Project «Voices of Jewish settlements. Vitebsk region.»
פיתוח קשרי התרבות בין העמים של ישראל ובלרוס
HEROIC DEED OF FIFTEEN YOUTHS
Kohanovo is located in Tolochino region, 112 kilometers away from Vitebsk. In 1998 its population was 5,000 people.
The settlement was founded at the end of the 15th century. According to the census of 1897, the population of Kohanovo was 984 people, 637 of them Jewish. At the beginning of the 20th century the town had its own college and hospital. Its population grew to 1,200 people, 800 of them – Jews.
The railroad, which was constructed near the town in the first half of the 19th century, altered people’s life immensely, developing trade and granting access to other parts of the country. The town’s residents bought bread and timber and were in general actively engaged in trade.
Jews most probably settled in Kohanovo in the 18th century. The Jewish population increased gradually over the years and before the Great Patriotic war there were around 400 Jewish residents in the town. In 1938 (or 1939) the religious community was liquidated and the local synagogue closed. The German occupation started in July, 1941 and went on until June 29th, 1944.
The ghetto was established in Orshanskaya Street in September, 1941. All the Jews from Kohanovo and the village Galoshevo were to settle in the ghetto, which was surrounded with barbed wire and a fence. The local population was prohibited even to approach the fence.
15 young ghetto residents attempted to fight the ghetto guards but were shot by the Germans. A Jewish man, whose last name was Gil, made several attempts to flee from the ghetto but could not find shelter anywhere. In January, 1942, all the ghetto prisoners (according to one version – 300 old people, women and children, according the other – 350) were shot at the Jewish cemetery, which was 300 meters away from Minskaya Street.
Below is the list of the victims, made by G. Vinnitsa with the assistance of the town’s residents Y.A. Sachikova, V.F. Kochkina and T.G. Bliahman.
The Aptekar family
The Aronov family
Rachil Gutvilik and her parents
The Kokins (husband, wife and children)
Artem Kotkov and his family (five people)
The Kroliks (two families)
Haskel Lutskin and his father
Judel Lutskin, his wife and two children
Felix Mirson and his family (six people)
The Mersons (family)
Lev Rubinstein, his wife, son and two grandchildren
Shaya Svinkin and his family (four people)
Riva Svinkina and her family (five people)
The Simkins (family)
Pasha Tevelevna Solovey
Liza Solovey (1923)
Faina Solovey (1914) and her son
Meyer Solovey, his wife and three children
The Stoliars (family)
The Tudrins (mother, daughter and her two children)
In the postwar years the Jewish population of Kohanovo decreased dramatically. In 1970 there were only 8 Jewish residents, in 1989 – 6 (0.12% 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 •