A Memorial to the
Jewish Community of Zhetl

(Dzyatlava, Belarus)


Translation of
Pinkus Zhetl

Published by the JewishGen Press
part of Yizkor Books Project of JewishGen, Inc.

Editor of Original Yizkor Book:  Baruch Kaplinski
Project Coordinator: Sam Bayer
Layout and Name Indexing: Jonathan Wind
Cover Design: Rachel Kolokoff Hopper
Reproduction of Photographs: Sondra Ettlinger
Hard Cover, 8.5” by 11”, 688 pages with original photographs

Available from JewishGen for $50.00



From the end of WWII, until 1957, when the original version of this Yizkor Book was published, 130 Zhetl survivors from numerous countries around the world struggled between their desires to put the horrors of the Holocaust behind them and their obligation to make sure that the world would never forget.

This is their work product.

The book is loosely divided into six time periods between the year when Zhetl was formed (1498) and when the Yizkor Book was published (1957):

  • 1498 -1880: Historic Zhetl
  • 1880 -1914: Pre-WWI Zhetl
  • 1914 -1920: Zhetl during WWI
  • 1920 -1939: Zhetl between the World Wars
  • 1939 -1945: During WWII (The destruction of Zhetl)
  • 1945 -1957: Post-WWII (Zhetlers in the free world)

Baruch Kaplinsky, the Editor of the original version of this book, penned these words in its closing. They are as apt a description of the book as can be written:


Remember 450 years of creativity of our ancestors in the town of Zhetl! Remember generations that educated your parents to Torah and to deeds!

Remember the tragic death of our loved ones in Zhetl!

Remember and don't forget!”

May this book serve as a memorial to the vibrant community of Zhetl that no longer exists.


Dzyatlava, Belarus is located at 53°28' / 25°24'


Alternate names of the Town:

Dzyatlava [Bel], Zdzięcioł [Pol], Dyatlovo [Rus], Zhetl [Yid], Zietela [Lith], Dsjatlawa [Ger], Zdjatlava, Zdzentsyul, Dzentsel, Zhetel, Zetel, Zetl, Zietil, Zitl, Zozhetsiol, Zsetl, Dzięcioł, Dzięciołki, Dzdietel


Nearby Jewish Communities:

Novoyel'nya 8 miles E
Dvarets 8 miles ESE
Kozlovshchyna 11 miles SSW
Belitsa 13 miles NNW
Dubrovo 15 miles WNW
Molchad 16 miles SE
Orlya 17 miles W
Zheludok 19 miles WNW
Navahrudak 20 miles ENE
Hałynka 23 miles SW
Vselyub 24 miles NE
Derechin 25 miles SW
Polonka 25 miles SSE
Slonim 27 miles S
Haradzishcha 27 miles ESE
Gav'ya 28 miles NNE
Rozhanka 28 miles W
Lida 29 miles N
Shchuchyn 29 miles WNW


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fulfilling our mission of disseminating information about the Holocaust and destroyed Jewish communities.
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Updated 15 Oct 2022 by LA