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Electron Dobruskin


In summer, when I finished the 4th grade, my parents sent me to Dobromysli – a village in Belarusian woods. I had to take a train to Liozno and there a horse-driven carriage was expecting me. It took us several hours to reach the village. I remember passing a beautiful pine forest and a small river.

The village consisted of two streets: one Jewish and one Belarusian. At the crossroads there was a watchtower, a shop and an administrative building. Not far away from our house there was a well. The family did not have a cow, but the neighbors did, so at that time I learnt what the word “separator” meant – a device used to make cream. They made baked milk in the oven with surprisingly delicious thick skin on top.

I do not remember what the house looked like and how many rooms there were. However I recall there was a small room, like a closet, with wooden walls. It had a rather odd name – “sukka”. The house was owned by a woman called Ester. I do not remember what her husband Shmul did. I saw him praying in the mornings. Most probably he was also involved in housework – he was often asked to help around while he was praying. Shmul was probably my mom’s cousin.

They had seven children. The elder ones lived in Leningrad and other big cities. The younger ones – Rohele and Meishke – lived with their parents. Rohele, as far as I remember, was a truly nice girl. Obviously she did not pay much attention to me, since I was much younger. We were friends with Meishke, I remember he was very skinny.

… They were all killed.

In the summer of 1941, as usual, many families came to Dobromysli from Leningrad, Minsk, Moscow and other cities to visit their relatives.

Meishke finished the 9th grade. Rohele was already married to Honon Sveinstein and lived in Minsk with a 1-year-old son.

Honon was sent to the battle front and returned to Minsk after the war. They say Rohele and their son were killed together with other Jewish residents of Minsk. Then he went to Dobromysli to find out what had happened to their relatives. All of them had been murdered. One woman somehow managed to save herself and she related to Honon that Nazis were killing their victims very “creatively”. She said that Meishke had all his limbs cut off and was then buried in the ground up to his neck. Thus he was left to die.

We remember Meishke, Rohele, her son, Ester, Shmul and all the people who lived and came to Dobromysli that summer.

«The Berega» No. 1 (126), January 2010.

Jewish settlements in Vitebsk region

Vitebsk Albrehtovo Babinovichi Baran Bayevo Begoml Beshenkovichi Bocheikovo Bogushevsk Borkovichi Braslav Bychiha Chashniki Disna Dobromysli Dokshitsy Druya Dubrovno Glubokoye Gorodok Kamen Kohanovo Kolyshki Kopys Krasnopolie Kublichi Lepel Liady Liozno Lukoml Luzhki Lyntupy Miory Obol Oboltsy Orsha Osintorf Ostrovno Parafianovo Plissa Polotsk Prozorki Senno Sharkovshina Shumilino Sirotino Slaveni Smolyany Surazh Tolochin Ulla Verhnedvinsk Vidzy Volyntsy Yanovichi Yezerishe Zhary Ziabki

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