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Mikhail Kemerov
THE STORY OF A SHTETLE

A. Litin, I. Shenderovich
WHAT DOCUMENTS SAY

A. Litin, I. Shenderovich
REMEMBERING PREWAR AND WAR YEARS

REMEMBERING PREWAR AND WAR YEARS

Ida Borisovna Kurbatskaya.
Ida Borisovna Kurbatskaya.

Ida (Eidlia) Borisovna Kurbatskaya, born in 1924

The town of Kostukovichi looked completely different before the war. The prewar residents would not recognize it today. About 70% of the population was Jewish. The houses were mainly wooden. The Jews were mainly craftsmen. The families were big, with a lot of children.

There was a prayer house, where older Jews came every week. I remember Yom Kipur, when people were crying and singing.

I can very well remember the beginning of the war. I had just finished the ninth grade by that time. It was a Sunday. The weather was wonderful. On Sundays people would go the market to buy chickens, eggs, meat and vegetables. My parents and my sister, as usual, went to the market to buy food for the week. I was playing with other children.

And then we heard about the war. The mood was different at once. My parents returned home – they knew about the war. Kostukovichi was first bombed on June 23rd. It was so horrifying that we decided we would leave. Our neighbor said that there would be trains for evacuation. Some people preferred to stay in hopes that Germans would not do them any harm. My father was advised by many people not to leave. However, we did leave. We left our belongings in a big box under the floor. After the war we did not find anything. The house had been destroyed as well.

We settled down in Central Asia. After the war we returned to Kostukovichi to hear the terrible stories of the occupation and the executions.

My father had a brother, whose whole family was killed in the war.

I remember a very nice boy, Lazik Sheinin. He finished 10 grades before the war. He did not look Jewish but everyone knew him here. Someone gave him away and Lazik was murdered. They say that he and his friend Masha Livshitz were hiding in a big fireplace. Policemen found and killed them.

Nina Aronovna Sheinina, Lazik's mother, attended the trial in Nuernberg.

(From the archive of Mogilev project "The lessons of the Holocaust")

Prepared by A. Litin, I. Shenderovich
Photos taken by A. Litin

Еврейское местечко под Минском




Jewish settlements in Mogilev region

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