The Shtetl Volochisk


This is a view of the old town of Volochisk. It is taken from the hill which leads up to the railway line crossing the river past an old border post over a metal bridge to Podvolochisk. Behind this hill is a second hill on top of which is the old Jewish cemetery. In the foreground are some old houses which used to form the basis of the town. Half of the town was once inhabited by Jews, but most of their houses were burnt down by the Germans during the war. As you come along the path down the hill from the cemetery you can still see conspicuous spaces where these homes once stood, and you can still meet the old old woman who remembers how her Jewish neighbors were dragged out of their places and their buildings burnt. Of the three synagogues Volochisk once possessed, none appears to be left. The head of the Jewish Community in Volochisk told me that the main shul was converted by the communists after the war into a social club, but subsequently knocked down. The spires of the Russian Orthodox Church are visible in the background. To the left of the photograph are the pasture lands which slope gently down to the river Zbrutch. To the right is the main road which leads all the way to the railway station, a couple of miles away. Around this station, is clustered the much larger modern town of Volochisk with its market-square and Soviet-style tenements.

A Rural View of Volochisk

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Photograph and Text copyright by Jeremy Grant 2000

This page is authored and maintained by Renee Gottesman and Helen May.

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Copyright by Helen May & Renee Gottesman 1998

Last updated July 1, 2012

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