Project «Voices of Jewish settlements. Vitebsk region.»
פיתוח קשרי התרבות בין העמים של ישראל ובלרוס
THE SMALL TOWN OF LIOZNO
I was born in 1938 in Leningrad. I have never seen my father but in the photographs he is an exceptionally handsome man. Mother never told me about their marriage… Maybe there was not a marriage… But in my birth certificate it is written that my parents, Yakov Berkovich Goz and Perla Poiseyevna Efros, are Jewish. And this is true…
My mother was born in Liozno. My grandfather, Moisey, had nine children and only three grandchildren. Grandfather’s house was big. The windows faced an orchard with lots of fruit trees. We had so many apples that we gave them even to our cow. My mother remembered that the milk from the cow smelled of apples.
Liozno. Old power station.
Every Sunday Liozno had a fair: peasants from nearby villages brought food to sell. My grandmother bought eggs, cottage cheese and sour cream from them.
The war started when I was less than three years old. In May 1941 I and my two-year-old cousin were taken to our grandparents in Liozno.
Many people were not willing to leave the town when they heard about the invasion. They refused to believe that the Germans would murder the Jewish population. However, one day before the invasion my grandmother followed her intuition: she grabbed us and took us to the railway station. We were lucky – we were picked up by an army train (previously used to transport the cattle). Now the carriages were filled with the wounded. We jumped into one of the carriages. And then we found out that all the Jews in Liozno were killed. It horrifies me to think I could have been in that grave as well. We were saved by our grandmother.
Liozno. The River Moshna.
We were on that train for about a month and finally arrived in Siberia.
The Nazis occupied Liozno on July 17th 1941. On February 23rd 1942 the Soviet troops bombed Liozno. On February 24th the Nazis were ordered to execute the Jews.
Olga-Eiga Avidon told me what happened in Liozno. She was also extremely lucky to survive. That summer the girl came to visit her grandparents in Liozno. They were all sent to the ghetto. One day, a neighbor ran into their house, shouting: “They are hunting for Jews!” Grandmother shouted to Olia in Yiddish: “Leif!” – “Run!” The girl dashed out of the house towards the village of Adamenki.
“Where do you think you are going, Jew? Come back!” – a policeman shouted to her. The girl then dashed towards the forest. On her way she met three laughing Germans who paid no attention to her. In the forest she met her neighbor – a shoemaker. The girl was saved.
Now Olga-Eiga Avidon lives in Israel.
Liozno was liberated by the Soviet Army on October 8th 1943. Every third resident of Liozno was killed during the occupation, 196 villages were destroyed in the region and about 5,000 houses were burnt down.
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 •