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Radun, Belarus

ראַדין  -   Радунь

54° 2′ N, 24° 59′E


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Compiled and Copyright© 1999-2014 by
Ellen Sadove Renck

Webmaster: Irene Pupko Newhouse
Documentary Research: Judy Baston
Updated: Dec 2016

Lida uezd map from yizkorradun coat of arms

<!--[if !vml]--><!--[endif]-->Alternate names: Radun and Радунь [Rus], Raduń [Bel, Pol], Radin [Yid], Rodin, Radunj township in Voranava district, Hrodna Voblast, Belarus. 54°03' N, 25°00' E, 8 miles N of Eisiskes, 16 miles NW of Lida, 45 miles SSW of Vilnius (Vilna). 1900 Jewish population: 896.

Alternate names: Raduń [Bel], Radun [Rus], Raduń [Pol], Radin [Yid], Rodūnia [Lith], Radin

 and the dependent villages of Adamoniszki, Balciszki, Bartoszyszki, Dowgieliszki, Druskieniki Nowo, Druskieniki Stare, Dubince, Dugalishok, Horodyszcze, Jantowty, Jurance, Kiwance, Klajsze, Korgowdy, Kujze, Kurki, Lelusze, Lipkunce, Lunki, Mozejki, Nowinki, Nowosady, Odwierniki, Orle, Palaszki, Palunce, Pcolony, Pielasa, Pielunce, Piencieniszki, Podzitwa, Pomiedz, Popiszki, Postawki, Powilance, Powloka, Rackuny, Radziunce, Serbeniszki, Skirejki, Skladance, Slobodka, Smilginie Nowe, Smilginie Stare, Stracuny, Stuczyki, Surkonty, Swianowszczyzna, Szawry, Talkunce, Tatarszczyna, Ulanowszczyzna, Waszkicle, Wigance, Wojkunce, Woldaciszki

and estates, colonies, and hamlets of Alekszyszki, Antokol, Bartoszunce, Butrymy, Ejwunce, Falkunce, Gaj, Gierwielance, Giesztowty, Girki Kadziunce, Janowicze, Januszyszki, Jodzie, Juciuny, Jurance, Kadziunce, Kiemejsza, Korklina, Krzeczewicze, Lubiance, Maciunce, Malewskie, Milkunce, Niekradszunce, Nosowicze, Olekszyszki, Palielunce, Paszkiewicze, Pietraszunce, Poradun, Radun Plebanja, Rukance, Sapunce I, II, and III, Serbeniszki, Siendzikowszczyzna, Surkonty, Szawry, Talkunce, Tolciszki, Troczki, Wanagiszki, Wapielnia, Wieckiewicze, Wilbiki, Witozence, Wolkiewicze, Zapasuiki

Historical map

LOCATION AFTER 1939: Baranavichy Oblast (Belarusian: Баранавіцкая вобласць, Russian: Барановичская Область) was a territorial unit in the Belarusian Soviet Socialist Republic created after the annexation of West Belarus into the BSSR in November 1939. The administrative centre of the province was the city of Baranavichy. The voblast was originally known as the Navahrudak Voblast but it was soon renamed to Baranavichy Voblast. The oblast was made up of 26 raions in 1944. These raions were Byten, Gorodyshche, Ivyanets, Iwye, Yuratishki, Karelichy, Kletsk, Kozlovshchina, Lyakhavichy, Lida, Lubcha, Mir, Masty, Navahrudak, Nova Mysh, Nesvizh, Radun, Slonim, Stowbtsy, Shchuchyn, Vasilishki, Valozhyn, Voranava, Dzyatlava, Zel’va and Zheludok. In 1944, the oblast was diminished after transferring raions of Lida, Radun, Schuchyn, Vasilishki, Voranava, Masty, Zel’va and Zheludok to newly founded Hrodna Voblast (Founded after remaining parts of Belastok Region to Belarus in 1945) and ones of Iwye, Yuratishki and Valozhyn to Molodechno Voblast in 1944. Finally on January 8, 1954 the oblast was liquidated and the raions were divided between the Brest (Raions of Gorodyshche, Lyakhavichy and Novo Mysh), Grodno (Byten, Karelichi, Kozlovshchina, Lubcha, Mir, Navahrudak and Slonim), Molodechno (liquidated in 1960) (Raion of Ivyanets) and Minsk (Raions of Kletsk, Nesvizh and Stowbtsy) Olbasts (Modern Brest Voblast, Hrodna Voblast and Minsk Voblast). Thus, Baranavichy became part of Brest one as raion center after Nova Mysh one's center was moved to Baranavichy in 1 May 1954 and renaming it as Baranavichy one after 8 April 1957. Today: Radun is in Voranava District, Hrodna Voblast, Belarus.

First a Polish royal estate, Radun gained prominence in the sixteenth century due to its location on the main road between Cracow and Vilna. Jewish residency was prohibited until 1538 when local Jewish farmers saw Radun receive municipal status enabling them to remain. In 1623, the Council of the Province of Lithuania (Council of the Lands) subordinated Radun Jewish community to Grodno kahal. 1765 Jewish poll tax payers of Radin and its surrounding communities numbered 581. When Rech Pospolita (1795) was divided, Radunj became a part of Russian Empire and belonged to Vilenskaya Gubernya. By the end of the nineteenth century, the one hundred houses in the town proper had 283 Jews in 1847, 896 in 1897 (53.3% of the total population), and 671 in 1921 (53.5%). In 1869, Israel Meir Kohen (Hafez Chayyim after his famous Sefer) founded Radun’ Yeshiva there in 1869, attracting students from a wide area. The teacher of Talmud and Halakah was Rabbi Israel Meir Kagan (Pupko.) Primary occupations of the Radun Jewish community were commerce, crafts, and agriculture. Twelve percent of the two hundred Jewish cooperative bank participants in 1921 were farmers. The Yekopo Relief Society in Vilna granted nineteen loans in 1929 for 1,134 acres of land (420 desytinas).

In 1912, when Radun belonged to Poland in Vilna voevodstvo, Yeshi bar Zachri Mendel Hacohen Katz (1856-?), son of the rabbi in Radin, was rabbi in Bakshty. In 1928, Radun was designated as a miasteczko (small town) and gmina wiejska (parish town), council office for the surroundings villages, in the First Uchastok, Lida powiat, Nowogrodskie voevodstvo of Poland between WWI and WII. The Justice of the Peace was in Eisiskes and the Justice Court in Wilno. The 1928 miasteczko population was 1,254. The railway station was 21 kilometers away in Bastuny, on the Lida-Wilno line. The post office and telephone were in Bastuny and the telegraph in Lida. The town had two Catholic churches, one synagogue, and one mosque. Markets were on Wednesdays. (Eliach, There Once was a World, says the markets were on Tuesday: Little, Brown, 1998, p. 315.)

The pre-WWII Jewish population was about eight hundred. The Soviets took Radun in 1939, ending Jewish community activity. In 1939, it belonged to Belarussian Soviet Socialist Republic, Baranovichi district. This separated it from Eisiskes, which remained in Lithuania. The Nazi Aktion on May 10, 1942 murdered two thousand Jews from the town and surroundings villages. The August 9, 1942 Aktion killed most of the remaining Jewish population although some escaped to the partisans. The Belarussians reported that 1,136 citizens of Radun murdered by the Nazis. In 1962, Radun was in Voronovo District.

Dugalishok, a predominantly Jewish village dependency of Radun that eventually became something of a Jewish resort, attracted numerous summer vacationers from the neighboring shtetlakh during the 1920s and '30s. The most illustrious of visitors was the Haffetz Hayyim himself, who brought with him many yeshivah students from Radun. Drawn to the countryside by the beautiful pine forest, the excellent agricultural produce, and the warm hospitality of the farmers, the young tourists kept the villages abuzz all during the summer months." (Eliach, Yaffa. There Once Was a World. Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 1998. P. 256.

Skladance: The Polish Genealogical Society of America from Slownik Geograficzny Krolestwa Polskiego [link's stale as of 2016] online: "a peasant-owned village, Lida powiat, in the 4th political district, gmina, rural district and treasury-owned estate of Radun, 5 km. from the gmina, 23.5 km. from Lida, and 44 km. from Wasiliszki; it has 25 houses, 204 Catholic inhabitants (in 1864 there were 81 souls per the rewizja). Source: Slownik Geograficzny Krolestwa Polskiego - Warsaw [1889, vol. 10, p. 680]. Translated by Barbara Proko, Boulder, CO and edited by Fred Hoffman. From the PGSA Summer 1998 Bulletin. [For Skladance's part of the Radun section; copy and paste the following into your browser& search for Skladance: http://www.polishroots.org/GeographyMaps/S%3FownikGeograficzny/S%3FownikR/tabid/330/Default.aspx Linking from an external web page seems to be disabled.]

More on Radun

  • CEMETERY: IAJGS International Jewish Cemetery Project
  • Incorporation papers location for two Landsmanshaftn for people from Radin: go to the JGSNY home page, click on "New York Landsmanshaftn and other organizations: & then scroll down to "Incorporation Papers".The town name is in the right column.
  • Rediscovery Trip to Lithuania, including a stop in Radun by Rabbi Nosson Zev Grossman.
  • Holocaust Martyrs in Radun compiled by the Soviet Extraordinary Commission. link to a browsable version. This list will be translated by the US Holocaust Memorial Museum and included in their massive translation of all the Extraordinary Commission lists, which will be searchable from Jewishgen.
  • Famous Sons:
    • Yoseph Shlomo Kahaneman Rabbi studied at Radun Yeshiva, founded a Yeshiva in Israel.
    • Rabbi Yisroel Meir HaKohen (1838 - 1933), the Chofetz Chaim, born in Zhetel, founded the Yeshiva of Radun, and was its first director.
    • Rabbi Eliezer Kaplan graduate of Radun Yeshiva, murdered in Holocaust.
    • Rabbi David Rudnick studied at Radun Yeshiva, murdered in Holocaust - link is dead as of 2009 Copy motlc.wiesenthal.org/pages/t012/t01232.html & paste it into the Wayback Machine Archive "take me back" box. Click on results pre-2004
    • Tzivia Walkin nee Sachrof, raised in Radun. Her family members were neighbors of the Chofetz Chaim. Her husband, Shmuel David Walkin, was rabbi in Traby before WWII. They fled to Vilnius and were able to leave there for Shanghai, where they spent the war. 
  • Grodno (Belarus): Belorussian Historical Archive in Grodno; from Elyashevich opus 166 Radunskaya Synagogue in Lidski uezd. #456, 9 chronicles, 1897-1900
  • Postcards of Radun: at the bottom of the Radun frame in Shtetls of Belarus
  • YIVO's on-line photograph collection
  • The Radin Collection at the University of Texas Briscoe Center has some of its pre-World War II photos online.
  • Grodno Region Department, National Belorussian Historical Archives of Grodno and National Belorussian Historical Archives, Grodno Region Department, Director: eizengauz Ploschad 2, Grodno 230001 Belarus. Those records can be found in the ALD
  • Ksiega Adresowa Handlowa, Warszawa Bydgoszcz 1929
  • Glowny Urzad Statystyczny Rzechzypospolitej polskiej
  • Translation of Slownik Geograficzny entry for Radun - scroll down to Radun
  • Barbara Proko's translation of the Slownik entry.
  • "In Ghetto Radun", chapter 26, There Once was a World, Yaffa Eliach, Little Brown, 1998, pp. 595-610.
  • EVREISKAYA ENCY.: XIII: 272 [12 lines].
  • Encyclopedia Judaica
  • Dubnow, S. Pinchas ha-Medinah (1925);
  • Kaganowitz, M. (editor), Sefer Zikkaron li-Kehillat Ivye (H/Y), 1968;
  • Yahadut Lita, 3, (1967), p. 57-58;
  • Yad Vashem: M.41-141 70632, Russian, 11 Nov, 1944: Accounts of battles and sabotage of the partisan group with the name MATROSOV from May to June 1944 in eastern Belorussia; information on the underground communist organizations in the region WASILIZKI from May-June 1944; establishment and actions of the partisan brigade by the name "Leninsky Komsomol" in the areas WASILIZKI, SKIDEL, RADUN in the years 1941-44; especially the condition of the Jews who remained in the family camps among the partisans.
  • Virtual Shtetl: Museum of the History of Polish Jews
  • Shtetl Finder (1980), p. 83: "Rodin, Radin".
  • Pinkas HaKehilot
  • Encyclopedia of Jewish Life (2001), pp. 1049-1050: "Radun".
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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.