19 April 2018, Thursday, 18:28

American Guests Find Ancestors’ Burials In Chavusy


The first thing the Americans did was asking about the famous Jewish surnames of the Belarusian town.

On Saturday, July 8, a delegation of four people from the United States visited the town of Chavusy, chausynews.by reports.

The purpose of their visit was to find the graves of their relatives in the Chavusy Jewish cemetery, and to see the places where the Jewish communitites were once located, as well as the presumable place of residence of their ancestors.


Initially, the delegation arrived to the local history museum. The Americans were interested in the history of the life of Jews during the Great Patriotic War. On the threshold of the building they were met by research assistant Tatsiana Fiodarava, who spoke in detail about the events that interested them. First of all, they asked about the famous Jewish surnames, such as Koshevarova-Rudneva, Manevich, Danilovich and Sharon.


Later, the American group went across the streets – Mahileuskaya (now Leninskaya) Street and Bazarnaya (now Manevich) Street in search of the intersections between these streets as, presumably, the place of residence of their ancestors were located somewhere in this area. The guests photographed the house of the Niapomniashchykjh family in Frunze street. Tatsiana Fiodarava told thge guests that, according to Ida Shenderovich, the compiler of the catalogue of Jewish cemeteries in Mahiliou region (including Chavusy district), once the synagogue was located on the site of the current building of the organization DOSAAF. American Arina asked her next question:

- Where was the area of compact residence of the Jewish population and where was the ghetto located?

Tatsiana answered that the Jews lived in the Kazinka area. The guests wanted to hear in detail about the executions of the Jews in Chavusy during the war. The museum's scientist told that the first mass executions took place in August 1941, the Nazis had no mercy for children, or the elderly, or women. The Germans simply threw children into the ditch on corpses. The Americans were absolutely struck by the fact that people were waiting for their death, seeing how those ahead of them were being killed. They were shocked by such cruelty. Having learned that the place of execution was in Dranukha, near the Pronia river, the guests decided to go there, but first went to the Jewish cemetery.


The first monument to the Jews who died during the war was placed by Chavusy native Isai Aronovich Sinitsyn. The Americans carefully examined all the inscriptions on the main monument. The guests also found the stone of their relative - Katz Yitzhak, Shmuel's son. They said that the family left Chavusy for the United States in 1908, but not all loved ones left the country. The Americans found three stones that were not listed in the book "The Node of Life" and asked why they were not included? Tatsiana suggested that the inscriptions were erased over time, and no one could read what was written on them. Then the American journalist took foam for shaving and applied to the stone, wiping it with a paper towel. The embossed inscriptions filled with foam and it became clear that they could be read. The Americans saw all burials, and then went to Dranukha near the Pronia river to search for the places of execution of Jews. Impressed and touched, the American guests left our town late in the evening.