52°27' / 23°48'
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(Jewish agricultural colony in the county of Dmitrovitz
in the Brisk (Yid) District (Brest, Russian Empire))
Compiled by Sherwin Sokolov
There were three Jewish agricultural colonies – Lotovo, Sarovo, and Abramovo formed in the mid-nineteenth century. The colonies were named in honor of the biblical characters, Lot, Sarah, and Abraham, the progenitor/patriarch of the Jewish people. They were located northwest of Kamenets-Litovsk. The first colony established was Lotovo, then Sarovo, and then Abramovo.
Abramowo was founded in 1851 on government land near the town of Kamenetz D'Lita (Litovsk) in Lithuania. (The colony was also known as Plesitsche [Pol] Plesiszcze)
According to a survey conducted in 1872, it was comprised of 10 Jewish families that had 10 plots of low quality land (sandy soil). The Colony was part of the Brisk District of Grodno Gubernia.
In 1921, there were 27 Jews in Abramowo. There were no non-Jews. Around the year 1935, 75% of the colony's farmers were Jews and the rest Belarussians.
During the German occupation in early January 1942, a ghetto was established in Kaminentz-Litovsk and the Jews of Abramowo were brought there. On 9 November 1942, the Abramowo Jews were taken together with the local Jews to the train station in Wysokie-Litovsk (Lithuania) in the Grodno Gubernia, and from there they were transported to Treblinka and murdered.
The Encyclopedia of Jewish Life Before and After the Holocaust – Volume 1, Page 19 Published by Yad Vashem and New York University Press notes:
ABRAMOWO Polesie District, Poland, today Belarus. Initially only Jews lived in this farm settlement, numbering 27 in 1921. They were deported to the Treblinka death camp in November 1942 via the Kamenets-Litovsk ghetto.
Nikitin states: In 1866, according to the census, there was supposed to be 814 Jewish colonists (census souls) in the Grodno Province, but only 564 were present. The land under settlement by Jews was originally intended to be 6162 hectares (tithes), divided into 354 plots, but in 1866 Jews owned only 2979 hectares in 170 plots in 12 colonies.
Since 1850, there have been three colonies in the Brest District: Lotovo, Sarovo, and Abramovo that counted on paper 182 census souls of Jewish colonists. In reality, these colonies had 135 census souls. By agreement, these colonies received up to 600 hectares (tithes) of land, divided into 35 plots. Jews paid 469 roubles 22 kopeks annually to the Treasury for all land given to them; 20 abandoned hectares were used by remaining settlers.
In contrast, the revision list of the 10th Russian census in 1858 noted that in the colony of Sarovo there were 133 males and 103 females.
An eight-family village, Abramovo, consisted of 37 census souls and 168 hectares, which were worked partly by the Jews themselves and partly by peasants. The Jews claimed that they could not succeed because of the soil's infertility and the lack of hay harvest.
Yizkor Book community Kamenetz D'Lita (Litovsk/Lithuania) Zestabeyih and the Colonies, Tel Aviv, pp. 550-556.
J. Tomaszewski, Z dziejow Polesia; zarys stosunkow spoleczno ekonomicznych, Warsaw, 1963. (J. Tomaszewski, The History of Polesia: Outline of Socio-Economic Relations, Warsaw, 1963.)
V. N. Nikitin, Еврейские поселения Северо и Юго-Западных губерний (18351890 г.), 1895 (V. N. Nikitin, Jewish Settlements in the North and South-West Provinces (1835 1890), 1894)
Народ, который жил среди нас. 2009 (The People Who Lived Among Us, 2014 Translation)
Record Group The Grodno Treasury, #79 Nominal rolls of Jews-farmers settled on state lands near rural village communities and received tax discounts as registered in the revision lists of the 10th census, 1858.
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