Letter received by Aviva Neeman in Tel Aviv, translated by Valery Ladijensky


August 30, 1999

Dear Mr. Ladijensky,

Your letter reached me. I am happy that somebody knows about me in your country and is interested in me as a historian of my district. Your relative wants to know about the Kramer family. Yes, the town of Dokshitz had several families of that name before 1942. They were:

1. Kramer, Eliahu

2. Kramer, his wife and children

3. Kramer, Sima

4. Kramer, Bella and children

5. Kramer, Yitsek

6. Kramer, Dusha and children

7. Kramer, Golde

8. Kramer, Shulem

9. Kramer, Beril

10. Kramer, Iozef

11. Kramer, Nehama

12. Kramer, Metel

13. Kramer, Haya

14. Kramer, Zipa

15. Kramer, Israel

16. Kramer, Aaron

17. Kramer, Zundel

18. Kramer, Henia

19. Kramer, Leib

20. Kramer, his wife and three children

21. Kramer, Alter

22. Kramer, Minya

23. Kramer, Haim

24. Kramer, Maria

25. Kramer, Rivka

26. Kramer, Samuil

27. Kramer, Efrei

28. Kramer, Aaron

29. Kramer, Iaakov

30. Kramer, Alter

31. Kramer, Mina and her children

32. Kramer, Nasin

33. Kramer, his wife and two children

A ghetto was created in Dokshitz in September 1941. There more than 3000 people of Jewish nationality were brought (to the ghetto). At the beginning of 1942 the first pogrom of Jews occurred. The second pogrom began in May 1942. After the liquidation of the ghetto the Germans destroyed all documents, birth certificates and religious books. A part of the documents which were kept in the German police station and gendarmerie burned during a fire in August 1943, and the rest burned on July 2, 1944 (n.b. on the date of the liberation). Old archives are absent in Dokshitz. To reconstruct the family histories of the Kramers seems to be impossible. Old inhabitants whose grandparents and parents lived in Dokshitz before 1939-1944 number 48 families. The rest of the population are newcommers (n.b. because most of the inhabitants before the war were Jews, who were murdered). They don't know the old history and are ignorant about the former inhabitants (n.b. the murdered Jews).

Before 1941 there was in Dokshitz a Kramer family: father Yosie, and his wife (they died before the war), two sons, Yankel and Zalman, two daughters, Doba and Dveire. They owned a tea-house and a billiard. After the autumn of 1941 they hid in the village of Loti in the house of a local inhabitant until 1943 when they joined the partisans. After the liberation in 1944 by the Red Army the Kremers returned to Dokshitz and lived there until 1945. In 1945 they moved to Poland and from Poland to America. Our Jewish friends born in Dokshitz visited me once and told me that the Kramers lived in America. I have no address.

Before the war, Dokshitz had 679 houses, one synagogue, four houses of prayer, and after the German Fascists were driven out (July 2, 1944) there remained only 206 houses. In the three years of occupation 3308 were shot dead, 1023 of them were men, 1068 were women and 1217 were children. 51 people were sent to work in Germany (n.b. likely as slave laborers).

Before 1940 Dokshtz had two hotels: "Velenskaya" (Vilna) hotel, owned by Yoka Varfman. "Vazshovskaya" (Warsaw) hotel owned by Joseph Komenkvich.

Recently I looked through several documents and found out that this family name is written differently in the different languages: in Russian it is Kzeimer, in Polish it is Kremer, in German and English it is Kramer. The original Jewish sources are not in my possession.

With respect,

N. D. Chistiakov

Polevoge Street, N3

Dokshitz, Vitebsk Oblast (District), Republic of Belorus

Telephone 257-2-16-43

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