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       Date Last Updated: 18-May-2012

Vitebsk Families Stories and Pictures


The Novikova /Sosviovik Family

This information was donated by IN.

This was once a very religious Family. The Family lived in Vitebsk from before the Revolution (1917). The Grandfather was a doctor. During WWII he and his Family fled to Siberia, with the hospital staff. After the War they returned to Vitebsk. He died in 1947. Then it was not possible for him to have a Jewish funeral. A friend of his buried him according to Jewish rites, but in secret. If he had been caught he would have been sent to jail. Everyone knew who was Jewish because this was written in the identity cards.

Before WWII all of the men of Vitebsk (including Jews) were drafted into the Russian army. Therefore the population of the Ghetto consisted of mainly women, children and old people. There wasn’t a well known Rabbi, who served as a leader, in the Ghetto. Jews who had friends among he local population (Belarus and Poles) were helped by them. They took the Jewish children, cared for them and thereby saved them. The Vitebsk Ghetto lasted a short time for these Jews were sent to Aushwitz.

Children in Vitebsk can play near the rivers, but the rivers are dangerous. Most of the area is wild. There is also a park there. There are cargo ships.