Review of A. Shulman’s book
«WHERE KOLYSHKI ORIGINATES FROM»
I am holding a small paperback book. The cover has a modest picture and a phrase “Where Kolyshki originates from”.
I frequently heard my older relatives mention this Belarusian settlement and I still have shivers running down my spine when I hear about the place. This place stores the remains of my ancestors and ancestors of many other families.
Arkady Lvovich Shulman is a journalist and author of this book. He originates from Vitebsk.
He is closely tied to this part of the world by his family history, his present life (he is the chief editor of the International Jewish journal “Mishpoha”) and his creative ideas. He is also involved in the project “Mein shtetle”, doing research of the history of former Jewish settlements in Belarus.
Kolyshki was one of such Jewish settlements, where the Jewish population started increasing rapidly in the 19th century. By accepting the Jewish lifestyle, culture and religion, Kolyshki became a noticeable trade and agricultural center in Vitebsk region.
From those times we remember the names of Jewish merchants – Amromin, Itkin, Sternin, etc. The book relates about these people, their ancestors and their fates. It allows us to follow their daily occupations, lives of their children, relationships with their neighbors and holiday celebrations.
It is difficult not to cry while reading the pages filled with bitter stories of tragedies, which happened during the Great Patriotic War.
A list of the town residents, who were killed during the occupation, is included into the book and serves as proof of total extermination of Jews in Kolyshki during those years.
The book contains a great number of photographs, borrowed mainly from family albums of grand- and great-grandchildren of former Kolyshki dwellers.
The book narrates about some recognized people that originated from Kolyshki, among them scientists, doctors, builders, teachers, etc.
Perhaps the photos and stories, narrated in the book, will help someone find the relatives they once lost or meet the relatives they do not know about, as it was in my case.
There are many people, whose roots originate from the Jewish settlement of Kolyshki – Nihamkin, Notkin, Fomin, Rogatskin, Vihnin, Kikinzon, Raihlin (the list is rather long), and all our roots intertwine in that land.
This is the book for us!
I would like to say that the work, accomplished by Arkady Lvovich Shulman, deserves our deep appreciation and support.
Naturally, the book is not a widely distributed edition. However, it can be read on “Mishpoha” website.
Foster City, California,