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The Shoah

On the eve of Rosh HaShana 1942, 8,000 Jews who had been forcibly resettled in the Stolin Ghetto were led into the forest to a place known as Stasino. There, they were forced to undress and enter an enormous pit inside which they were surrounded by dead relatives and neighbors. This was place where the Jews of Stolin took their final, panic-strickened breaths. That day a Nazi police battalion with a few sub-machine guns ended the lives of thousands of human beings and with them the history of Jewish communities that had existed for hundreds of years.


Eyewitnesses »

the events described by the people who witnessed them


Victims »

individuals and families murdered by the Nazis and their collaborators


Heroes »

people who risked their lives to give others a chance to survive


Perpetrators »

trials concerning the Final Solution in the Pinsk region

The Stoliner Progressive Society

Memorials »

honoring the memory of Stoliners murdered in the Shoah

The Stoliner Center

Yizkor Books »

remembrance books recalling Jewish life in Stolin


Family History

they lived on this earth but were forbidden to leave a trace

Imagine—forbidden to leave a trace

but I’m here with no choice but to tell you

how Yelena flipped pancakes while holding a book in her other
hand, because there was never enough time to read

how Sabina and Yitzhak would sing a capella,
and the neighbors were grateful for their gifts

how they worried about making ends meet with five daughters
and no money since the mill burnt down

how Basia published poems when she was 14 and she received a letter
saying: the crown of the poet belongs on your head

how the twin sisters left Kostopol for Warsaw to study
and Basia married Pesach
and Sabina married Olek
for love was burning

how Sabina escaped from Warsaw while the bombs were dropping,
and Olek was arrested by the Russians and Sabina went with him to

how they sent Pola, Miriam and Sonia off on a train to who knew
where they would end up

how they stayed behind hoping that the worst was already past,
but it was only just beginning

and how basia and Pesach had a son called Mordechai

and how they were forced to watch as Pesach was beaten to pieces

and how Yitzhak died that night of a shattered heart

and how Mordechai was two years old when he was buried alive

and how Yelena and Basia starved in the ghetto
until they were forced
to dig their own grave in the football field

forbidden to leave a trace

And I repeat:
Yitgadal veyitkadash shemey rabah

and I ask:
make me a channel of your peace;
where there’s despair in life, let me bring hope;
where there is darkness only light;
and where there’s sadness, ever joy…

Note from the Stolin Kehilalinks coordinators: The above poem was written by a descendant of Stoliners, but is not specifically about Stolin.

For further research:

Compiled by and Copyright © 2020 Joshua S. Perlman and Adina Lipsitz
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Updated 20 December, 2020

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