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Marina Voronkova
HOLOCAUST IN BESHENKOVICHI

Yefim Yudovin
WITHOUT TIME

Yefim Yudovin
NO TIME TO THINK – TIME TO SAVE

Yakov Ruhman
I BECAME A GIRL FOR TWO YEARS

Moisey Mitsengendler
ON THE WAY TO THE FERRY

Yefim Golbraih
SON STOOD IN THE DOOR

Leib Yudovin
WHAT WE REMEMBER

A. Avramenko
SAVE THE JEWISH CEMETERY IN BESHENKOVICHI

K. Karpekin
ARCHIVE DOCUMENTS ON BESHENKOVICHI SYNAGOGUES

ARCHIVE DOCUMENTS ON BESHENKOVICHI SYNAGOGUES

Documents from the 1920s and 1930s contain a lot of information on synagogues in towns and shtetles, including Beshenkovichi.

For instance, in 1926 three synagogues were registered in Beshenkovichi region: Novorynochnaya, New York and Chabad synagogues. All of them were wooden. They were constructed in 1923, most probably because by that time the old ones had become decrepit. Archives contain information on births and deaths. It is noteworthy that there is no data about divorces – they were not popular among Jews.

In the 1920s the Soviet authorities started the antireligious campaign, the aim of which was to destroy religious traditions. “Anti-religious campaign for Jewish religious holidays” was issued in 1924 and included the following items:

“1. Create buffoonery and present it in towns.

2. Send information for reports on the origin of Jewish religious holidays.

3. Assemble Jewish population before holidays and present a report on the origin of Jewish religious holidays.

4. One week before holidays visit Shumilino, Chashniki, Babinovichi, Beshenkovichi, Dobromysli, Kolyshki and Surazh.

5. On the day of Rosh-ha-Shana, a day off for Jews, make a performance with buffoonery, declamations, games, etc.

6. On the day of Yom Kippur – organize a subbotnik for a school and clubs.

Despite the anti-religious actions, all the three synagogues remained active, at least until 1928. It is known that in 1928 Beshenkovichi had one shoichet – Rayak Yankel-Leiba Donovich.

At the end of the 1920s the local authorities took more decisive steps to carry out the anti-religious campaign – they started closing the synagogues. The first synagogue was closed somewhere at the end of the 1920s – the beginning of the 1930s. In 1934 the second one was closed down. Unfortunately, there is no information concerning which synagogue it was, but it was located in Sloboda Street. The official reason for closing was the fact that “the synagogue was not in use…” The local authorities intended to use the building for cultural purposes (perhaps open a club or a school).

The last synagogue was closed down in 1936 for the same reason.

Undoubtedly, the locals attempted to bring back their synagogues, but they were not successful.

The above information has been collected from archive documents.

Konstantin Karpekin,
Chief research assistant, State archive of Vitebsk region

Еврейское местечко под Минском


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

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