Thank you, and another story #belarus


Hello All,

I hope this goes out. The other day I could not even post to the
address, it kept getting returned. And I haven't received any messages in a
Anyway, I wanted to thank all who responded to me about translating that
response I got back >from the Archives in Grodno. I have mailed a copy to
Miriam Weiner and she will help me with it.
It seems >from the collective response that it isn't a good idea to
give them any money. I will consider that advice. Thank you!!!! It's
heartbreaking to know that so much info that would be like gold to so many
is so hard to get at.
I wanted to share another story regarding my g-g-grandfather's
exodus >from Brest Litovsk in 1870's. This was in the wake of the failed 1863
uprising, and the Russian backlash I am sure was devastating to many Jewish
families all over Belarus. Now, I was told by a family member that
Thomas'(not his birth name...don't know that yet) parents feared for his
future there, especially that he would be taken into the Russian army.
Thomas said he, as a child, had terrible memories of the Cossacks thundering
into town, killing anyone in their path. And, I read in another memorial
book (I think it was the english translation of Luboml, or maybe Eishyshok)
that parents often resorted to mutilation to keep their sons >from being
qualified for service to the czar. In fact, at some point, the army took a
Jewish boy into the army who had gouged an eye out, just to make the
statement that mutilation won't work with the army...they would still take
them into the army regardless. Well, the story in my family goes that
Thomas' parents took little Thomas to "an old hag of a woman" who "injected"
something into his spine to give him a permanant curvature that would
disqualify him. I don't know the nature of this injection. I asked a doctor
friend if he knew of something, some injection, that could do this, and he
did not. I don't even know if they had injection needles back then. I have
read that some in the Jewish community had a superstitious streak and would
at times resort to folk rememdies, and even sorceries. I read of one Rabbi
saying it was ok to resort to sorcery for medical reasons! And I don't know
the nature of this woman...maybe a gypsy healer or peasant or something.
Maybe she did some "hocus pocus" over my great-great grandfather. But, whats
interesting is that for the rest of his life, Thomas always had a hunched
over look.


Joe Simpson
Glens Falls, NY
searching for Rosenfelds in Brest

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