Translation of the
A Memorial to the Ruzhinoy Jewish Community

(Ruzhany, Belarus)

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

Original written in Hebrew and Yiddish
Collected and Edited by Mayer Sokolowsky
Supplementary chapters in Yiddish by Joseph Abramovitsch
Translated from the Hebrew and Yiddish by Jerrold Landau
Co-Editors, Edie Taylor and Brian Zakem
458 pages, 6.69" by 9.61", hard cover, including all photos and other images

Click here to see the index containing the family names in this book. If you already have purchased the book, please print out and insert into the back of the book.


This book is a translation of the Ruzhany Memorial (Yizkor) Book that was published in 1957 in Hebrew and Yiddish; it is based upon the memoirs of former Jewish residents of the town who had left before the war.

Ruzhany, called “Rozana” in Polish and “Ruzhnoy” in Yiddish, is now a small town in Belarus. It was part of Russia at the time of World War I and Poland for a short period afterwards, and then the Soviet Union. In 1939, the Jewish population was 3,500at its peak, comprising 78% of the town's population. In November 1942, every Jewish resident was murdered by the Nazis and their collaborators.

Founded in the mid-1500s, Jews were welcomed by the private owner, the Grand Chancellor, Duke Leu Sapeiha. He valued Jewish settlers who would create a variety of businesses that would produce profits and generate collectable taxes. They opened schools, built many small synagogues, and the “Great Synagogue” in the main square. In addition they established many social institutions. The market town thrived.

Starting in the early 1900s, many young Jews immigrated to the United States so that the young men could avoid prolonged conscription into the Czar's army. Other young Jews studied farming and became “pioneers” (Halutzim) in Palestine, now Israel. Between the wars, the Jews slowly revived their businesses and social life. They formed the first all-Jewish volunteer fire department in the region. Many engaged in secular activities, political groups, youth groups, Zionist and Socialist, as well as religious life, all described in this book.

The descriptions of the destruction of the community and their end in the Treblinka death camp are recorded in this book by survivors from other towns. No Jewish resident from Ruzhany survived!

This translation of the 1957 Memorial (Yizkor) Book makes these first-hand accounts available to English-speaking researchers and Ruzhany descendants living all over the world.

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