Website search

 RUS  |   ENG 

Arkady Shulman

Semion Staroselsky

Anton Paraskevin

Semion Staroselsky.
Semion Staroselsky.


Israel Staroselsky with sons Semion and Yakov. Shumilino, 1950s.
Israel Staroselsky with sons Semion and Yakov. Shumilino, 1950s.

I was born in 1935 in Shumilino, Vitebsk region. My father, Israel Staroselsky, was born in the village of Mishnevichi, Vitebsk region. He was brought up in the local Jewish community as an orphan because his mother died while in labor.

Father got married to my mother Sofia in 1918. Mother was born in 1901 in Sirotino. The Jews of pre-war Shumilino were all like one big family. They were mostly working as craftsmen, shop assistants and tradesmen.

We had a lot of relatives in Shumilino: the Masarskys, the Uzdins, the Dobromyslovs, the Kazanskys and the Tatarskys.

At the beginning of the war father was mobilized to the Army and brother Yakov was already fighting Nazis somewhere near Ravva-Ruska. The rest of the family – mother, elder brother Ziama, I and younger brother David left Shumilino. We came back home in February 1946.

The Jews of Shumilino, who did not evacuate, were executed on November 19th 1941. Among them there were 19 of my relatives. Among the murderers there were local policemen. After the war it was painful to the people who had been cooperating with Nazis and had not done anything to save the local residents.

One girl, Raya Tatarskaya, was extremely lucky to survive the execution. She was wounded, but not badly, and fell into the ditch. When she came back to her senses she saw ground falling on top of her. She realized that the only chance to save herself was to be silent and not move. So, she pretended to be dead while the rest of the people were being shot. A few hours later she crawled out of the grave. It was rather dark so she left unnoticed. She found a shelter in a nearby village and then joined the partisans. After the war Raya lived in Leningrad, where her brother Nisim lived. Last time I saw her when she came to Shumilino in 1964 with her husband and daughter.

Sofia Yakovlevna Massarskaya (Staroselskaya).
Sofia Yakovlevna Massarskaya (Staroselskaya) (center).
Старосельский Яков Израильевич довоенная фото во время службы на границе.
Yakov Israilevich Staroselsky,
prewar photo made
during military service.
The Staroselskys.
The Staroselskys.

In 1946 my father restored all the tombs at the old Jewish cemetery. He also set memorial stones on the mass grave.

Semion (Solomon) Staroselsky
Bat Yam, Israel

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

© 2009–2020 Center «My shtetl»
Reprinting permitted ONLY to Internet editions and ONLY with an active link to website «My shtetl»
Email us: