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[Page 11]

Chapter 1

This is Our Shtetl


Translated by Yariv Eldar

(According to historical sources)

In the "General Illustrated Encyclopedia" ("Vielka Powshechna Illustrovna Enciklopedia") published in 1895, volume 15, page 730, we find the following details about the town:

Dokshitz - A town in Minsk region, subdistrict of Borisov, bordering the Vilna district, not far from the source of the Berezina river; A population of 5759 (in 1892), after Borisov, the most important settlement in the province, trades in lumber and flax, has farming and craftsmen. It has two cerkovs (Gregorian churches), a Catholic monastery and a synagogue. The monastery was built in 1608 by the bishop Stan. Kishka; one of the two cerkovs was built in 1863 and the other was restored over the former Unitarian cerkov. Exact data is lacking as to the specific date in which the town was founded; It is known that there was a town in the place in the sixteenth century. During the Swedish war in 1708 the town suffered burning and pillaging. After the second division of Poland, Dokshitz was included in the Russian Empire and in 1795 became a district town in the Minsk region. In 1802, however, the town was annexed to the Borisov district.

A Street in Dokshitz

In the Orgelbrand encyclopedia (Warsaw, 1899, volume 4), it is said that the population of Dokshitz in 1897 reached 3647.

The complete, general, illustrated Gothenburg encyclopedia establishes that Dokshitz is included in the Disna subdistrict, in the Vilna district, and its population is 3004. It has a lumber and meat industries, breweries, a leather factory, an oil factory, a sawmill, and a windmill. A town from the sixteenth century. In the general encyclopedia "Ultima Tabula", published in 1930 in Warsaw (volume 3, page 88), it is presented that Dokshitz is found in the Vilna district, in the Disna subdistrict, 10 kilometers from the Parafianow train station, which is on the Molodetchna - Zahatcha railway. A lumber industry, leathers, oil factories, saw mills and 4081 residents in1927. In August 1919, the Poles, after a bloody battle, surrounded the Bolsheviks, seized 7 canons, 7 locomotives, a large amount of ammunition and about a thousand prisoners. Dokshitz was destroyed in the end of May 1920. In a counter attack on June 5th 1920, it was taken again by the Poles, but on July 5th was conquered by the Bolsheviks. Dokshitz returned to Polish rule after a peace treaty with Russia.

The Yard of the Lubavich Synagogue

In the "Powshechni Slovenik Geographitchni", published in Warsaw in 1925 under the editing of A. Malishevski and B. Ulshvitz, in volume c, page 291, the following facts and numbers about Dokshitz are given: A town, subdistrict of Donilovitch, Vilna district, not far from the source of the Berezina, 3004 residents. More details about the town are found in the "Geographic Dictionary of the Kingdom of Poland and Other Slavic Countries" ("Slovnik Geographitchni Krolevstwa Polskigo i Inenich Kraiov Slovianiskich"), published in 1881 in Warsaw (volume b, page 93): Dokshitz, a town in the subdistrict of Borisov, on the border of the Vilna district, not far from the source of the Berezina, in the third Polish area, the fourth Judiciary area and fourth military area, 205 wiorsetts from Vilna, 105 wiorsetts from Borisov, 162 from Minsk and 882 from Petersburg. There is no qualified information about the founding of Dokshitz, but a town existed in the area as early as the fifteenth century; after the second division of Poland, Dokshitz became a district town in the Minsk region and in 1802 it was joined with the Borisov subdistrict. The town includes a Catholic monastery built in 1608 by the bishop Stanislav Kishka who for this purpose ordered the "Turki" manor house to finance a school and a qualified teacher. King Zigmond the third authorized this will by privilege from January 18th 1609. The town was completely burnt during the Swedish war in 1708 and was built anew in 1745. There are two Prowslavian cerkovs, one, of the Unites, but it is not known who paid for its construction. In a certificate from 1514 is it written that it was built using funds of Prince Constantine Ostrogski; the second cerkov was built in 1864. The administrative district of Dokshitz includes 102 tiny villages, and the number of men in it is 1629. The council resides in Dokshitz itself. A population of 5600, mostly Jews. Structures of stone - two; wooden structures - 400. Trading mainly in lumber, grain and salt. The local population owns about 1300 morgs of land. Fairs are held on Tuesdays.

The Market on Tuesday

In the sources quoted there is hardly any mention of Jews, except for their number within the populace. The materials were given to us by the National Polish Library in Warsaw in 1964. It seems that there is no other documentation about the town in this establishment.

The Flood of 1931 Reached the House of Lazar Aharon

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