Project «Voices of Jewish settlements. Vitebsk region.»
פיתוח קשרי התרבות בין העמים של ישראל ובלרוס
Photos taken in the 1920s and 1980s.
My father, Semion Abramovich Dolgopolsky, was born in 1901 the village of Zaguzie, Vitebsk region, in the family of a fisherman. There were two more sons in the family: Grisha and Yasha, who died on the first days of the war.
Grandfather earned his living by fishing and grandmother was a housewife. Grandfather was a very introvert and silent person. My father had a similar character. They were poor. My father finished only a primary school but he was quite an intelligent person and was always interested in politics.
Father was married twice. He had two children in the first family – a boy and a girl. They had their mother’s last name – Vasiliev. Later we kept in touch with the son Anatoly.
Yakov and Grisha Dolgopolsky.
In 1938 my mother’s parents arrived in Gorodok from Syberia. There were five children in their family. My mother’s father was a shoemaker – he was the breadwinner of the family. Mother was a truly beautiful woman and my father immediately fell for her. They got married. I was born in 1939 and my brother Victor – in 1941.
Then the war broke out. Father volunteered to join the Army. He was wounded in the war but survived. Someone reported to the Germans that our father was a Jew and we were brought to a commandant’s office. Fortunately, my brother and I had blond hair and mother lied that our father was a Russian man, not her husband. They let us go.
My father’s parents were killed. They were scared to remain in their village and made up their mind to come to our place in Gorodok. When approaching Gorodok they were caught by German soldiers and shot together with other Jews.
When Gorodok was liberated, mother had an accident. In winter, when getting water from a well, she slipped and fell. She had to stay in hospital for a long time. She came out of hospital on crutches and this is how my father saw her, when he was demobilized.
Luba Dolgopolskaya. (Yudova).
Photos taken in the 1930s and 1990s.
After the war father opened a workshop, which produced ropes. Later a smithy and a metal workshop were opened. However, someone started writing anonymous letters and reports to the authorities concerning my father. They claimed, he was involved in stealing. Father was sure he would prove that he was not a thief, but he did not succeed. He was sentenced to eight years in prison.
Tamara, Victor Dolgopolsky and their children.
Photo taken in the 2000s .
Father had devoted his life to his homeland and such was the sad ending – he was imprisoned. After he was released, he worked as a stoker and a watchman. He died on my hands with a smile on his face. It happened on August 6th 1988. There were a lot of people and flowers at the funeral. Mother was buried next to him.
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 •