fishmonger) 117
    Bob'cheh Kilikovsky-Cohen 118
    Moshe Shapiro 118
    Reb Joseph Yerusalimsky 119
    Moshe Leib Khmelnitsky 120
    Zerakh Moshkovsky 121
    Tuvia Fenster 121
    Reb Aaron Lifschitz 123
    Reb Israel Efrat 124
Volkovysk and The Land of Israel 126
    Chaikel Shiff 126
    Sarah Tovah Shiff 128
    The First Volkovysk Youth Aliyah 129
    Eliyahu Golomb 131
    Zus'keh Berman 134
    Yaakov Rabinovich 134
    The Kalir Family 138
    The Yudzhik-Yehuda'i Family 143
    The Markus Family 149
    The Epstein Family 150
My Forty-Five Years in Volkovysk 162
    Volkovysk Schools and Houses of Worship at the End of the Nineteenth Century 162
    The Second Sabbath 165
    Volkovysk at the Beginning of the Twentieth Century 167
    The Volkovysk Orphanage 174
    Cooperation with the “Joint 177
    The First Objectives of the Orphanage 178
    The First Fund-Raiser of the Orphanage 180
    The Sanitary and Medical Condition 180
    The School System in the Orphanage 180
    Training in Craftsmanship at the Orphanage 181
    The Religious Upbringing in the Orphanage 182
    Private Care for Orphans 182
    The Children After Leaving the Orphanage 182
    Day Care for Indigent Children 183
    Sources of Support for the Orphanage 184
    The Weddings of Orphan Children 185
    The American Landsleit 186
    The Volkovysk Synagogue and Volkovysk Relief Committee in New York 187
The Builders and Activists of the Volkovysk Orphanage 188
The Dreamers & Builders of Volkovysk 194
Two Community Institutions in Volkovysk 199
    Discreet Charity 199
    Provisioning Firewood 199
    The Educators of Days Gone By 200
    Volkovysk Landsleit in the Land of Israel 200
The Destruction of Volkovysk 202
In Those Times 203
    The Old Bet HaMedrash in Volkovysk 203
    Rabbi Jonathan Eliasberg, ז”ל 204
    About Batyushka 205
    The Rabbi & The General 206
    The Einhorn Family 208
    Reb Shmuel Feinzilber 211
    The Rakhmilevich Family 212
    Reb Koppel Isser Volkovysky 213
    “Myrrh” and “Sweet Cinnamon” 216
    The Forest Products Merchants of Volkovysk 217
    “And You Shall Not Draw Near to a Woman” 217
    Reb Benjamin Bialsky 218
    Saturday Afternoon – A Stroll Through Volkovysk Streets 220
    Jewish Tenant Farmers 224
    A Jewish Swindler 225
Three Volkovysk Residents By Rabbi Abraham Zalman Kurtz, Rochester NY 227
    Reb Joel Azriel Shishatsky 227
    Reb Moshe Tzigelnik 228
    Reb Aaron Leib Friedenberg (Leib Ohreh der Melamed) 229
Zamoscheh By Velvel Krinsky, Argentina 230
    The Old Zamoscheh Bet HaMedrash 231
    The High Holy Days 234
    The Other Holidays 236
    Numismatists in Volkovysk 238
Karczyzna 240
    Ending Prayers Late Because of an Esrog 241
    Having Prayed Under the Free Sky 243
    An You Will Exact Vengeance From His Oppressors 244
Ostroger Gasse (Kosciuszko) By Rabbi Yaakov Zakheim, New York 246
    The Ostroger Bet HaMedrash 246
    Yitzhak Neiman 247
    Berel Itcheh Pinkhosovsky 247
    Rabbi Yerakhmiel Daniel 248
    Rabbi Moshe Nakhinson 248
    Reb Moshe Joseph Ravitz 249
    Reb Shlomo Eliezer Zakheim 249
A Tear for the Volkovysker Leben By Alexander Kalir, Petakh Tikva 253
Three Balebatim of Volkovysk By Eliezer Kalir (Petakh Tikva) 256
    Reb Abraham Eliyahu Markus 256
    Reb Shmuel Feinzilber 257
    Reb Yaakov Solomon 257
    Reb Shlomo son of Reb Yitzhak Bereshkovsky 259
    Reb David Feinzilber 260
    Reb Yehuda son of Shlomo Bereshkovsky 260
    Reb Yitzhak Novogrudsky 261
    Reb Joseph Berestovitsky 263
    Sholom Barash 263
    David Hubar 265
    Meir Shiff 265
    Zvi Berg (Herschel the Contractor) 266
    Dr. David Tropp 268
    Itcheh Leibeh Golda's (Reb Yitzhak Goldin) 269
    Gedaliah Pereshetsky 269
    Leibkeh Patsovsky, the Barber 270
    Yud'l Novogrudsky & Moshe Rubinovich 271
    Moshe & Yankel Rutchik-Kavushatsky 272
    Meshel Lashowitz 272
    Padrovsky the Feldscher 273
    The “Kolontai” Company 274
    Shaymeh Mordetsky & Yankel Palteh's 275
    Shmuel David Nionia's 275
    The Jewish Wagon Drivers and Peddlers 276
An Album of Volkovysk Groups 278
Scenes from Volkovysk 282
Volkovysk Relief Organizations 283
Lisokovo 284
    Jewish Community Life 285
    Personalities 286
    Lisokovo Before the First World War 287
What Happened in Lisokovo 291
    The Outbreak of the German-Russian War 291
    Lisokovo Under the Nazis 292
    The Nights of November 1 & 2, 1942 293
    The March to Volkovysk 294
    What the Lisokovo Partisans Survived 295
    Lisokovo After the War 297
Svislucz By Abraham Ain, New York 298
    The Jewish Community in Svislucz 299
    The Economic Life of the Jews in Svislucz 299
    Economic Conditions After the First World War 300
The Destruction of Svislucz 302
    Svislucz Under the Nazis 302
    The Last Night in Svislucz 303
Volp By Zvi (Herschel) Kaplan 306
    The Development of Volp 306
    The Synagogue 306
    Economic & Community Life 307
Incidents in Volp 309
The Incidents in Porozovo 312
    The Life of the Porozovo Jews Under the Nazis 313
    The Expulsion of the Porozovo Jews 314
    The March to Volkovysk 315
Krzemienica 316
The Extermination of the Volkovysk Community By Dr. Moses Einhorn, New York 318
My Flight to the Land of Israel 318
    Meeting with the First Witnesses in Israel 319
    Our Witness Ida Mazover 320
    Our Witness Yitzhak Tchopper 321
    Our Witness Dr. Yitzhak Resnick 321
    Our Witness Dr. Yitzhak Goldberg 322
    Our Witness Dr. Marek Kaplan and His Sister, Nunya 323
    Other Witnesses: Dr. Noah Kaplinsky, Katriel Lashowitz, & Eliyahu Kovensky 323
    Our Witness Moshe'l Shereshevsky 324
In the Year 1939 324
On the Threshold of the Second World War 327
Volkovysk Under the Russians 330
Outbreak of the German-Soviet War 331
    The German Invasion 331
    The Bombardment and Destruction of the Jewish Quarter of the City 332
The German Occupation 338
    Anti-Jewish Decrees 339
    The Judenrat 339
    The Mass-Murders 340
    Daily Life Under the Germans 342
Summer 1942 – Under the Germans 344
    The Partisan Movement 344
    The Contact of Volkovysk Youth with the Partisans 344
    The Aktion Against The Handicapped Children 346
    German Espionage in the Battle with the Partisans 346
The Arrest of the Jewish Doctors and Technicians 348
    The Interrogation of the Doctors and Technicians 348
    The Interrogation of the Technicians 350
    The Efforts to Free the Doctors 350
    The Murder of the Doctors 351
    Depressed Morale in the City 352
    The Feverish Preparation of Hiding Places 353
The Expulsion of The Jews of Volkovysk Into the Bunkers 354
    Black Monday 354
    The Tragic Procession 355
    Panic On Being Driven Into The Bunkers 356
    The First Night in the Bunkers 356
    The Arrival of the Jews from Surrounding Towns 357
    The Bunker Lager 357
    Living Conditions in the Bunkers 358
Life in the Bunkers 359
    The Difficult Conditions There 359
    The Health Situation in the Bunkers 360
    The Work of the Khevra Kadisha 361
    The First Work Group 361
    A Typical Twenty-four Hour Day in the Bunkers 362
    The Murder of Sioma Gallin 363
    People Seek Means to Escape from the Bunkers and Many Victims Fall 364
    A New Volkovysk Partisan Group 365
    A Group of Girls from Bialystok Is Permitted to Leave the Bunkers 365
The Transports 366
    The First Transport 366
    The Order to Liquidate the Lager 368
    The Judenrat is Ordered to Prepare a List 369
    The Confused Struggle Between Life and Death 370
    Renewed Pressure to Flee to Bialystok 371
    The Terrifying Night of Departure 372
    Evacuation of the Jews of Volkovysk and Svislucz 373
    The Image of the Empty Bunkers 374
    The Gassing of Bunker “Number Three” 374
The Life of the Seventeen Hundred in the Lager 375
    The Bad Hygienic Conditions 376
    Incidents With The Germans 376
The Typhus Epidemic 377
The Judenrat Organizes the Doctors to Combat the Epidemic 377
The Epidemic Grows From Day-to-Day – Many Incidents of Death 378
The Last Volkovysk Transport 379
    The Order to Abandon the Lager 379
    Those Ill With Typhus Leave the Bunker-Hospital 379
    New Pressure to Flee the Bunkers 379
    Panic and Confusion in the Lager 380
    The Historic Night of the Last March of the Volkovysk Jews to the Train Station 381
    The Brutal Onslaught At Being Driven Into the Wagons 382
    In the Wagons 382
Arrival In Auschwitz 383
    The Tumult in Being Driven from the Wagons 383
    The Selection for Life and Death 384
    The Tragic Fate of the Last Volkovysk Transport 385
A Partial List of the Men and Women in the Auschwitz Camp 386
    The Men 386
    The Women 389
The Lager in Auschwitz 390
    The First Night in the Lager 390
    The Three Days of Quarantine 391
    The Life of Bondage in the Lager 392
    Bunker “Number Seven” 393
    Details of the Death of A Number of those from Volkovysk 393
The Women's Lager In Auschwitz 396
    Life in the Women's Lager 396
    A Number of Episodes With the Girls from Volkovysk 396
    “Death Bunker Number 25” 397
    The Selections 397
The Crematoria at Birkenau 399
    What Some from Volkovysk Lived Through 399
    The Underground Movement and Resistance in the Auschwitz Lager 400
    Liquidation of the Lager 401
Volkovysk After The War 401
The Tragic Fate of the Volkovysk Jews By Yitzhak Tchopper 404
    Zamoscheh (The Left Side) 404
    Zamoscheh (The Right Side) 408
    Svisluczkeh Gasse 411
    Bet HaMedrash (Zamoschanskeh) Gasse 412
    Brzezkeh Gasse 412
    Die Kakhelnya 414
    The Wide Boulevard 414
    Vatachiner (The Shammes's) Gessel 415
    The Wide Boulevard (The Right) 421
    The Wide Boulevard (The Left) 426
    The Gesseleh 427
    The Schulhof 427
    The Wide Boulevard (The side on which the Blond Hassid's house was located) 428
    The Einhorn Family 429
    The Gesseleh 431
    Fabrichneh Gasse 433
    The Wide Boulevard 434
    Millner Gasse (The Side of the Mill) 435
    Millner Gasse (The Second Side) 436
    The Market Street (Rynkowa) 438
    The Neuer Gessel 439
    Novogrudskeh Gessel 443
    Kholodoiskeh Gasse 443
    Wilenska Gasse 446
    Gymnasialneh Gessel 447
    Tatarski Gasse 448
    Tatarski Gasse (The Second Side) 449
    Grodno Gasse 453
    Alshimover Gasse 455
    The Hospital Gasse 456
    Ostroger (Kosciuszko) Gasse 458
    Ostroger (Kosciuszko) Gasse (The Other Side) 465
    Mazover Gesseleh 465
    Karczyzna 468
The Tribulations of Ida Mazover 470
    Escape from the Bunkers 471
    On Foot to Bialystok 472
    In the Bialystok Ghetto 473
    From Bialystok to Maidanek 473
    In Maidanek 474
    The Major Aktion in Maidanek 475
    Departure from Maidanek 475
    The Jump from the Train 476
    In the Hospital 476
Photographs 477
Local News (Heimishe Inyonim) by Reuven Rutchik, ז”ל 478


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