Darkness and Desolation;
In Memory of the Communities of Braslaw,
Dubene, Jaisi, Jod, Kislowszczizna, Okmienic,
Opsa, Plusy, Rimszan, Slobodka, Zamosz, Zaracz

55°38' / 27°03'

Translation of
Emesh shoa; yad le-kehilot/gevidmet di kehiles Braslaw...

Edited by Machnes Ariel, Klinov Rina

Published by Association of Braslaw and Surroundings in Israel and America;
Ghetto Fighters House and Hakibbutz Hameuchad Publishing House


Our sincere appreciation to Yad Vashem
for the submission of the necrologies for placement on the JewishGen web site.



Project Coordinator

Jeff Deitch

Emerita Project Coordinator: Eilat Gordin Levitan


This is a translation from Emesh shoa; yad le-kehilot/gevidmet di kehiles Braslaw...,
(Darkness and desolation; in memory of the communities of Braslaw, Dubene, Jaisi, Jod,
Kislowszczizna, Okmienic, Opsa, Plusy, Rimszan, Slobodka, Zamosz, Zaracz),
Editors: Machnes Ariel, Klinov Rina, Israel, Association of Braslaw and Surroundings in Israel and America;
Ghetto Fighters House and Hakibbutz Hameuchad Publishing House, 1986 (H,Y,E, 640 pages).

Note: The original book can be seen online at the NY Public Library site: Braslaw

This material is made available by JewishGen, Inc. and the Yizkor Book Project for the purpose of
fulfilling our mission of disseminating information about the Holocaust and destroyed Jewish communities.
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Our mission is to produce a translation of the original work and we cannot verify the accuracy of statements or alter facts cited.



[Pages 2-8]

Translated from the Hebrew by Laia Ben-Dov

Donated by Jeff Deitch

Map of the Region Inside Front Cover
Introduction 9
From the Editorial Board 10
Braslav [Braslaw]: Chapters from Its History 13
Braslav: Historical Notes, by Yaacov Levin [including a map of Braslav on pages 20-21] 15
In Memory of Yerachmiel-Mendel Meirson, by Miriam (Mariashka) Rotenberg 35
The Story of Perke (Perel-Mina) Fisher 37
The Story of Yehuda Chepelevitz 43
The Story of Ziska (Reuven) Shmushkovitz 59
The Community of Braslav during the Holocaust 63
Deep, Deep Pits and Red, Red Loam, by Shmuel Halkin (poem) 65
In Memory of My Father, Rabbi Zvi-Hirsh [Valin], of Blessed Memory, by Israel Valin 66
In Memory of the Rabbi Rav Avraham-Abba-Yaacov Zahorie, of Blessed Memory, by Tuvia Fisher 68
About Chaim Munitz, of Blessed Memory, by Leyzer Ran 70
The Story of Masha Maron and Mendel Maron 72
The Story of Chaim Band 80
The Story of Yaacov Levin: A Simple Story of Prison Camp, Exile and Struggle 86
The Story of Mottel-Hirsh Fisher 90
The Story of Yerachmiel Biliak 96
The Story of Tuvia Fisher 108
The Story of Henka (Chana) Fisher 111
The Story of Yetta (Yentka) Vishkin 117
Like Arrows in the Hands of a Warrior Are the Children of One's Youth … (poems) 120
The Story of Anna (Niuta) Zelikman 124
From the Courtroom [The Trial of Stanislav Yashinski/Stanislaw Jasinski] 134
Stanislav Yashinski [Stanislaw Jasinski]: Murderer of the Jews of Braslav 136
The Story of Boris Ulman 143
The Story of Moshe Vishkin 145
The Story of Eliezer Fisher 155
The Story of Tzipora (Faiga-Tzipka) Toker 159
The Story of Sara Movshenzon 164
The Story of Chana Lubovitz and Zusman Lubovitz 217
The Story of Moshe Milutin 227
The Story of Rafael Charat 234
The Story of Avraham Biliak 239
The Story of Chaim-Eliahu Deitch 245
The Story of Yerachmiel Milutin 254
The Story of Yitzchak Reichel 258
The Story of Liuba Shmidt 263
The Story of Emma (Esther) Milutin-Korner 274
The Story of Chaim Munitz (letter) 280
About Tevka (Tuvia) Biliak, by Moshe Bogomolski     283
About the Bank Family, by Yaacov Levin 286
The Story of Chaim Ben-Arieh (Burat): From the Ghetto to the Ranks of the Partisans and the Palmach 288
About Isser Rabinovitz 293
The Story of Zalman Charmatz 297
About Peretz Levin (letters) 300
About the Three Fighting Veinshtein [Weinstein] Brothers (letters / notes) 302
About Gershon Yankelevitz, by Yaacov Levin 308
About Mikhael (Mendel) Sherman, by Bilha Sherman [his wife] 309
The Story of Sara Shmushkovitz 310
On the Terrain of Braslav, by Yoel Nimnov (poem) 312
In Memory of the Fallen
I Weep over My Son's Passing, by a father (poem) 313
Amitai Kort 315
Chaim Robowitz 316
Zvi (Yehoshua-Heshel) Zeif 316
Arieh Levin 317
Shmuel Berkman 318
Opsa 321
Map of Opsa 322
The Story of Yaacov Aviel (Abelevitz) 323
The Story of Mordechai (Motke) Rosenberg 339
The Story of Arieh Munitz 352
About Melechke the Geroi (Hero), by Arieh Munitz and His Sister, Zehava Bilogoski 354
Okmenitz [Okmienic / Okmianica]
The Story of Alexander (Shmaryahu) Dagovitz 356
Dubina [Dubene] 367
The Story of Sima Moretsky 369
The Story of Rivka Rukshin 377
The Story of Mira Lotz 381
The Story of Zalman Levin 389
The Story of Chana-Feiga Berkman 390
Zamosh [Zamosz] 393
The Story of Chalvina Pinchov 393
Zarach [Zaracz / Zaracze]
The Story of Shlomo Reichel 397
Yaisi [Jaisi / Jejse / Jajsy]
The Story of Shneiur Munitz 399
Yod [Jod / Jody] 403
The Story of Slava Pinchov 405
The Story of Zalman Fisher 427
The Story of Liuba Yanovski 432
Map: Ghettos and Partisan Camps 1941-1944 438
Partisans in the Braslav Region 440
Partisans from Yod 441
The Story of Boris Berkman 445
Kislovshchitzna [Kislowszczyzna]
The Story of Masha Kapitza 451
Yizkor [Remembrance] 457
Let the Nation of Israel Remember . . . 459
Statement by Polia (Pesia) Kahat 461
Remove the Shoes from Your Feet . . . 462
Next to the Monument, by Yaacov Aviel (poem) 465
I Will Remember These . . .
[List of Dead on Pages 467-496, a Direct Translation of the Hebrew Original]         
Braslav [a.k.a. Braslaw] 467
Opsa 481
Dubina [a.k.a. Dubene/Dubinovo] 483
Zamosh [a.k.a. Zamosz/Zamosh'ye/Zamoscie] 486
Yaisi [a.k.a. Jejse/Jaisi] 487
Yod [a.k.a. Jod/Jody/Iody] 488
Slobodka 492
Plusy [a.k.a. Plussy/Plusa/Plyussy] 493
Kislovshchitzna [a.k.a. Kislowszczyzna/Kozlovshchina] 494
Rimshan [a.k.a. Rimszan/Rimšė] 495
My Perished Town
[Yiddish Section: A Yiddish-Language Abridged Version of the Hebrew Text, Plus a Photo on Page 568 of Braslav Region Survivors and Family Members at Holon Cemetery in Israel                                                                                                                           
Darkness and Desolation
[English Section by Rachelle Mann Rachman: Most of It a Translation of the Yiddish-Language Section, Plus a List on Pages 571 and 572 of Gentiles Who Saved Jews in the Braslav Region]  
Appendix: Necrologies

[These necrologies are not an exact reproduction of the list in the memorial book but a version of it that was prepared by Yad Vashem and reformatted in English alphabetical order, and is added here by JewishGen as a supplement. For the full list of dead that was published in the memorial book, see pages 467-496.]

Braslav (Braslaw, Belarus) 
Opsa (Belarus)
Dubina (Dubene/Dubinovo, Belarus))
Zamosz (Zamosh'ye, Belarus)
Yaisi (Jejse/Jaisi, Belarus)
Yod (Jod/Jody/Iody, Belarus)
Slobodka (Belarus)
Plusy (Plyussy, Belarus)
Kislowszczizna (Kozlovshchina, Belarus)
Rimshan (Rimszan/Rimšė, Lithuania)


Translated from the Hebrew by Laia Ben-Dov

Donated by Jeff Deitch

My contribution to the book is a memorial candle for my family that was killed in the Holocaust with all the Jews of Braslav
My father, Zerach Bogomolski
My mother, Chasia-Rachel
My sister, Sara-Leah
And in memory of my good and devoted wife, Clara, of blessed memory, who passed away on 26 Shevat 5743 [February 9, 1983]

--- Moshe Bogomolski

Editors: Ariel Machnes, Rina Klinov
Editorial Board: Yaacov Aviel, Moshe Bogomolski, Yaacov Levin, Aharon Shmutser
Book Committee: Yaacov Aviel, Moshe Bogomolski, Chaim Band, Boris Berkman, Moshe Goldin, Moshe Vishkin, Zalman Charmatz, Yaacov Levin, Arieh Munitz, Yehuda Chepelevitz, Isser Rabinovitz, Aharon Shmutser
Members of the Committee in the United States: Leib-Shmuel Bernamov, Tsala [Charles] Witkin, Leib Chanin, Mendel Maron, Tuvia Fisher, Michael Kopach, Yehoshua Shuran
Translations into Hebrew (from Yiddish, Polish and Russian) and Initial Editing: Yaacov Aviel, Moshe Bogomolski, Chaim Band, Yaacov Levin, Aharon Korner, Aharon Shmutser
Yiddish Abridged Version: Yaacov Levin
Editing of the Yiddish Version: Zvi (Tzvi) Eisenman
Translation of the Abridged Version into English: Rachel Mann [Rachman]
Map of Braslav (Drawn from Memory) [on pages 20-21]: Chaim Band
Map of Opsa (Drawn from Memory) [on page 322]: Yaacov Aviel
Photographs: Private collections
Gathering of Material: Moshe Bogomolski
Graphic Editing: Arieh Velleman

[Total of 640 pages, comprising 496 pages in Hebrew, a Yiddish-language section of 72 pages, and an English-language section of 72 pages]

Copyright by the Ghetto Fighters' House
Printed in Israel 1986 (5746)
Chidekel Printers Ltd., Tel Aviv


[Dedication for the Hebrew-to-English translations of the memorial book

The translations were donated to commemorate with love a people and a region, and to make the record of tragic sacrifice and heroic resistance more fully available in English.

Many thanks to the translators of the 85 sections that were commissioned: Laia Ben-Dov (who translated three-quarters of the book), Jerrold Landau, Ida Schwarcz, Yaacov David Shulman and Aaron Krishtalka. And to those at JewishGen who handled the uploading in 2020-21.

Thank you to the donors/translators of seven sections completed independently before I began: Jon Seligman, Eilat Gordin Levitan, Guy Elitzur, and the translator Joshua Leifer (whose section was donated by Joshua Levkowicz).

Most of all, thank you to Yaacov Aviel, Moshe Bogomolski, Ariel Machnes, Rina Klinov and all of the others who produced the original book that this English translation was made from.

In memory of all the families in this book, my relatives among them. And in memory of the survivors; a meeting years ago with two of them --- Mira Lotz and her husband, Mendel Lotz --- set in motion the process that led to these translations.

--- Jeff Deitch]


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