Darkness and Desolation;
In Memory of the Communities of Braslaw,
Dubene, Jaisi, Jod, Kislowszczizna, Okmienic,
Opsa, Plusy, Rimszan, Slobodka, Zamosz, Zaracz

55°38' / 27°03'

Translation of
Emesh shoa; yad le-kehilot/gevidmet di kehiles Braslaw...

Edited by Machnes Ariel, Klinov Rina

Published by Association of Braslaw and Surroundings in Israel and America;
Ghetto Fighters House and Hakibbutz Hameuchad Publishing House

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Emerita Project Coordinator: Eilat Gordin Levitan


This is a translation from Emesh shoa; yad le-kehilot/gevidmet di kehiles Braslaw...,
(Darkness and desolation; in memory of the communities of Braslaw, Dubene, Jaisi, Jod,
Kislowszczizna, Okmienic, Opsa, Plusy, Rimszan, Slobodka, Zamosz, Zaracz),
Editors: Machnes Ariel, Klinov Rina, Israel, Association of Braslaw and Surroundings in Israel and America;
Ghetto Fighters House and Hakibbutz Hameuchad Publishing House, 1986 (H,Y,E, 636 pages).

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

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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JewishGen, Inc. makes no representations regarding the accuracy of the translation. The reader may wish to refer to the original material for verification.
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Our mission is to produce a translation of the original work and we cannot verify the accuracy of statements or alter facts cited.

Translated by Eilat Gordin Levitan

Title Author Page
Introduction   9
From the Editorial Board   10
Braslaw- Chapters from Her Story
Braslaw, Historical Notes Ya'acov Levin 15
For the Memory of Yerachmiel Mendel Meirson Miryam Rothenberg (Marishka, daughter of Gitel and Velvel Rajchel) 35
As Told by Perke Fisher Perl Mina (daughter of Ben Zion and Chaia Golda Charmac) 37
As Told by Yehuda Cepelewicz, son of Zvia and Leiba   43
As Told by Ziska ( Reuven) Szmuszkowic, son of Gitl and Leib   59
The Community of Braslav during the Holocaust
Deep, Deep Pits and Red, Red Loam Shmuel Halkin 65
In Memory of My Father, Rabbi Zvi-Hirsh [Valin], of Blessed Memory Israel Valin 66
In Memory of the Rabbi Rav Avraham-Abba-Yaacov Zahorie, of Blessed Memory Tuvia Fisher 68
About Chaim Munitz, of Blessed Memory (Son of Shaitel and Rafael-Yaacov) Leyzer Ran 70
Masha and Mendel Maron Tell Their Story Masha (Masza, daughter of Brine Malka and Chayim) and Mendel Maron (son of Sofia and Chayim Isaac) 72
The Story of Chayim Band Chayim, son of Chaia Chana and Avraham Leib 80
A Common Story; Imprisonment, Exile and Fight Ya'acov Lewin, son of Chaia Sheine and Leib Meir 86
The Story of Motel Hirsh Fiszer Motel, son of Beile Zelda and Baruch 90
The Story of Yerachmiel Bielak Yerachmiel, son of Sara Gitel and Chayim Leib 96
The Story of Tuvia Fiszer Tuvia, son of Beile Zelda and Baruch 108
The Story of Henka (Chana) Fiszer Chana Fiszer, daughter of Leib and Rachel Gurevitz 111
The Story of Yeta Wishkin Yeta, daughter of Fania and Rafael Fiszer 117
Like Arrows at the Hands of the Hero So were the Youth - Poems and Notes written during the Shoah Assorted Authors 120
The Story of Anna (Nuita) Zelikman Anna, daughter of Rachel and Ya'acov Kantor 124
From the Hall of the Courthouse; the Indictment of Stanislav Jasinski   134
The Infamous Stanislav Jasinski: The Murderer of the Braslaw Jews   136
How I Survived Boris Ulman, son of Leah and Zelig 143
The Story of Moshe Wishkin Moshe, son of Sarah Leah and Tuvia 145
A Survivor Story Eliezer Fiszer, son of Chaia and Feibush 155
The Story of Young Girl who Survived Zipora Toker (nee Feige Tsippe, daughter of Gisia and Chonzka Bielak) 159
The Story of Sarah Mowszenson Sarah, widow of Yehuda Moshe and daughter of Riva and Mendel Katz 164
The Story of Chana and Zusman Lubowicz Chana (daughter of Sheitel and Rafael Yaacov Munic) and Zusman (son of Chaia Leah and Avraham) 217
The Story of Moshe Milutin Mosze, son of Sonia and Ber Leib 227
Rafael Charat the son of Isel and Avraham-Baruch 234
The Story of Avraham Bielak Avraham, born in 1924 to Henia Riva and Natan 239
The Story of Chayim Eliahu Dejcz Chayim, son of Malka Reiza and Yitzchak Daitch 245
The Story of Yerachmiel Milutin Yerachmiel, son of Sima and Avraham Yitzchak 254
The Story of Yitzchak Rajchel Yizchak, son of Batia and Ya'acov 258
The Story of Lyuba Smidt Lydia, born in 1919 to Minda Peya and Eliezer Yitzchak Bik. Widow of Leib Gamusz and Moshe Kagan 264
The Story of Ester Emma Milutin-Korner Ester, daughter of Nechama and Yaacov Rosonik, widow of Yerachmiel Milutin 274
A 1946 letter from the Soviet Union to his sister; Monka Shmutzer in Kibbutz Ein Yam Chayim, (son of Rachel and Levi Yitzchak) 280
About Tevale (Tuvia) Bielak, son of Henia Riva and Natan Notes from his friends in the partisans unit 283
About Moshe Baruch Bank and his two sons Y. Lewin 286
From the Ghetto to the Partisans and a Soldier of the I.D.F. Chayim Ben Arieh (nee Bort) 288
About Issar Rabinowicz Issar, born in 1914 to Gita and Shlomo 293
The Story of Zalman Charmatz Zalman, son of Chaia Golda and Ben Zion 297
Letters from Peretz Levin who fell as a Red Army soldier
on 2-8-1945
Peretz (son of Chaia Sheina and Leib Meir) 300
The Three Brothers Wajnsztein Join the Combat Shmaryahu Z“L, Shmuel Z“L and Israel Yosef, sons of Gitl and Uri 302
About Gershon Jankelewicz, born in Braslaw in 1910, killed in combat; 9-9-1943 Y. Levin 308
About Michael (Mendel) Sherman Z“L, A Shoah survivor who passed away in 1979 Michael 309
Braslaw After the War Sarah Szmuszkowicz, daughter of Batia and Leizer Gamusz 310
On the Terrain of Braslaw (commemoration poem) Yoel Nimnov 312
As a Memorial to the Fallen
I Weep over My Son's Passing (poem)   313
Amitai Kort, Son of Arieh and Esther   315
Chaim Robowitz, Son of Moshe and Shoshana   316
Zvi (Yehoshua-Heshel) Zeif, Son of Chaim-Abba and Hasia   316
Arieh Levin, Son of Yaacov and Zivia   317
Shmuel Berkman, Son of Halina and Boris   318
The Shtetl Opsa
Reminiscence of Opsa Ya'acov Aviel, nee Abelewitz, son of Ester and Zvi 323
The Survival Story of Motke (Mordechai) Rosenberg Motke, born in 1928 to Leib and Chaia Pesia 339
Opsa, the town and its Jews Arieh Munic 353
Melekhkeh Ha'Groi (Melekh the Brave) Arieh Munic and his sister Zehava Biloguski 354
The Story of Alexander (Shmaryahu) Dagovitz Son of Chana and Avraham 356
The Shtetl Dubene
The Survival Story of Sima Morzki Sima, born in 1926 to Ester (also survived) and Israel Yizhak Feigin 367
The Survival Story of Rivka Rokszin Rivka, daughter of Chaia and Meir Maron 377
The Story of Mira Lotz Mira, born in 1926 to Rachel Lea and David Shneider 381
After Dubene was Liberated… Zalman Lewin, son of Sterl and Motl 389
The Story of the Sole Survivor of a Large Family Chana Fejge Berkman, born in 1915 to Ester and Hirsh Skopiec 390
The Shtetl Zamosz
The Survival Story of Chalvina Pincow Chalvina, son of Zvia and Menachem Mendel 393
The Story of Shlomo Reichel Shlomo Reichel, son of Reizl and Mendel 397
The Story of Shneiur Munitz Shneiur Munitz, Son of Rivka and Avraham–Yaacov 399
Chapters for the Shtetl Jod (Jody)
The Survival story of Slawa Pincow Slawa, daughter of Sara and Chaim Shalom Bor 405
The Survival story of Zalman Fisher Zalman, son of Chaia Sara and Yitzhak 427
The Survival story of Luba Janowsski Luba, born in 1925 to Miryam (nee Zilberman) and Moshe Wilkicki 433
Partisans in the Area of Braslaw Maps and notes from the book Partisans in the Vileika Region by Kilmov and Grakov 440
Partisans Natives of Jod Pinchas Jofe Binyamin Dobyonski, Avraham Wilkicki, Shimon Zilberman, Shalom Munitz, Piwel Taruk 441
The shtetl Slobodka
The Survival Story of Boris Berkman Boris, son of Mira Leah and Shmuel Hillel 445
The shtetl Kislowszczyzna
The Survival Story of Masha Kapitza Masha, born in 1929 to Zvia and Ya'acov (also survived) Rakszin 451
Let the Nation of Israel Remember   459
Statement by Polia (Pesia) Kahat Daughter of Frida and Sander (Alexander) Veif 461
Remove the shoes from your feet …   462
Next to the Monument A Poem by Yaacov Aviel 465
Those we'll commemorate....(Lists of Perished)
Braslaw (Belarus)   467
Opsa (Belarus) 481
Dubene (Dubinovo, Belarus)   483
Zamosz (Zamosh'ye, Belarus)   486
Jaisi (Jejse, Belarus)   487
Jod (Iody, Belarus)   488
Slobodka (Belarus)   492
Plusy Plyussy, Belarus   493
Kislowszczizna (Kozlovshchina, Belarus)   494
Rimszan (Rimšė, Lithuania)   495
My Perished Town; abridged version of the Hebrew text in Yiddish 497 - 573
Picture of Braslav survivors and their family members   572
List of gentiles who saved Jews in the Braslav area   572
Darkness and Desolation - abridged version of the Hebrew text in English (paged backward, Hebrew version.) 644 - 573
Map of the Braslaw region   646
Map of the Braslaw region   647

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