Project «Voices of Jewish settlements. Vitebsk region.»
פיתוח קשרי התרבות בין העמים של ישראל ובלרוס
The town is located in Orsha region. Baran is an industrial town with a factory, a national museum, two secondary schools, a sport and musical schools, a library, a polyclinic and a stadium.
Baran dates back from the 16th century (Old Baran). In the second half of the 17th century Baran had 38 houses, in the second half of the 19th century the population of the town constituted about 300 people. A starch factory was founded here in 1870 and in 1884 the staff consisted of 26 workers. Another big plant, a wire and nail plant, was established in 1873. There is data that in 1900 the number of the employees was 99 people, and in 1905 – almost 200 people.
First Jews came to Baran at the beginning of the Soviet rule, which was connected with industrial development of the town. People from nearby settlements moved here in search of work. Forty-three Jews lived in Baran in 1926, which made up 5% of the total population. In 1939 the Jewish population grew to 91 people and at the beginning of the Great Patriotic war the number was about 100.
Baran was occupied by the Nazi troops on July 16th, 1941. Very few people were evacuated but some of the Jewish men were mobilized to the Red Army. About 50-60 Jews were left in the town at the beginning of the war. In September they were forced to move to two two-storey houses (# 19 and 21) in Yaltinskaya (now Zarechnaya) Street. A curfew was announced in town. Trying to somehow survive, the ghetto residents exchanged clothes for food. On April 8th, 1942, a punitive squad from Orsha arrived in Baran. All the Jews were taken to a ditch, which had previously been dup out at the local cemetery. All of them were shot. While the column was being convoyed to the cemetery a 16-year old Lena Polykovskaya made an attempt to escape but was shot. Abram Havkin was lucky: he managed to run away to the forest unharmed and hid there. Later he found a partisan detachment and joined it.
Ilya Glezin was also saved by miracle: his mother covered him with her body. At night he got out of the ditch and later hid in different villages. In 1970 Ilya Glezin set up a stele on the site of the mass grave in Baran.
The list of the people, who perished in the ghetto, is taken from G. Vinnitsa’s book “The word of memory” (Orsha, 1997). It was made with the help of Alexander Ilyich Tihansky and students of secondary school # 15 in Orsha.
Basia Aronova, her father, mother and husband
Riva Bibiner, her father and mother and two brothers
Nesia Velikovskaya (or Iesia)
Moisey Velikovsky (or Matvey)
Yankel Movshevich Glezin (1892)
Meyer Yankelevich Glezin (1922)
Musia Yankelevna Glezina (1933)
Doba Meyerovna Glezina (1894)
Basia Gordeyeva and her three sons
Fania Kasach and her three children
Haya Lipkina and her parents
The Motin family
Lena Raskina and her parents
The Havkins: parents and daughter
In 1995 the population of Baran was 14.400 people. In 1970 the Jewish population of Baran was 40 people, while 29 years later – only 29 people (0.21% of the total population)
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 •