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Dzyatlava (Zhetl), Belarus

 זשעטל – Дзятлава

    53°28' N, 25°24' E



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Documentary Research: Judy Baston
Updated: Dec 2016

Alternate names: Dzyatlava [Bel], Zdzięcioł [Pol], Dyatlovo and Dvarets [Rus], Dyatel, Zhetl [Yid], Dvoretz [Yid], Zietela [Lith], Dsjatlawa [Ger], Dvorjets [Ukr], Zdjatlava, Zdzentsyul, Dzentsel, Zhetel, Zetel, Zetl, Zietil, Zitl, Zozhetsiol, Zsetl, Dzięcioł, Dzięciołki, Dzdietel

and the dependent villages of Bogudzieki, Chilmony, Chrobotki, Dubrowa, Dwor Wesoly, Dwor Zielony, Gnoinskie, Holowie, Kobylczyce, Lady, Murowanka, Makryszki, Pacowszczyzna, Piecinki, Porzecze, Prosza, Romanowicze, Rzepiszcze, Strzala, Wszowice, Zukowszczyzna,

Dyatlavo was in Slonim Uezd in 1887; Dziatlava District today
   

        Today, Dziatlava is a town in Dziatlava district, Hrodna [Grodno] region, located about 165 kilometers, or 99 miles, south-east of Hrodna, thirteen kilometers s/eight miles from Navajel'nia, a station on the Baranavicy-Lida railway line. Population: 8,900 (1995). This center of Dyatlovo district, situated on the river Dyatlovka, is 165 kilometers s from Grodno and eleven kilometers s from the railway station at Novoeljnya (Navajel'nia), on the Baranavicy-Lida railway line. 1995 population: 8,900.  Roads to Lida, Novogrudok and Slonim connect with it.
        First mentioned in the Chronicles in 1140-1150 as Dyatel [Russian meaning woodpecker]. Before 1492, Grand Duke of Lithuania, Kazimir, founded the Uspenski Catholic Church there. In 1498, Grand Duke Alexander presented Dyatel volostj to the Lithuanian Duke Astorzhanski with the right to call it mestechko (small town). At the end of fifteenth century and the first half of the sixteenth century, Dyatlovo belonged to Troksk voevodstvo. In 1566, it was a mestechko (small city) in Slonim povet. In 1580, when Jews first settled, there were 118 houses, five streets, and a market.
       In the beginning of the seventeenth century, it belonged to Sapega.  In 1656, Duke Palubenski owned it. In 1624-1646, Sapega built the brick Catholic church called "Uspeniya Bogoroditsa" where there had been a hospital. After the marriage of Polubenski and Radzivil, this mestechko    belonged to Radzivil who,at the end of seventeenth century, built a two-story palace that was destroyed during the North War of 1700-1721. In 1699, there were more than one thousand people living in Dyatlovo in twenty-six houses with one market.
        In 1743, the mestechko caught fire. In 1778, there were 168 houses.  In 1784, there were five streets, three side streets, a market, 176 houses, three mills, a school, a hospital, and a steam bath. Beginning the end of the eighteenth century, the mestechko belonged to Soltan. Beginning in 1795, it belonged to Russian Empire as a mestechko in Slonim povet. Then, beginning in 1791, it is in the Lithuanian guberniya of Vilna. Beginning in 1801, it was in Grodno guberniya. Dyatlovo became a state property in 1831.
        In 1880, Dyatlovo had a Catholic church, an Orthodox church, two synagogues, a hospital, a secondary school, a pharmacy, two mills, two dye shops, some small leather shops, a complex of shops, and a post office. Two annual fairs, one on 23 April,  took place. In 1897, there were 3,155 people, 479 houses, an Orthodox church, a Catholic church, a public professional college, a church school, four prayer houses, a hospital, a post office, a shop, two factories, two honey factories, and more than forty workshops. The 1897 population was 3,979 of which 75% (3,033) were Jewish. Jewish personalities associated with Dyatlovo: Aryeh Leib ha-Levi Horowitz, Chaim Koen Rapoport, Jacob of Dubno (the Dubner Maggid), and Israel Meir ha-Kohen (the Hafez Hayyim). Zalman Sorotzkin was the community's rabbi from 1912 to 1929.
    In the nineteenth and the beginning of the twentieth century, Dyatlovo was a gmina center of volostj in Slonim povet. In 1914, there was an absorbent cotton factory, five honey-boiling factories, a wood cutting shop, and two leather factories. Beginning in 1915, Germany occupied the town.
        In 1919-1920, the Polish Army occupied it. Then called Zdzieciol, it was a miasto powiat (county town) and gmina (town) in Lida powiat, Nowogrodskie voevodstvo of Poland and seat of the local government. The population was 308, located twelve kilometers. From Nowojelnia on the Baranowicze-Lida railway line. The Justice of the Peace was in Zdzieciol with the Justice Court in Nowogrodek. The post office, telegraph, and telephone were in Zdzieciol as were one catholic church, one orthodox church, four synagogues, a Young Girls' Prof. School, a municipal hospital, an ambulance, an electric power station, a slaughterhouse, and a veterinary clinic. The town had an Association of Merchants, mills, distilleries and tanneries.  Markets: Tuesdays and Fridays. Until 1939, it belonged to Poland as a mestechko in Novogrudok povet.
        Beginning from the end of 1939, Dyatlovo belonged to the Belorussian Soviet Socialist Republic. On January 15, 1940 it classified as a small town. Until May 4, 1945, it is the center of Dyatlovo region. On June 30, 1941, it was occupied by the German fascists [Nazis] who killed 4,716 people in this region. The Jewish community was annihilated following the August 6, 1942 occupation. In Dyatlovo and its region, there were Communist and Komsomol  organizations that published the newspaper "Znamya Svobody" (A Banner of Freedom) during the war. July 9 1944, it was liberated.
        Beginning December 25, 1962 until January 6, 1965 it belonged to Slonim district. After that, again it was a center of Dyatlovo district.  There were 4,500 people living. In 1977, 5300 people lived in Dyatlovo.  Beginning September 21, 1990 it was designated as an administrative division of a town. There was a cheese factory, a combine of complimentary industrial plants, a sanitary service, an agricultural factory, a concrete plant, a gas factory, a furniture factory, four secondary schools, an evening school, a youth center, a House of Culture, a cinema, two museum buildings, and a hospital. The newspaper "Peramoga" is published there. Two monuments for the war heroes exist. Architectural monuments include the following: the Catholic Church called "Uspenia Bogoroditza" dating back to the seventeenth century, a chapel dating to the beginning of the nineteenth century, and the palace that dates back to the eighteenth century.
Sources: 
Sachenka, B.I. [editor], Encyclopedia of the History of Belarus. Minsk: 1993. Volume 3, pp. 256. 1996. 
Ksiega Adresowa Handlowa, Warszawa Bydgoszcz 1929. 
EVREISKAYA ENCY.: 
Encyclopedia Judaica

Other possible research sources: 
Yad Vashem: 6174, Yiddish, 1 Oct 1961, Meirowitz, Mordechai: "actions" in ROZANKA; escape from the Ghetto to RORELICZE, looting by the local population; abuse of Rav Israel VIERNICK and burning of Torah scrolls; concentration of remnants of TURZEC, IWIENIEC, KORELICZE, HONODYSZCZE, and ZDZIECIOL [Zhetel/Dyatlavo] in the Nowogrodek ghetto; slaughter and "actions"; counting graves; work camp in place; stockpiling weapons and digging tunnel; escape to partisans in Naliboki city; family camp under the command of the brothers Bieski; sacrifices of the partisans and only those that remained alive; revenge on the Belarussian murderers


There's an entry for Zhetl in the Cemetery Project  
look for "DYATLOVO"

Dziatlava has a page in the "Virtual Guide to Belarus" - once you're on the link, scroll down to Hrodna (Grodno) in the left frame & look for Dziatlava



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Records are held both in Grodno and Vilna archives.For Lida records translation, your tax deductible contribution by credit card via the secure server at either group or by mail will grow our knowledge. For a $100 donation, you receive all these records translated two years ahead of their posting on JewishGen. Every penny collected is used for Lida uezd projects only. Records include censuses; family lists; marriages, births, death records; prenumeraten lists; and more. Please contact Judy Baston with any questions.For current translations, please see the ALD: All Lithuanian Database and Belarus SIG Database.
Lida District genealogical records translation is a joint effort of Lida District Researchers of Belarus SIG and Lida District Research Group (DRG) of LitvakSIG. Record translations cover all shtetls (towns) in the Lida Uyezd (district) of Vilnius Guberniya (region) of Lithuania including the town of Lida itself. This page is hosted at no cost to the public by JewishGen, Inc., a non-profit corporation. If useful or if you are moved by this effort to preserve the memory of our lost communities, your JewishGen-erosity will be appreciated.

Updated 6/2015 by Irene Newhouse