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Memories of A. Mitzkevich


Story of Anna Mitzkevich

Urban settlement, located in Vitebsk region on the Western Dvina river.

Anna (Haya) Mitzkevich (maiden family name Mushkat) was born in 1921 in a settlement called Bilduki, which is now Sharkovshina region.

- My father came from Bilduki, mother originated from Vilnius. They got married in 1919 and lived in Vitebsk. Once they came to visit somebody in Bilduki, at that time it was annexed to Poland. And they decided to remain and live in this country.

When Germans attacked, I came to my work in Sharkovshina after visiting my parents in Bilduki, only to find the place empty. I decided to walk westwards in the direction of Polotsk.

I was lucky and I managed to flee Belarus and escape the Nazis. I managed to reach Tambov.

During the war I heard rumors about what was happening on the occupied territories, but not everything. In the August of 1944, when the territory was liberated, I came back to Bilduki. There I found out that all the Jews living at the time in the settlement had been sent to Sharkovshina ghetto and executed. Around 50 families had been taken to the ghetto, each family of at least 5 people.

Jews were executed in Sharkovshina in February, 1942 behind a creamery in Naberezhnaya Street. The dead bodies were thrown into a deep trench.

Today there are no more Jews left in Sharkovshina. The last Jews lived in Bilduki in 1948 – Zodik Mushkat, his wife Sonia, Asia Pivtsova with her son and daughter.

I have heard several stories, which happened in the ghetto in Sharkovshina. Sora Orlik from Bilduki was one of the ghetto prisoners. One man, whose last name was Bogovich, fell in love with her. All the prisoners were sent to work, this is where they met. Once Bogovich took Sora to his house in a big basket used for carrying straw. She stayed in his barnyard. His wife and kids knew about her and came to feed her. Of course, the neighbors noticed that somebody was hiding in the barnyard, and, naturally, Bogovich was afraid that he would be executed. However he still took care of Sora and hid her in different places. In 1944, when Germans were defeated, Sora married Bogovich and they moved to Vilnius.

Here is another love story. A family - a Jewish woman Minka and her Russian husband Pavel Sardyko lived in Bilduki. Minka died young before the war. Pavel went to Vilnius and got a circumcision. He attended a synagogue and observed all Jewish traditions. They had a son called Velvl. Later Pavel married another Jewish woman – a daughter of the man who had circumcised him. His second wife was killed by Nazis. In 1955 Pavel married for the third time, this time it was a Russian woman in his village.

My mother and four sisters were sent to the ghetto. Two brothers were in the army.

Those, who died:

Father Leiser Mushkat (born in 1890)

Mother Raisa Mushkat (born in 1895)

Sister Tsypa Mushkat (born in 1925)

Sister Malka Mushkat (born in 1929)

Sister Sonia Mushkat (born in 1931)

Sister Basia Mushkat (born in 1934)

Memories recorded by Arkady Shulman in 1994

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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