Project «Voices of Jewish settlements. Vitebsk region.»
פיתוח קשרי התרבות בין העמים של ישראל ובלרוס
Memories of Zinovy MEKLER
Z. Mekler, Sonia Mekler on the right
(killed by Nazis in Bayevo).
On the left – Aida Velichko,
living in Moscow.
I was born in a place called Bayevo in 1926. I lived there with mother Golda Gamishevna, father Aron Naftolievich and sister Luba. Father was working as a blacksmith and later moved to Moscow, where the whole family moved afterwards.
Since I was still a child when we left Bayevo, unfortunately I cannot remember all our relatives. I will write about the ones I remember.
Grandfather Naftoly Zalmanovich and grandmother Fruma Ginda lived in Bayevo. Grandfather was a blacksmith. He had brothers Honia, Moisey (I do not remember others), and sons Iosif, Aron, Yefim and daughter Broha.
Photo made in Bayevo.
Z. Mekler (standing).
Sitting on the right – Moisey Nabhin,
who died at the battlefront in 1941.
On the left – Leva
(I do not remember the last name),
who was killed by Nazis in Bayevo.
Honia’s sons Boruh, Grisha and daughters Fira, Dina and Luba left Bayevo before the war. Boruh became a pilot, Fira became a metallurgist. Grisha became a diplomat and worked in Korea. With his “participation” Kim Ir Sen was elected in North Korea. There is more information about him in interview with Grigory Mekler at www.peoples.ru/military/colonel/mekler.
Not long before the death of Grigory Mekler (he died in Moscow several years ago) a film was made about him.
Iosef Mekler’s wife’s name was Gita. They had two daughters – Sonia and Broha.
Moisey’s family – wife Nehama, daughter Shura, son Ziama. That family lived in Orsha. When the war began, Moisey was drafted to the army and took his family to Bayevo.
These were relatives from my father’s side. All of them, together with the ones I do not remember, were killed by Nazis.
Zinovy Mekler with wife Bella.
Grandmother from mother’s side was Masha Golubkina (maiden name Nebhina). Grandmother’s brother – Aba and his wife Sora Roha were also killed. One more grandmother’s brother Zalman and his wife died before the war. After their parents’ death elder sons Yasha and Leva left Bayevo. Younger son Moisey died at the battlefront.
Grandmother Masha’s daughter Nehama got married and lived with her family (husband Iosef Raichman, daughters Luba and Galia and son Volodia) in Dubrovno. Their family managed to survive the war because they were evacuated. Volodia and Galia are now living in Israel with their families. Luba died while they were living in Gorky.
Another grandmother’s daughter, Beilia, lived with her husband and daughter in a place called Kadino. This family also was killed in the war.
Younger daughter Lena lived in Moscow. Her son died at an early age and daughter is now living with her family in Israel.
I have been living in Bremen, Germany since 2000. In 2002 and 2003 I visited my relatives in Minsk and also visited Bayevo, which left a very sad impression. I had difficulty finding a memorial set up in memory of the Jews killed by Nazis in the war. My parents, our relatives and neighbors collected money to set up the memorial and now it was completely destroyed.
Jewish settlements in Vitebsk region
Vitebsk • Albrehtovo • Babinovichi • Baran • Bayevo • Begoml • Beshenkovichi • Bocheikovo • Bogushevsk • Borkovichi • Braslav • Bychiha • Chashniki • Disna • Dobromysli • Dokshitsy • Druya • Dubrovno • Glubokoye • Gorodok • Kamen • Kohanovo • Kolyshki • Kopys • Krasnopolie • Kublichi • Lepel • Liady • Liozno • Lukoml • Luzhki • Lyntupy • Miory • Obol • Oboltsy • Orsha • Osintorf • Ostrovno • Parafianovo • Plissa • Polotsk • Prozorki • Senno • Sharkovshina • Shumilino • Sirotino • Slaveni• Smolyany • Surazh • Tolochin • Ulla • Verhnedvinsk • Vidzy • Volyntsy • Yanovichi • Yezerishe • Zhary • Ziabki •