Lida, Belarus

Ліда  - לידע 

  53° 53' N, 25° 18' E

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Ellen Sadove Renck

Webmaster: Irene Pupko Newhouse
Documentary Research: Judy Baston
Updated: May 2022

Lida uezd map from yizkorLida Coat of ArmsCITY OF LIDA

Alternate names: Lida [Rus - Лида, Yid - לידע , Pol, Bel - Ліда], Lyda [Lith] at 53°53' N, 25°18' E, 55 miles S of Vilnius/Vilna, 25 miles NW of Navahrudak [Nowogrodek]. 1900 Jewish population: 5,294. MapQuest

Lida was the the equivalent of the county seat for a long time, but it lost that position when Lida district was combined with Nowogródek distict, with Nowogródek (now Navahrudak) as its seat. Lida is now just another town in the Hrodno region. 

Leon Lauresh maps of Lida through the ages. 1939 map is very similar to that in Sepher Lida, in Polish, but easier to read street names. The rectangle near the river about 1/4 of the way down on the right, "israelicki cmentarz" is the Jewish cemetery. Further down on the right, marked "Dzielnica Zydowska" (Jewish District) is area heavily populated by Jews..


  • Lida's Market Square with Synagogue
  • Mock wedding held in Lida in 1905. Contributed by Fred Cutter
  • Drawing of Lida Synagogue from a 1917 book on Lida. Contributed by Leon Lauresh
  • Postcards of Lida
  • Photo of the Jewish Cemetery in Lida, 1916. Donated by Marv Brooks Z"l
  • Leon Lauresh has an amazing postcard collection on his site. (The URL used to be http://pawet.net/library/history/bel_history/_books/lida/Lauresh_L._Lida_city_on_the_old_postcards.html  and is not in the Internet Archive.) He has postcards interspersed with modern photos on his Instragram page (you need an instragram account.)
  • S. Kalmanowitz fought the Germans in WWII.
  • Two Pupko family photos
  • Lida section of the 1934 Nowogrodek county telephone book.
  • A letter of recommendation written by Rabbi Jacob Reines.
  • Eilat Gordin Levitan site
  • A Polish site with many postcards. In the upper left corner is a search box - Szukaj obiektow. Enter Lida and click. Google translate doesn't work for this page, so you'll have to copy & paste individual captions into it.
  • A collection of vintage photographs from Lida. The page comes up with English photo captions, but the general text is Russian.
  • Collections of old and new photos - radzima.org . There's a bar for language. Click on ENG & follow the geographical hierarchy - pick Belarus, Groda region, then Lida & finally, a choice of villages in addition to Lida
  • Large collection of postcards, with terse captions - use google translate
  • Funeral of a respected Jew
  • Water sellers
  • Group of Jewish men
  • German ambulance with trailer (World War I) - check out the store sign behind it.  It's A. Pupko's store,  ready to wear dresses, Parisian fashions (translated by Emilia Alexeeva, Tracing the Tribe Facebook group.)
  • Page of links to images of Lida interest.



    • Early 20th century voter lists
    • Antisemitic events just after World War I, from the JDC archives
      • April 1919 - scroll down to page 7 for mention of Lida events. The entire document, though, provides a depressing picture of the process by which Poland and Lithuania enacted their independent governments, as sanctioned by the Treaty of Versailles, in the face of opposition by the Bolshevik government of Russia, which sought to maintain its former borders.
      • April 1919
      • June 1919 - scroll down to page 11 for a bit about Lida
      • June 1919
    • Business directories For a long time, only the 1929 business directory was easily available. There are now some others, some even from multiple sources, but I've picked one.


    • Holocaust links page
    • Holocaust in Lida on Yahad in Unum site
    • autobiography of Dr. Frances Dworecki
    • The Holocaust Monument in Lida was vandalized in August 2002. FSU Monitor for 21 Aug 2002 story went offline late 2006.
    • The movie "Defiance", based on Nechama Tec's book, inspired many articles on survivors from the Lida area. These stories eventually went off-line
      • Isaac Koll - originally in the Jewish Times. There's the story of his sister's & his survival elsewhere.
      • Ann Monka - the Jewish Telegraph article is offline, but her story was on the Lida Memorial Society site. YouTube has a video in English with Spanish subtitles. There's another video on the US Shoah Foundation site. There are many ephemeral sites - use a search tool. 
      • Helen Terris (nee Cyderowicz) - original link went stale in 2018 & hasn't been archived on the Wayback Machine. However, her life story is also on the Lida Holocaust Memorial site
      • The Jewish Partisans Educational Foundation has a page on the Bielskis.


    • Lida Residents who entered the US via St. Albans, VT, compiled from an LDS film by Janet Lavine for the Soundex code L-150 only.
    • Lida Residents who emigrated via Hamburg, compiled from LDS films by Janet Lavine. You can view this list alphabetically or chronologically
    • Lida Residents for whom tickets were purchased through HIAS, on the Rosenbaum Steamship line, compiled from LDS films by Janet Lavine.
    • Lida Residents for whom tickets were purchased through HIAS, on the Blitzstein Steamship line, compiled from LDS films by Janet Lavine.
    • Lida Passengers found on National Archives microfilmed ships' manifests, compiled by Janet Lavine.
    • Former Lida Residents aided by HIAS in the US, compiled from LDS films by Janet Lavine.
    • CANADA:
      • Josef Garbaty left Lida, eventually settling in Berlin. He pioneered employee perks like employee libraries and even unemployment insurance. In 1929 he retired. His two sons took over a firm employing 2000. Source: Michael Skakun in Aufbau, issue 2, 2003. He's mentioned in a book "Jews in Nazi Berlin" . There's a page dedicated to cards issued by his company. The factory ended up being in East Germany, and there were reparations issues in 1990. He now has a German wikipedia page. There's a possibly ephemeral page with photographs of the abandoned properties & decription of the family's Holocaust experiences. There's a page with historical postcards of the factories.
      • Thomas Garbaty, grandson of Josef, was a professor of Medieval English Literature at University of Michigan. He recorded a testmony that's only available on-site.
      • Eugene Garbaty's experience with Nazi expropriation is detailed in a very long war crimes document, so search for Garbaty to find the places. He, too, was Josef's grandson.
    • ISRAEL
      • 1944 Letter to Nakhum Katzin Israel from his brother Gershon in the Lida area - The link went stale in June 2022. Enter this URL: http://nbergman.scripts.mit.edu/docs/Letter.pdf into the Internet Archive Wayback Machine
      • Karen Alkalay-Gut of the English department at Tel Aviv University wrote some of her poems about her family's Lida heritage: A Lithuanian Legacy
    • MEXICO
      • Shifra Berenstein, called Shura, (Szura) married Sioma Pupko, son of Lida brewery owner Meilakh. Survivors, they moved to Mexico. Her descendant Batia Cohen-Fux has written a family history centered around Szura, Un Amapola entre Cactus (A Poppy in the Cactus). Yes, it's Spanish.
    • POLAND
      • Postcard from Isaac and Maria Pupko, who perished in the Warsaw Ghetto
    • UK
      • The Goide Family History - the link went stale in 2021. In order to see the site, paste this: http://www.tzorafolk.com/genealogy/history/goide.htm into the search box at the Internet Archive Wayback Machine 
    • USA
      • Dr. Nittai K. Bergman, a Lida descendant, has a letter written from Lida to Palestine right after WWII.
      • Marv Brooks' mother and her parents emigrated from Lida in 1917. She kept some bills from the trip.
      • Miriam Brysk nee Miasnik is an artist and author of a memoir: "Amidst the Shadows of the Trees: A Holocaust Child's Survival in the Partisans" (2007). She has recorded a testimony, the link to which went stale in Dec. 2018 (https://www.holocaustcenter.org/research/testimonies/brysk.miriam). The Holocaust Memorial Center  is redoing its site, and the putative link to an index of testimonies, has dead links to the  indices. About 11 minutes of her testimony are on YouTube. The transcript of an interview  is at the University of Michigan  Oral History Archive.
      • Ticket for a Lieder Brueder Unterstitzungs Verein drawing. Donated by Howard Zakai
      • Lieder Brueder Unterstitzungs Verein Golden Jubilee (1941)
      • A kiddush cup presented as a dancing prize by the Lida Relief Society won by father of Bernard Kouchel Z"l. Picture donated by Bernard Kouchel
      • Lieder Brothers' Section in Beth Moses Cemetery Photographs donated by Roslyn Sherman Greenberg z'l
      • Artist Alex Katz's father was from Lida. The bio that mentioned this is offline, and has been replaced with another one.
      • Tamara Katz nee Kaplinski (1914-2004) was born in Lida. Her parents and husband, Abraham Dworzinski, were shot in a mass murder in Lida in 1941, leaving her with her 3-year-old son Nathan. She evaded the May 19, 1942 mass murder by hiding in an outhouse with Nathan. Peasants who had worked with her father hid her for a few nights; she moved among families who'd known her father until a cousin heard she was alive, and sent someone to take her to the Bielski brothers. She remained until she got false papers and spent the rest of the war on the run. She married another partisan, Abraham Katz, in 1944. On being widowed in 1957, she got a job as bookkeeper in an antiques store [she'd been trained in bookkeeping in Lida], eventually learning the business and running her own store. She was active in Hadassah and a charter member of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum. Another tribute.
      • Aaron Leibowitz born in Lida, emigrated to the US in the 1930s. He served in World War II in the US army, and was awarded a Purple Heart for wounding on Omaha Beach during the D-Day invastion. His mother and nine siblings were murdered in the Holocaust. He worked in a kosher butcher shop. The original link has been taken offline.
      • Laura Levy is looking for relatives of her Tzigelnitski /Cegelnicka /Sigel family from Lida and Voronovo by way of Smorgon & Minsk.
      • Dr. Harry Polachek (1913-2002) was born in Lida and emigrated in the 1920s. He had a doctorate in mathematics from Columbia University and was ordained as a rabbi from the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary. During World War II, he was a mathematician at Aberdeen Proving Ground. He remained with the Navy labs, becoming Director of the Applied Mathematics Lab. He received the Navy Distinguished Civilian Service Award for his pioneering work in computer applications. The original link in "Nuclear News" is offline. There are 2 pdfs online [links can't be pasted] that may be of interest. One is a 3-page obituary in "IEEE Xplore". It's the first hit if you copy his name into an online search engine. The other is a transcript of an interview with him, focussing on his career, in the Smithsonian Archives. It's the second hit in the search.
      • Ralph Rose (abt 1918 - 2005), and his brother Sidney (abt 1919-2010) businessmen and philanthropists, Lida descendants, endowed a chair at Clark University in Massachusetts: the Rose Professorship in Holocaust Studies. The chair was to honor the memory of their father, whose parents, two sisters, and twelve nieces & nephews were Holocaust victims. They also donated a sculpture by Steve Linn, "I Heard the Voices", depicting their father's life. Further, they donated a fund for graduate students; this made Clark the first university in the world to offer a Ph D program in Holocaust Studies [from an obituary for Sidney Rose, from the Worcester MA Telegram, Dec. 13, 2010, accessed Jul 2015 -  http://www.telegram.com/article/20101213/OBIT/12130314 - I'm not hyperlinking because this will probably go stale.] Deborah Dwork was the first professor appointed to this chair, in 1996. [soc.culture.jewish.holocaust, posted 1/16/1996, accessed 7/14/2015] There was also a Boston Globe obituary with photo. [http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/bostonglobe/obituary.aspx?pid=147105335 , accessed Jul 2015] Dates for Ralph Rose from http://dictionary.sensagent.com/Temple_Emanuel_(Worcester,_Massachusetts)/en-en/#Prominent_members, accessed Jul 2015.
      • Dr. Stefan E. Warschawski (1904-1989) was born in Lida. His family moved to Koenigsberg during World War I where he graduated Gymnasium and entered University to study mathematics, moving to Goettingen after two years. When his advisor moved to Basel, Warschawski did, too. On graduation, he was offered a position at Goettingen, which he occupied from 1930 until Hitler came to power. He was came to the US and obtained a position at Washington University in St. Louis. After several moves, he settled at the University of Minnesota, where he built the Mathematics Department. In 1963 he moved to UC San Diego's La Jolla campus as department chair.
      • Mikro Kodesh Anshe Lida and Pinsk was a Chicago congregation originally founded by immigrants from Lida. Eli Pollock and a friend bought the original building at 1253 S. Lawndale Ave. in the 1920. They remodeled it as a Shul, removing the ceiling/floor between the 1st & 2nd floors to create a women's gallery. His sons Bernard and Herman found a suitable chandelier in a salvage yard, and installed it. (--Berna Heyman, granddaughter of Eli Pollock, who was told the story by Herman Pollock)
      • Mikro Kodesh Anshe Lida and Pinsk has a section in Chicago's Waldheim Cemetery that has been indexed by the Jewish Genealogical Society of Illinois.
If you have Lida uezd materials to share, please considering donating it. If you read Yiddish or Hebrew, please contact us.

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.