Zelva Memorial Book
(Zelva, Belarus)

53°09' / 24°49'

Translation of
Sefer zikaron Zelva


English Translation Prepared and Published by

Jacob Solomon Berger

Mahwah, New Jersey, USA 1992




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.


This is a translation of: Sefer zikaron Zelva (Zelva Memorial Book),
Edited by Yerachmiel Moorstein; English translation prepared by Jacob Solomon Berger.
Mahwah, New Jersey, 1992

  • The complete translation of this book is also available here: Zelva Memorial Book
  • The original book can be seen online at the NY Public Library site: Zel'va (1984)

This material is made available by JewishGen, Inc. and the Yizkor Book Project for the purpose of
fulfilling our mission of disseminating information about the Holocaust and destroyed Jewish communities.
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Forward i
Translator's Note Jacob Solomon Berger i
Yiddish Language Yerachmiel Moorstein iii
Publication Note iv
Conveying Congratulations! Pinchas Levine v
Supporters and Fulfillers Yerachmiel Moorstein vi
Introduction Yerachmiel Moorstein 1
Testament Yerachmiel Moorstein 3
Zelva 4
Overview of the Origins of Our Town
Overview of the Origins of Our Town Yerachmiel Moorstein 5
    The Place 6
    The Community 7
    The Fairs 11
    Earning a Livelihood 12
    Education 15
    Sports 18
    Entertainment 18
Concerning The Zelva That Was... Chaim Gilony 19
Memories of Home Dora Geiger & Haya Meiner 28
My Town Joseph Vishnitzky 29
The Departure From Home Emanuel Vishnitzky 30
Memories of My Town Dvoshka Bar-Nir (Ravitz) 31
Before the Holocaust Rivkah Wasserman (Ravitz) 32
Competition to Open the Ark for Ne'ilah Chaim Slutsky 36
Lag B'Omer Aharon Freidin 38
My Life Yerachmiel Moorstein 39
Zelva, My Village Joseph Slutsky 45
Eating “Days” Yerachmiel Moorstein 46
“News from Zelva” Yerachmiel Moorstein 48
The Lady Storekeeper and Her Scholar-Husband Yerachmiel Moorstein 49
The Baal Tefilah Yerachmiel Moorstein 49
The Model of Conduct in Zelva - Bubbeh Laskeh Yerachmiel Moorstein 51
The Departure From Zelva (Diary Excerpts) Eliezer Futritzky (Ritz) 52
100 Years Ago
HaTzefira, (Warsaw) Abstracted by Yitzhak Shalev 66
HaMelitz, (Odessa and St. Petersburg) Abstracted by Yitzhak Shalev 68
The Mouths of the Survivors
The Partisans Moshe Slutsky 61
A Family Among the Partisans Alta and Ephraim (Foyka) Gelman 77
Alone in the Forest Mordechai Loshovitz 78
Mining Gold Above the Arctic Circle Shmuel Kaninovitz 79
Two Years in the Pit Faygel Gerber 80
I Jumped From the Death Train Sandor Spector 81
On the Way to Concealment Avraham Lapin 82
In Siberia Sima Borodetska 84
From Zelva to the United States Joseph Kaplan 86
The Farmer's Prophecy That Saved My Life Yitzhak Shalev 87
The Belzeč Extermination Camp Yitzhak Shalev 90
The Rescue of Rabbi Kosovsky Yitzhak Shalev 92
Rachel the Teacher Yitzhak Shalev 94
Yom Kippur, 1940 in the Soviet Sector Yitzhak Shalev 96
The Escape From German Occupied Territories Shlomit Becker-Laykin 96
Destruction of Zelva
Destruction of My Family Sala Koyat 99
Eliakim the Avenger Yerachmiel Moorstein 100
The Suicides Yerachmiel Moorstein 101
The Final Victim Yerachmiel Moorstein 102
The Destruction Of Zelva (Jewish Daily Forward) Shmuel Yarnivsky 103
The Town, Zelva - In the Year 1957 Shmuel Kaninovitz 105
Liquidation of Zelva Ephraim (Foyka) Gelman 106
My Family Ephraim Gelman 109
Fate of My Immediate Family in Poland Joseph Kaplan 110
Last Visit to Zelva in 1965 Chuma Zhchinsky 111
Victims of the Holocaust
The Reader Yerachmiel Moorstein 112
List of the Holocaust Victims of Zelva 113
Surviving Families
List of Zelva Natives Who Emigrated to Other Countries 117
Natives Who Went to Israel & Their Families 118
Natives Who Died in Israel 122
Residents of Our Town in the Land of Israel
The Aliyah of Families Yerachmiel Moorstein 123
The Kibbutzniks Yerachmiel Moorstein 124
Who Died In The Kibbutzim 125
The Heroism of Eliezer Yerachmiel Moorstein 126
Lady Pioneer and Her Son The Palmach Man Yerachmiel Moorstein 126
Freidins of Zelva Jacob Solomon Berger 127


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