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Tatiana Dmitrievna Shestak, history teacher at Esmony secondary school.

A lot of families used to live in the small settlement of Esmony. They were hardworking people. For instance the Bocharovs had their own sewing production, the Genukhs made fur clothes, the Lardiks were known as shoemakers and so on.

All the Jews had decent education for that time. The Tomchins, Khaims and Khains were teachers and had a big private library. Khena Feldman was a medical assistant and her father Yankel was a local pharmacist.

Embroidery from a Jewish house in Esmony.
Embroidery from a Jewish house in Esmony.
Remnants of a Jewish house in Esmony.
Remnants of a Jewish house in Esmony.

Golda and Mula Fradkins always helped if someone's pets were ill.

The Great Patriotic War crossed out these people's dreams and stopped their lives. At the beginning og July fascists arrived in Esmony. They settled down in the houses of the Feldmans, the Levins and the Tomchins. Tanks and cars were left along the main street. The synagogue was turned in the Nazi headquarters. The following day they drove off, leaving their policemen in the village. The policemen had to gather information about the local communists and Jews.

A week later fascists showed up in Esmony again. The strongest adult men were sent to do hard physical work – they were felling trees and preparing timber, which was later sent to Germany. They had to live in the forest. On the third week of the exhausting work on of the men – Meyer Levin – died. Then everyone went on strike, demanding to be sent home.

On July 29, in the evening, fascists shot all of them. The bodies were then set fire to.

The next savage reprisal took place in the autumn of 1941. Germans took 56 local Jews to fix the road to Zaozerie. They were all shot near a place called Krasnaya Lipa. The fascists also murdered the remaining Jews from Esmony – the women, children and old people.

Foundation of a synagogue in Esmony.
Foundation of a synagogue in Esmony.

In July 1942 they were all assembled near a ditch and told to get undressed. Then groups of ten were ordered to come to the edge of the ditch and shot from a gun machine.

First the children aged 5-12 were shot. Then it was the old people's turn. Some of them were not able to walk – they were held by young people aged 19-25. The women were shouting and begging to be shot first.

Today there is a memorial on the execution site. Schoolchildren take care of it and bring here flowers.

From Mogilev project "The lessons of the Holocaust"

Fence in Esmony.
Fence in Esmony.

Below are some of the names of the murdered Jews from Esmony (from the memories of a resident):

1. David, Rakhil

2. Velka, Sarah and the children

3. Leya, Itska

4. Haim, Nesia, Golda, Elia Tomchin

5. Boris, Sarah, Gilia Dardik

6. Yesel, Mira

7. Simon, Tsiva, Yankel Feldman

8. Yudka, Sarah

9. Meyer, Riva, Hana Livshitz

10. Girsha, Ita, Tsipa Fradkin

11. Basia

12. Shmuila, Nehama

13. Boris and Bela Bocharov

14. Leiba, Sarah

Prepared by A. Litin and I. Shenderovich.
Photo by A. Litin.

Jewish settlements in Mogilev region

MogilevAntonovkaBatsevichiBelynichiBelynkovichiBobruiskByhovChausyCherikov Dashkovka DribinEsmonyGluskGolovchinGorki GoryGrozdianka Hotimsk KirovskKlichev KonohovkaKostukovichi KrichevKruchaKrugloye Lenino LubonichiMartinovka MoliatichiMstislavlNaprasnovkaOsipovichi RodniaRudkovschina SamotevichiSapezhinkaSeletsShamovoShepelevichiShklovSlavgorodStaroselieSukhariSvislochVereschaki ZaverezhieZhilichi

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