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OBOLTSY

The village is located on the River Obolianka in Tolochin region. In 1994 the population was 450 people; the village had 156 households.

The first Jews settled in the village in the 17th century and worked mainly in trade. During the Soviet era they were involved in workmanship and many joined the local collective farm, headed by Semen Yakovlevich Iofik.

The German Army invaded the village in July, 1941. In August all the Jewish families (there were about 25-30 families) were forced to settle in the building of a former school. The ghetto was guarded by Nazi policemen and its prisoners had to wear yellow stripes and do work (building a road, working at the local bakery and cleaning casernes. Boris Etin was chosen the head of the ghetto. On March 5th, 1942 the ghetto prisoners found out about elimination of a ghetto in Smoliany.

A. Iofik, a ghetto prisoner, recalls: “The decision to flee was immediate. We waited until midnight. Then about 60 Jews, headed by Semen Yakovlevich Iofik, left the school building and offered a policeman, whose last name was Linich, to let them go. They told him he had to let them reach the forest and then shoot in the air. Otherwise they threatened they would shoot him (Yakov Iofik and Aron Levin had guns)”. The policeman had nothing left to do but set them free. A few days later Leonid Svistunov saved his four-year-old sister Raya from the ghetto.

The escaped prisoners hid in the forest for some time and then some of them joined the partisan movement. The rest managed to cross the battle front. The following people fought in Senno partisan detachment: Aron Levin, Leonid Svistunov, Leonid Kogan, Polina Levina, Anna Iofik, Anna Svistunova; in Zaslonov’s detachment: Zhenia Levina, Vera Iofik, Valentina Avrutina, Girsh Kagan and others. Some of them were killed in battles.

The remaining ghetto prisoners (about 100 people) were shot in 1942.

Arkady Podlipsky

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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