shtetlinks

 

ShtetLinks: Dokshitz and Parafianov, Belorussia (Belarus)

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Special Announcement: 

Join us at the 2010 Dokshitsy Diaspora Reunion in Warwick Rhode Island on August 20 - 22. Deadline August 12th  for registration. It promises to be a most interesting event!
Click here for more information: https://sites.google.com/site/friendsofjd/home/dokshitsy-diaspora-reunion


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View DOKSHITZ on a map via MapQuest(Lat 54' 54", Long 27' 46")

(Use buttons on the left-hand side of the map to either get a larger viewing area or a more detailed view. Then click your browser's "Back" button to return here.)
 
To view the location of Parafianov click here to use MapQuest It is located about 10 kilometers (6 miles) to the West of Dokshitz on a rail line.
 


Other Names (Spellings and other Languages)

  • Dokshitzy
  • Dokshits
  • Dokshitse
  • Dokshitsya
  • Dokszyce
  • Dugscitz

Special Announcement of Interest to Descendents of Dokshitz and Parfianov
 

In November, 2007,  Aaron Ginsburg, President of  "The Friends of Jewish Dokshitsy, Inc." announced that the Jewish cemetery in Dokshitz would be rededicated on May 23, 2008. This is Lag B'Omer in the Jewish calendar. On Lag B'Omer 1942, most of the Jewish residents of Dokshitz were herded to their deaths in a ravine across the street from the cemetery.  "The Friends of Jewish Dokshitsy, Inc." was created in 2006 to help restore the cemetery, and undertake similar projects in the Dokshitz area. For more information visit the "Friends" <http://jewishdokshitsy.org/>website.

As the person who started the Dokshitz/Parfianov Shtetlinks Web site and also managed the Dokshitz/Parfianov Yizkor Book translation, I fully endorse the work that Aaron Ginsburg has been doing with respect to the Jewish Cemetery and Shoah Memorial site. He has accomplished much more than anyone with his drive and persistence. I encourage all descendents of these two towns to fully support his efforts.

Joel Alpert

 

 


Read the English translation of the Dokshitz Parafianov Yizkor (Memorial) Book


We need your old photos of Dokshitz and Parafianov

 
A picnic of the students and graduates of the Hebrew School in Parafianov on July, 2 1933.
 
This picture was found in a shoe box. Please go through your shoe boxes.
We are eager to uncover more pictures from Dokshitz and Parafyonve, both for posting on this web site, and to use in the forthcoming printed edition of the Dokshitz-Parafianov Yizkor book. Please contact Aaron Ginsburg at <aaron.ginsburg@gmail.com>

Other JEWISHGEN Links


December 2002. We have been notified of the untimely death of Yechezkel Levitan in Israel. Yechezkel was instrumental in providing information to this web page and obtaining permission for the translation and publication of the Dokshitz-Parafianov Yizkor Book on Jewish Gen. He will be greatly missed.


We received this letter from Yuri Dorn, the President of Union of Religious Jewish Congregation in Belarus

February 2006


Fri, 3 Feb 2006

My name is Yuri Dorn. I am the President of Union of Religious Jewish Congregation in Belarus, also I am coordinating work of Jewish Heritage research Group in Belarus.

One month ago we have received an official letter (see below) from Dokshitzy's local administration saying that in 1965 Jewish old cemetery was destroyed and replaced with a city park zone, but there are still about 30 tombstones at one of the corners of the park. Local authorities are looking for help in preserving of what left from the cemetery. Do you think that your group of descendants will be interested to join the project?

While my visit to Paraf'yanovo last summer (10 km away from Dokshitzy) for the opening of memorial of casualties of Holocaust I got a chance to meet with some representatives of Dokshitzy's administration. They seemed to be very friendly to us.

Shabbat Shalom,

Yuri Dorn

See pictures below sent by Yuri Dorn for the Dokshitz Paraf'yanov web site

To: President of Religious Jewish Congregations in the Republic of Belarus

Mr. Yuri Dorn

Daumana Street 13 "b", Minsk

According to the decision of the executive committee of Dokshitsy council, closed Jewish cemetery was destroyed and a park was built in this place in Dokshitsy in 1965.

For the unknown reasons there are headstones with the inscriptions written on them at the far end of the park. Now park territory is developing and we would like to discuss with you the methods of resolving this situation in the best way so that all our actions do not seem to be blasphemy regarding the buried and also we would like to correct a mistake that was done many years ago.

Vice-chairman of Dokshitsy

Executive Committee of the

District Soviet of People's Deputies G. N. Portyanko


All pictures were supplied by Jewish Heritage Research Group in Belarus.
 
These pictures were taken at the opening of Memorial for the Jewish Victims of Holocaust in Paraf'yanovo at the beginning of July 4, 2005. The project was founded by Lazarus Charitable Foundation from England and one local non-Jewish businessman from Lida, Belarus. The Mayor of Paraf'yanovo was very helpful. The site was discovered two years ago. It was a piece of abandoned land behind the local grocery store. See map below:
 

 
 
Following officials were present at the ceremony:
Head of Dokshitzy's authority was there because Paraf'yanova is in Dokshitzt's district and both of these towns have the same local government.
 
 

Head of Dokshitzy administration is giving a speach, Mr. and Mrs. Lazarus, Mr. Yuri Dorn

 

Meeting dedicated to the opening of memorial victims of Holocaust.

Planting trees around the memorial

Planting trees around the memorial

 
 
Paraf'yanova publuc library, former Jewish residence parafiyanovo
 

Rabbi Grisha Abramovich is lightning candle Zikaron by the monument

 
"Here in the year 1942
171 Jews from
Parafynova were brutally mudered.
To the everlasting memory of the victims of the Holocaust."
 
At the bottom of the stone:
 
"A contribution from Simon Mark Lazarus foundation made this project possible"
 
(Higher contast image of Monument)
 
 
 
The above is a picture of a monument that has been erected in Vishnevo. It is exact copy of monument in Paraf'yanovo. The last two lines said "It was contributed by Mark Simon Lazarus Foundation, England". The only difference is the number of victims. In Paraf'yanovo it is 117.
 
 
Below are current pictures of remnants of old Jewish cemetery in Dokshitsy.

 

 
 

 

 
 
 

News about the Association of Former Jewish Residents of Dokshitz and Parafianov in Israel
 
May 17, 2004
 
Word was received today from Eitan Kremer and Luba Bresler that they are making efforts to revitalize the Dokshitz-Parafianov Association in Israel. The organization had been led by Yekhezkel Levitan, who passed away in December 2002.

Eitan and Luba Bresler making all the arrangement so that the memory of this community will not fade away.

They have arranged for an annual meeting and memorial service to take place in Tel Aviv on the 30th of May 2004. They have sent out over 80 invitations with a special call for the second and third generation Dokshitzers to participate.

 
For more details, contact Eitan Kremer, Neve-Shalom, D.N. Shimshon 99761, Israel Telephone (+Fax) -972-2-9914657

Announcement of the Upcoming Publication of the
English Translation of the Memorial (Yizkor) Book of the
Jewish Communities of Dokshitz and Parafianov

 

Aaron Ginsburg and Joel Alpert are pleased to announce that we have received permission from JewishGen, Inc. to prepare the material for the publication of the English Translation of the Memorial (Yizkor) Book of the Jewish Communities of Dokshitz and Parafianov. We plan to include a new Appendix in the English version of the book, which can include any information not already in the book. If any reader has old photos or any written material, memoirs, etc., please send them to <jalp@comcast.net> for consideration for inclusion. This is an opportunity to really add to the written history of Dokshitz. We also would request any original photos that are already in the book, because we can scan them and vastly improve the quality of the photos in the book. The book will be published by JewishGen, Inc. and available on theJewishGen Mall.
 
Joel Alpert and Aaron Ginsburg
 
May 17, 2004
 

 
Outside Cover of the Original Hebrew Yizkor Book

 


Background Information

Map of Dokshitz from the Yizkor Book

 

Map of Dokshitz

Click here for a larger image ofthis map

KEY to numbered locations:Translations provided by Aviva Neeman
1. Sloboda Synagogue
2. Liadi Synagogue
3. Lubavitz Synagogue
4. Strasheli Synagogue
5. Large Beit Midrash
6. Place for Chuppas
7. Pharmacy
8. Rabbi's residence of Chabad Chassidim
9. Residence of the map illustrator
10. Pharmacy
11. Residence of the Rabbi of the Mitnagdim
12. Fire Station
13. Auditorium
14. Hotel
15. Pharmacy
16. Municipality and Police Building
17. Pravoslav Church
18. Municipal school
19. Post office
20. Catholic church
21. Government Appointed Rabbi
22. Pravoslav Church
23. Water Pumping Station
24. Flour Mill
25. Saw Mill
26. First Zionist Cub
- - - Ghetto Boundaries ( only detail not from 1919)
 


Note: A Dokshitz survivor recently told one of ourcorrespondents that today there isn't a single Jew left in Dokshitz.Before World War II, 3300 Jews lived there. After the war, only 13returned. He was one of them. And none of the 13 stayed very long.(May, 1999)


Photographs of DokshitzMartyrs and Righteous Gentiles provided by Juljia and ShlomoGejdenson


Recent letter fromDokshitz containing information about Dokshitz during t he Shoah andabout the Kramer family, from a local historian.


Dokshitzer Society In New York

The secretary of the society is Esther Want (718-646-3532). Her address is:
2435 Haring Street, Brooklyn, NY 11235-1866.


Reunion of Sheboygan JewishFamilies

A Reunion of SheboyganJewish Families occurred July 27-29,2001 in Sheboygan, Wisconsin which includes many descendants of Dokshitz.For details click here.


Other Information:" a very powerful, moving and personaldescription of the murders in Dokshitz and Parafianov... "

For a very powerful,moving and personal description of the murders in Dokshitz andParafianov by a NaziGerman soldier (Rudolf) and its effect on him and his son, see thebook Legacy of Silence by Dr. Dan Bar-On, Chapter 9(pages 200-216), published by the Harvard University Press, 1989.This chapter exemplifies the legacy of the killings and tragedy onnot only the victims but also on the perpetratorsand their children.As one reader said:"Elements are searing and I shall never forget them as long as Ilive." Another reader reported that she was put into a daze afterreading the chapter. "It brings tears my eyes everytime I think aboutit" reports another reader. (These response were reported byShtetlinks readers, and were not obtained from the book cover!) Foranyone with connections to Dokshitz and Parafianov, this isrequired reading!

Specific names ofJewish victims (who were friends of the German soldier) appearing areAaron Katz (and his family), Maria, Dolla (cook for the rail crew),the pharmacist Belzik and his daughter Rita ( a teacher) and alsoLilli (a piano teacher).

Other towns mentioned wheremurders took place are Glubokoe, Vileika, Budslav, and Krulevshchyzna.


List of People or Researchers with an Interest inDokshitz

Please enter your family names andyour name on the JewishGenFamily Finder (JGFF) for Dokshitz. You canfind other reserachers below by searching JFGG.

Searchable Databases

JewishGen FamilyFinder

 
 


Travel to Dokshitz

From: ELGOLD1@aol.com
Date: Wed, 21 Mar 2001
Subject: Travel to Dokshitz
 
I was in Dokshitz a few years ago. There is no hotel--as you will see the town is extrememly modest and probably nevers gets visitors except for the occasional Jewish genealogist like us over the past several years. There is a hotel, the Berezina, in the city of Borisov. But that is far enough away (40 minute to an hour drive) that you might be best off staying in one of the better hotels in Minsk. The ones I recall are the Planeta and the Yubilnayay, but I think now there are some better ones run by a German or Swedish company. As I recall, the Belarussian government makes you have your hotel reservations made and prepaid before they let you into the country. I had to show my hotel reservation was prepaid before I could get my visa. Call or Fax Belintourist, the official Belarussian travel agency. There was a woman named Galina working in their Minsk office who was helpful. She can set up the hotel reservation for you and also arrange to get you a driver to take you to Dokshitz.
 
Eric Goldstein


Other Connections:

It was natural that emigrants from the one shtetl orregion would tended to follow each other from those same shtetls andsettle together; so that in the first generation of immigration onecould find that relatives from Europe would tend to settle togetherin the same towns. This led to some small towns with Jews from thesame towns or regions in Europe. In one such case, we know that manyfrom Dokshitz settled at least in the following communities:

  1. Sheboygan, Wisconsin
  2. Newport, Rho de Island
  3. New Haven, Connecticut
  4. Waterbury, Connecticut
  5. Memphis, Tennessee
  6. Cleveland, Ohio

As we identify other such town, we will listthem.

........

On June 10, 1999, the following interesting email was received:
 
Hundreds of Dokshitz descendants settled in and around Memphis, TN; St. Louis, MO; and New Haven, CT. I know. My wife is descended from the New Haven group.
 
Key names involved were: KABAKOFF, HUTKIN, FRIEDMAN, KRAMER, and PORTNOW--although the last one is unclear because the only examples I have were females who married Kabakoff and Rubinchik (later changed to Rubin), and there are multiple variations of their maiden names, including Portnik and Portman, on at least a dozen records, although most are some form of Portnow, and all, with two exceptions, begin with "Port-".
 
The primary Memphis-St. Louis clan is descended by 6 Kabakoff siblings (4 males, 2 females--married to Hutkin and Friedman, respectively). The New Haven clan is descended from one Hershel Kabakoff of Dokshitz, whom we believe to be a seventh sibling to Memphis-St. Louis clan (at minimum, a first cousin--we have conflicting data). One of Hershel's sons also settled in St. Louis. Immigration of the above-referenced Dokshitzians ran from approximately 1880 through 1923.
 
Brian Neil Burg ENFJBri@aol.com
----------------
 
From: ZeldaKus@aol.com

Date: Mon, 22 Nov 1999

... My family (Kusnitz) settled in Waterbury, Ct, which should be added to the known places on the page. There were also Shapiro and Luria families there, all from Dokshitsy and all related. Other Kusnitz relatives settled in Cleveland, OH.

Zelda Kusnitz

 
 
---------------
 
From: "Boris" <borisgit@idirect.com>
Subject: RE: FW: KUSINITZ from Dokshitz
Date: Fri, 16 Mar 2001
 
Hi,
My aunt,Sonia Gitlin was married Lev(Leib)Kusinits.He died in aprox.1976 and is buried in Borisov, Minsk region. Their daughter Alla lives in Borisov now. Leib father and brother and sister lived in Borisov as well.Sister emigrated
to Israel (lives near Kinneret lake). Brother (Lusik) died a while ago in Borisov. I guess,this Kusinits must have relationship to Dokshitsi,because all my family members are from Dokshitsi (granny,maiden name Kominkovich,and grandpa,Gitlin, is from Begoml,small shtetl near Dokshitsi)

If you need details,let me know. I'll call my dad and granny for information.They are still in Borisov,dad is 76 and granny is 99.

 
Boris Gitlin, Toronto.


Other Current News about Dokshitz:

On the Weekend of May 30, 1999, Sam Gejdenson, son of Shlomo Gejdenson (born in Parafianovo - just outside of Dokshitz) returned to Dokshitz-Parifianovo for a visit with two families who hid his father during the war and saved him. Sam is a United States Congressman from Connecticut.
 
... ........................
 
Later this summer two others will be traveling there:
 
Phil Alloy is traveling as part of a University of Toledo [Ohio] research grant on the Jewish partisan resistance movement against the Nazis in Lithuania and Belarus. He is searching for anyone with direct information on the subject. [Persons involved with the Jewish partisans or who had contact with them]. Any help you may have on this subject would be appreciated. He will be in Belarus early in August and will visit Dokschitzy during that time. Please contact him at: <phil@keystonerestyling.com>
 
................................

David and Karen Nathan write:

 
I thought it would be worthwhile writing to you about our imminent trip to visit Dokshitsy.

My wife's grandfather is Dov (Boris) Katzovich, one of the authors of the Yizkor book and a former partisan from Dokshitsy (along with his wife Doris Shapira, a partisan from Postavy). He is alive and well in Petach Tikva, Israel, and has given us some information in preparation for our trip. He and his late wife were back there in 1990.

We will spend two days in the area, and we would very much appreciate any information you can give us about present day Dokshitsy or the surrounding towns of Glubokoye, Postavy or Kobylniki. For example, where should we go, and with whom should we meet? Are there any Jews left there? Friendly Christians? Names, addresses and phone numbers would be most helpful.

We will be leaving next week (about June 23, 1999) , so we look forward to hearing from you as soon as possible.

Thank you very much,

David and Karen Nathan <katznath@ix.netcom.com>

 

 
On June 15, 1999, Aviva Neeman wrote from Tel Aviv about the Dokshitz Memorial Day that she attended:
 
Aviva is has done tremendous work for the Dokshitz Shtetlinks Page by locating the group of Dokshitzers responsible for writing the Yizkor book and obtaining their permission for us to place it on the web; she is our main contact in Israel. Her great-great-grandfather was a Rabbi of Dokshitz and immigrated to Israel over 100 years ago.
 
Joel:
 
It was a very moving ceremony yesterday. In the last few years they found it too far and too tiring to go to the cemetery and had their memorial in a public hall. But because this year they had collected money and repaired the memorial stone, they had the ceremony on site. I guess that we have something to do with it: for the first time in many years they have what to report.
 
Yechezkeel Levitan had a Chazan there, they said Kadish, he honoured me by letting me light the first candle. The people all wanted to shake my hand, a sk again how I am a Dokshitzer. They were all there: all the Dokshitzers alive and one or two of the younger generation: widow, son and a little granddaughter of the one who started the book. Also son of Yacov Kramer of Dokshitz, Eitan Kremer, from Jerusalem. After they lit the candle he told them about the Internet site. Your name was mentioned many times. Then he let me talk. I read them your message of greetings from the Sheboygan Doskhitzers, and the message from Brian (Neil Burg) about Dokshitzers and where they are. I told them that as they know there is the Internet site, what it has and how now, thanks to their generosity in allowing us to put the whole book on the web, the rest of the book is being translated to English from Yiddish. I told them that their book is now very much in demand. I said that we are starting to think of re-printing the book in English which will give the American Dokshitzers the book, if they'll allow it - (chorus: "you may, you may") and Yechzkeel said: "you have our permission." I asked for it to be in writing and he beamed "you'll have it". I told that about Sam Gejdenson's trip to Dokshitz and Parafianov and the Parafianov stone.
 
In the end Yechezkeel mentioned the Dokshitzers who passed away since last meeting.
 
I brought a camera and Eitan kept taking pictures and made a list of all present. I also asked for memories, how life was in Dokshitz, and all the short stories they knew.
& nbsp;

It was a very moving ceremony. At the end I asked how do I get to Tel Aviv ad a man said "if you take me, I'll show you". He got to the car and directed me, avoiding my question of where he needs to get off in Tel Aviv. So I had a nice talk with Mr. Henkin, till we came to the Tel Aviv-Holon intersection, and I said that from there I know the way. That's when he asked me to stop, and said he'll take the bus back to Holon. he was not from Tel Aviv at all. He was local, and just took me to show me the way. Isn't that wonderful?

Aviva <aneeman@netvision.net.il>


David and Karen Nathan wrote on Wed, 28 Jul 1999 :
We have returned from Dokshitsy (and Miadel, Glubokoye and Postavy) after a three-week trek through Eastern Europe, and I am happy to report on our experiences there.

We drove from Glubokoye, although for three nights we lived with a wonderful family in Dunilovich. Upon arrival we looked for the memorial to the Jews, which was actually not hard to find although we drove past it on a main road several times. The area is in excellent condition, although the grazing calf tethered to a tree on the site seemed a bit inappropriate. We ate a late lunch at the restaurant on a corner of the main square by Ulitsa Dolginov, located in a fairly nice building that sits on the former site of our great-grandmother's dentist office (Mina Katzovich, nee Rubenstein). This place is not bad by Belarussian standards and very inexpensive by American standards.

The big stop we made wa s at the home of Nikolai Chistakov, well-known to both our grandfather Dov (Boris) Katzovich and Phil Alloy. He has been in touch with both. He was happy that I offered to publish his address and telephone number, as he likes visitors:

Nikolai Dmitrivich Chistakov
Ul. Polyevogo #3
Dokshitsy
211720 Vitebskaya Oblast
Republic of Belarus
Tel: 21643 (you would need to know how to dial to Dokshitsy and Belarus, and you need someone to speak Belarussian/Russian with Nikolai)
 

Nikolai is a very sweet retired electrical engineer who has made a hobby of documenting the history of Dokshitsy, with a strong emphasis on the large pre-war Jewish community. He was happy to show his many documents, newspaper clippings, notes and photographs (mostly low-resolution photocopies). He has saved business cards, letters and other momentos of Jews who have visited over the years, and his efforts are worth our support. Dov Katzovich recommended that visitors should give Nicolai at least a few dollars, as his wife and he live quite modestly. Their house is a real treat. It is very rustic, although better built than many in town. We spent quite a bit of time visiting with them. Nikolai told us that there is nothing left of the synagogue site, so we didn't bother trying to find it (as we had planned).

If we could do anything differently, we would have visited Nikolai as soon as we got to Dokshitsy, as he could have saved us a lot of t ime looking for various sites.

Please write with any questions...

-David Nathan <katznath@ix.netcom.com>

 
In a later messages David wrote:
 

Nikolai Chistakov most definitely has material on the Jews of Dokshitz, including proclamations from the town made after the war, statistics he seemed to informally compile, newspaper clippings, etc. To get the material most efficiently write to him in Belarussian or Russian (he has a relative in Minsk who can translate from English, but it takes a while), send him some money for photocopying (and something extra for his time), and tell him the kind of information you're interested in. Specify that you want to focus on the Jewish history of Dokshitsy, because his focus is on the whole town, not just its Jews.

 
I believe that Nikolai said that there is one elderly Jew living in Dokshitsy today. He stayed there because he married a Christian woman.
 
See Photos below by Phillip Alloy from his 1995 trip
 

Date: Sat, 17 Mar 2001
Subject: Dokshitz
From: Aaron Ginsburg <readers@bellatlantic.net>
 
Dear Joel,
 
1.Thanks for your help. I am very close to finding the descendents of some
'lost relatives' that survived the holocaust. This is in addition to the 80
new relatives I have located from the e-mail last November for my Memphis
branch of the Kusinitz family.
 
2.I wonder if you would consider sending the following e-mail to the
Dokshitz group. I am also going to post it to the Belarus SIG newsletter. I
will make sure you get a copy of any responses.
 
I have just learned that there was a Dokshitz Society in New York that had
lots in the Dokshitz section of Montefiore Cemetery in Queens, NY. I have
also learned that a group of Dokshitzers settled on and near Union St in the
East New York section of Brooklyn NY. If you know anything about Dokshitz
Society, or about the group in East New York, please let me know.
 
Thank you
Aaron Ginsburg
readers@bellatlantic.net
researching Kusinitz, Ginsburg from Dokshitz; Pokross from Gorodische,
Cherkassy district, Ukraine.
 
3. I wonder if you would consider posting the following message on the
Dokshitz page:
 
A Kusinitz family reunion is being planned in Newport, RI on Sunday August
26, 2001. For information please contact Aaron Ginsburg
readers@bellatlantic.net.
 
Thanks,
Aaron Ginsburg
781-784-3245
 

(NEW)

Yechezkeel Levitan in Dokshitz - June 1997

Yechezkeel Levitanin Dokshitz cemetery

Yechezkeel Levitan standing in Dokshitz cemetery with a few headstones in the background.

 

Memorial service by Israeli Dokshitzers

Memorial service held by the Israeli Dokshitzers ( June 1997 ) at the memorial stone , built at the pit where the Dokshitz and Parafianov Jews were murdered .

Luba Kosovski - Breslav reads her speech about Dokshitz . She read it in Russian . Behind stands (in blue hat) Moshe Shpigelman who read Tehilim chapters . Next to him (with a yarmulke) is Dov Rozov (who said Yizkor ); next to him is Yechezkeel Levitan in a yellow hat (El Maleh Rachamim) . Next to him is Itzchak Yassin (now in Canada) his son in law (bearded) and his wife (seen from the back) .

 
Photos supplied by Yechezkeel Levitan

(NEW)

Testimony from Trials by the Russian Government of the Nazi Murderers and their Belorussian Accomplices

Mass shooting of innocent old people, women, children, burning them alive and enslaving Soviet citizens in Germany was conducted under the order of German authorities by officers, soldiers of the Nazi troops, c.q. :

1. Ebeling, Deputy Gobietscommisor

2. Kaz, Comandant of "Ghetto"

3. Benz, Head of Parfianovo station of Belostok Rail Roads

4. Claus, Captain, Oriscommandant of the town of Dokshitsky;

5. Ungerman, Administrative officer, etc.

6. Gartman, Administrative officer, etc.

These people committed atrocities unseen in the history of mankind

 

Below are excerpts from eye witnesses evidences:

1. Kramer, Shaya Kusclevich, born 1909, resident of the town of Parfianovo

2. Levitan, Gendel Aronovich, born 1925, resident of the town of Parfianovo testified:

On May 30, 1942 Nazi gendarmery has come from the city of Glubokoe to Parfianovo railway station. Early in the morning led by deputy Gebietcommisar Ebeling, gendarmery herded the Jews liv ing in Parfianovo into "Ghetto". Men, old men, women and little children were put all together in the building of the club-house, remodeled for accommodating POW. After that, instructed by Gebietcommissar Ebeling and commandant Benz, Nazi gendarmes started to take people out in small groups of five. Every one was stripped naked and beaten up by rubber clubs and butts. When I (Levitan) was taken outside, I saw puddles of blood and was also beaten up by a rubber club until I lost consciousness. Continuing the atrocities in the club-house, all Jews were drawn up, including old people and children, and were led to the shooting site, on the territory of Parfianovo station. On the site where mass shooting was supposed to take place, a hole had already been dug out. Gendarmery forced people to come up to the hole and machine gun shooting began. People started to scatter around the place. After herding people up again, Nazi beat several old people, women and children with rubber clubs and pushed them in to the hole alive. Seeing such atrocities with my own eyes, I rushed for safety. When the machine gun opened fire, I pretended to be shot dead and fell into the ditch and stayed there up until night fell. I could see all the atrocities on that day. A lot of old people, women and children were shot. In July 1942, Nazi gendarmes caught 2 Jews. Their names were:

1. Levitan, Shlyoma

2. Gilbert, Rubin

They were beaten up with rubber clubs, stripped to the underwear and hanged on the telegraph poles along the road from Parfianovo to the village of Veren'ki.

 

Most active in shootings were Ebeling, Benz, Giko, Foreman of the Parfianovo station, as well as many others, whose names I don't know.

3. Kuchko Zahariy Yakovlevich, born 1880, resident of the village of Osovo of the Yankovsky region testified:

In January 1943 instructed by Nazi commandant gendarmes and soldiers came to the village of Osovo, burnt down houses, arrested villagers. They also burnt alive the Kovels family: Peter, Elena Mikhailovna and Semyon, their son born 1936. All in all, five people were burnt in that house. After that, there were mass shootings. Twelve villagers were shot with rifles and Tommy guns. I saw the bodies. Another eye-witness of shootings was Vasily Aldorovich Parliyanovich, resident of the village of Osovo. He saw the Zan'ko's family shooting. They were beaten by butts, Nazis wanted to take Maxim Zanko to the city of Dokshitsy and shoot him there but he refused to go anywhere and was shot outside of his house in the village of Osovo. Maxim's mother popped out of the house crying " You shot my son, shoot me". The entire Zanko's family was shot right on the street..

4. Andrievsky Viktor Mikhailovich, born 1894 , resident of the villageof Maslovichi of the Porplischensky region.

5. Voitehovich Bellya Gippolitovna, resident of the village of Telshi of Porplishcensky region. Two eye witnesses testified:

Living two hundred meters away from the Dokshitsy-Glubokoe road, we saw with our own eyes in July 1943 the Nazi herding Russian POW's along that road. Every POW, who could not march further, as they were all exhausted, was shot. So over three days of July Nazi shot 11 POW. We don't know their names, as there were no ID's with the bodies.

5. Anoshkovich Vasily Ivanovich, born 1880, resident of the village of Vorgany of the Brabuchensky region testified:

In may 1942 Nazi detachment came to our village and herded for hard labor in Germany the following citizens:

1. Vargan Semyon Antonovich

2.Vargan Elena Semyonova

3. Zhilyonok Yakim Ivanovich

4. Apanashkevich Ivan Ivanovich

5. Apanashkevich Nikolai Konstantinovich

6. Vargan Igantiy Ivanovich

7. Kahanovich Ivan A lexandrovich

8. Voitehoivh Pavlina Andreevna

9. Shitel Alexander Konstantinovich

10. Vargan Konstantine Nikolaevich

11. Kahanovich Maria Ivanovna

12. Malinovskaya Emilia Stanisslavovna, etc.

SS Detachment encircled our village, herded villagers to the central place in our village, selected above citizens and forced them to go for hard (slave) labor in Germany.

7. Stadolink Polikarp Ivanovich, born 1891, resident of the village of Makarevichi of the Grabuchensky district, testified:

Nazi detachment came to our village on February 15, 1944 and shot my wife on the street (Stadolnik Maria Emundovna) next to the barn and shot my son (Stadolnik Boleslav Polikarovich), born 1927 who was in bed ill. Also, in our village were shot:

1. Dolchenok Petr Ivanovich;

2. Gritsevich Iosif Marianovich;

3. Skurat Stefanida;

4. Polyanina alexander Vasilievich.

 

All villagers were herded onto the central square and the above people were shot before the eyes of all people. I also was there and saw the shooting. The Nazis did not allow us to bury them. Our villagers could bury them only 10 days after the shooting, when the Nazi moved out of our village.

8. Sivko Ivan Frolovich, born 1898, resident in the village of Gnezdilovo of Gnezdilovsky district testified:

In October 1943 a group of Nazi of approximately 85 people came to the village of Gnezdilovo and put it on fire. The Nazi burnt many people alive in their own houses.:

1. Kolyago Vasily Stepanovich

2. Kolyago Anton Ivanovich both tried to escaoe through the window but were shot. The Nazi also burnt a little girl Kovel Elena, born 1943.

In addition, Nazi shot three imprisoned soldiers of the Red Army at a distance of approximately one kilometer from th e village of Gnezdilovo was caught by Nazi and was shot on the cemetery of the village of Yuzhnoc Gvazdilovo.

9. Kurilyonok Anna Petrovna, born 1922, resident of the village of Ryzhovka of Porplischensky district:

10. Pashkevich Adelya Ignatievna, born 1916 resident in the village of Degtiary of Porplischensky

11. Stepanets Semyon Mikhailovich, born 1916, resident in the village of Sloboda of Porplischensky district.

All the threee testified: we live not far from the road to the village of Sitsy, next to the forest . We saw Soviet men, women, and children being herded, as well as Italian POW's, walking along the road from Parfianovo to Dyatki. The column was stopped and turned left, i.e. to the road to the village of Sitsy. Soon after that we could hear gun ( machine -gun) fire. Soviet citizens and Italian POW's were shot. Same shooting recurred more than once over two days. IN the first day after the the arrival of the Red Army in our district.I went to the forest and saw 5 big holes camoflauged with green turf and green tree branches. On one of the trees under the bark I found a note, which read in Russian "We were executed by Nazi butcher: Russians-600 person, Italians- 200 persons. Take vengeance Nazi butchers for our blood, for women and children shot by Nazi."

12. Ozenblovsky Andrei Ivanovich, born 1909 resident of the city of Dokshitsy testified:

In March 1942 under the instruction of Glubokoe Gebietcommissar, there were started arrests of Jews living on the territory of the city of Dokshitsy. The Jews were herded in "Ghetto" and mass shootings of women with babies, old and young people began. I saw it with my own eyes. Jews in groups of 100-150 people were led to the hole, which was dug next to the Jewish cemetery in the city of Dokshitsy, they were forced to undress and the shot. Babies and little children were not shot, rather they were stabbed with bayonets or thrown alive down into the hole. One could hear moans of the wounded and cries of children. Over three weeks of mass shootings the Nazi killed about three thousand Jews. On the same day, Nazi execute almost 100 of active Soviet workers.

In addition to mass shootings, Nazi shot daily 1-2 unknown people in the vicinity of Dokshitsy brewery. Rumors go that there are about three hundred people were shot. Also, Nazi herded many residents of Dokshitsy to Germany for slave labor.

13. Podberesskin Mikhail Filippovich, born 1880, resident of the village of Rechnye of the Nesterovsky District, testified:

In February 1943 I saw the following residents of out village killed:

1. Anikovich E.T.

2. Pet'ko E.I.

3. Shul'gat S.T.

4. Gnyran M.S.

5. Podberesskiy S.F.

6. Podberessky V.T.

7. Vasilevich M.A. and some others.

 

In total 23 residents of the village of Rechnye were killed, 10 of them were burnt

1. Kazachyonok T.D. with his family

2. Kazachyonok wife

3. Kazachyonok 7 year old daughter

4. Kazachyonok daughter, born 1942

5. Kazachyonok daughter, born 1943

Material supplied by Sam Gejdenson (7/14/99)


Photos by Phillip Alloy

1995

 
Phillip writes that "these four pictures are from my 1995 journey to Dokshitzy. [ Now having returned in August 1999 I note that] nothing has changed since my visit four years ago. The "Monument' that has been erected by another group is locatged somewhere else in Dokshitzy and according to Nikolai, is dedicated to the town's "liberators,' not the martyred Jewish citizens."
 
Jewish cemetery in Dokshitzy
Jewish cemetery in Dokshitzy. All 'stones' pictured are gravestones. None stand upright, as all have been toppled. About 10% of the gravestones can be read although many are face down or partially buried. Note grazing goat in the upper left corner of the photo. [c] 1999 Phillip Alloy
 
Entrance to the Jewish cemetery
Entrance to the Jewish cemetery. This entrance is across the road from the Partisan Monument, site of the mass murders of the Jews. [c] 1999 Phillip Alloy
 
One of the very few readable gravestones
One of the very few readable gravestones. This broken marker is laying on the ground and is typical of the remaining gravestones. [c] 1999 Phillip Alloy
 
 
 
"Best" condition of readable gravestones. This marker is laying on the ground, but not upright. It is just visible in the picture of t he cemetery entrance, above and just to the right of the gate visible in the center of the photograph. [c] 1999 Phillip Alloy

From Phil Alloy on Aug. 27, 1999
A couple of notes on the pictures:

1. The photo of Yechezkeel Levitan that appears in the website is taken at virtually the same spot in the cemetary as my first photo.

2. The 'memorial stone' picture after Levitan's shot is the monument I refer to as the Partisan Monument. It is directly across the road and right in front of the gate that appears in my cemetery entrance photo. I have some pictures of the full Partisan monument and will try to get one to you. It's a rather tall [maybe 20'] monument. It's dedicated to the Partisans that were murdered on that spot by the Nazis, but that particular place was, according to Nikolai, used as a killing spot for the towns Jews, as well as a few Russian soldiers and captured partisans. No where on the monument does the word 'Jew' appear however.

3. In the 'Testimonies' section you just placed on the website is referenceto Jews taken back to Germany as slave laborers. In my interview with Nikolai he put the number at about 50. These would be some of the very few Jews who, at least for the time, survived the local killings.

I would like to discuss some ideas to revitalize the cemetery. As you can see it is totally destroyed. Some of these ideas include providing services to people interested in Dokschitzy as a means of fund-raising, perhaps offering the complete Nikolai interview for sale, etc. It is our responsibility as the descendants to see that another generation does not pass before the stones are righted.

Again, thanks for the posting, I'll be in touch soon.

-Phil-

 

Aviva Neeman, a fifth generation Israeli, whose great-great Grandfather was a Rabbi in Dokshitz, was asked to document any information she had on Dokshitz. Here is her response:
 

Date: Wed, 12 May 2004

From: Aviva Neeman <aneeman@netvision.net.il>

Well, story number 1 is that my ancestors were rabbis of Dokshitz generation after generation. The reason for that is that Dokshitz had a lot of Mithnagdim, followers of the Vilna Gaon, whose official name (which nobody used) was Rabbi Eliahu Kremer. So, there was Rabbi Pinchas Kremer, son of Rabbi Moshe Kremer, the Vilna Gaon's youngest brother. Rabbi Moshe was known as "Rabbi Moshe of Podjeloveh", and mentioned under this name in books. Podjeloveh is the name in Yiddish of Pod Zelva, in Lithuania. Maybe Rabbi Moshe was in Dokshitz in his old age - I am not sure of that. What I am sure of is that Rabbi Pinchas, son of Rabbi Moshe, was rabbi of Dokshitz. After Rabbi Pinchas Kremer's death, the Dokshitzers elected his son Rabbi Eliahu Kremer for rabbi of Dokshitz. Of course Dokshitzers were proud of their rabbi being the Gaon's close family.

 
Story #2: Rabbi Eliahu's wife, Beileh, was sister of Menachem Mendel Porush, who was the trusted disciple of the Vilna Gaon. The Vilna Gaon entrusted Rabbi Menachem Mendel with the important task of moving his desciples and their families from Lithuania to Eretz Israel. Indeed they came and landed in Acco (Acre in northern Israel) from 1807 to 1830's. They settled in Tzfat and later, after the "Big Quake," the earthquake that occurred on Friday, January 1st of 1837 they moved to Jerusalem.
 
The Big Quake rocked the whole Galilee, ruined most of the Upper Galilee, caused the Kineret (Sea of Galilee) to flood Tiberias (Tveria ) and took many lives. Loss of life was very high since it occurred late Friday afternoon just before the start of Shabat, when all men were in synagogues. The synagogue buildings crumbled and fell on top of the each other. This was because Tzfat is built on the slope of Mount Canaan.
 
So after the earthquake of 1837 they all moved to Jerusalem and started the Ashkenazi Yishuv of Jerusalem.

So when Rabbi Pinchas died in Dokshitz, his son Rabbi Alleh (that's Yiddish for Eliahu) was elected Rabbi of Dokshitz. Of course Alleh was named for the pride of the family, the Vilna Gaon. The stories in the family about Rabbi Eliahu Kremer (Alleh) were that he was a young man when he came to Eretz Israel. I am not quite sure of that and am not sure if Beileh was his first wife because when he came to Jerusalem he left grown up sons in Europe and arrived only with his youngest daughter Mir'l. In Jerusalem he had another son, Menachem Mendel Kremer. Another story of Rabbi Eliahu Kremer is that he was very rich and sensitive. He insisted on using tableware of silver and sleeping on silk bed sheets.

On the other hand, Rabbi Eliahu was very liberal: he insisted on teaching his daughter. This is remarkable - in Jerusalem girls were only taught basic reading so they can read their Sidur and pray, and basic arithematic so they can work and provide for the family when their husbands learned Torah. Not Rabbi Eliahu - he taught his daughter exactly as he taught his sons: language, Tora and Gemorah, and arithematic. He said he was doing this so "she can marry a great Rabbi, like his close Yeshiva friend, Rabbi Eliahu Neuman". So Mirel admired Rabbi Yaacov Tzvi (Hirsch) Neumann from her early childhood. Eliahu died when Mirel (her full name was Sheineh Mirel) was a girl.

Story #3: There is a story, started by Mirel, that when she lived in Dokshitz as a young girl, there were many gypsies near Dokshitz. Since they used to steal, Mirel was ordered by her mother Beileh never to allow a gypsy in the house. One freezing morning, when Mirel was alone at home in Dokshitz, an old gypsy woman knocked on the door, begging for bread. Mirel, against her instructions, pitied her and let her in, and served her a warm soup and bread. The grateful gypsy wanted to reward Mirel so she read her future. She predicted that she'll live in a far away country, and she would marry two old men. Well, soon the first prophecy was fulfilled: Rabbi Eliahu took his wife and daughter and moved to Jerusalem where he settled in the Old City. Of course, then it was not called the "Old City because there was no "new city." After his death many wanted to marry the beautiful and clever girl, but she refused them all. After Rabbi Hirsch Neumann's wife Leah died, she said she'll only marry him. He had no children since Leah couldn't give him children. Of course Beileh, her mother, refused because by then he was an old man, and she was a young girl. He himself, as her trustee by her father's will, refused and tried to arrange suitable marriages for her. However she was very stubborn and refused them all, so in the end she got her wish and married Rabbi Yaacov Tzvi Neumann. She bore him children, one after the other, but they all died. There is a story that he sent her to Vienna to his brother Dr. Karl Neumann, who was Kaiser Franz Josef's physician. The story says that Mirel had met the Kaiser before, in Jerusalem when he visited, and he saw that the building of the Churveh synagogue in the Old City was not finished and had no roof. He asked for the reason, and there was a hush, and then Mirel said, in German that "the synagogue has taken off its hat for the Kaiser." The Kaiser who always had an eye for a beautiful woman, roared wth laughter and understood the reason, and before he left Jerusalem he left the Jews enough money to finish the synagogue. Still the name "Churveh" stuck with the synagogue. Somehow, in books, this story is attributed to Rabbi Nisan Beck, but the family story is that it was Mirel who received the money from the emperor.

Story #4: Anyhow, when my great grandfather sent Mirel to Vienna to his brother, Mirel took a walk one Friday morning in the city park. The Kaiser too had the habit of walking in the park, so when he saw Mirel he stopped, and they had a long serious talk. So long in fact, that Mirel never returned home for lunch. So long, that when it was nearly time to light Shabat candles, Mirel was still missing and the family was worried. Then just before Shabat the Kaiser's carriage drew to the physician's home. Knowing the carriage, Karl rushed out thinking he is needed in court, when the carriage door opened and out stepped the Kaiser, and then Mirel. The Kaiser thanked Mirel for the day, bid the family Shabat Shalom and drove off.

I was told once that someone of the family doubted the story so he looked in old newspapers and found the story recorded.

Story #5: Now Mirel married Rabbi Hirsch Neumann and lost many pregnancies, but in the end she had two daughters ( one died at the age 5) and one son, Moshe and one son, Moshe Eliahu Neumann, my grandfather. After her husband's death she married his friend, and her other trustee, Rabbi Meyer Maizel, and with him she had another girl. So the gypsy's prophecy came true.

Mirel was known to be beutiful, quick, with a retort ready for any question, knowledgeable so that when women came to ask the Rabbi questions, she was the one who replied. She was known as "Rebitzin of the Old City" and admired by all. She died in 1935 and each girl born in the family in the years after got the name Miriam, after Mirl. When I was born my father's family insisted I be Miriam, after Mir'l. My mother thought Aviva was appropriate to a girl born in Pessach, so they all settled for Aviva Miriam. But I had cousins like Miriam, Mickie, Merry, Mimmie and Mirie. All of course named for Mirel, my great grandmother.

If I think of other stories of Mirel, I'll write.

Wait - there is the story, again started by Mirel, or at least we know it because Mirel used to tell it to my father and grandfather: the story is that when a Neumann (or Neeman) dies, a dog is howling. It was like that in the Old City, that a dog howled when my great grandfather died. But Mirel who had lost many children, claimed the story was true. I heard it many times from my great-aunt who heard it from her mother Mirel, and from my father. I remember when my grandfather died, I accompanied my father when he went to issue a burial permit. A German Shepherd dog was sitting on the opposite pavement. My father looked at it and repeated the story, which I heard many times. I remember remarking that it is very quiet, and we entered the building. Just as we mounted the first step, the dog pulled back his head and howled like a wolf. I swear I froze on the spot, but my father nudged me, whispered "I told you so" and mounted the stairs. A dog, or maybe the same one howled when my uncle Matitiahu died, and - I swear - when my father died. I was sitting at home, after the funeral, when I heard the howling. My uncle Itzchak claims it is nonsense but I can vouch that I heard it THREE times at deaths of my grandfather, my uncle and my father.

Aviva Neeman <aneeman@netvision.net.il>

On May 30, 2004, a meeting and memorial service for the Victims of the Shoah in Dokshitz and Parafianov took place in Tel Aviv.
 
Photos appear below.
Photo 1
Photo 2
Photo 3
Photo 4
Photo 5: Aviva Neeman
Photo 6
Photo 7
Photo 8
Photo 9
Photo 10
Photo 11
Photo 12
Photo 13
Photo 14
Photo 15
Photo 16
 

 
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