This week's Yizkor book excerpt on the JewishGen Facebook page #belarus #yizkorbooks #JewishGenUpdates


Bruce Drake
 

Yizkor books are filled with many different kinds of chapters: heart-rending stories of hardship, suffering, families torn apart, the horrors inflicted by the Germans and also accounts of heroism, bravery in the face of death, acts of faith, eking out a living against the odds and people who made special marks on their communities.
“Volozhin Memories” from the Yizkor book of Volzhin (Belarus) falls into another category, that is a favorite of mine: reminisces that paint word portraits of the daily life of a shtetl. Shoshana Nishri – Berkovich begins on market day, when peasant farmers in their distinctive garments poured into town and goes on to describe how the Jewish population lived in the time before electricity and running water. She describes the typical single-floor houses built of wood (increasing the frequency disastrous fires), the kitchens in which the housewives cooked (and especially, baked bread), ice-skating on a frozen lake and skiing in the hills, how people came together in times of mourning and trouble and how they rejoiced on happy occasions like weddings.
 
 

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Bruce Drake
Silver Spring, MD

Researching: DRACH, EBERT, KIMMEL, ZLOTNICK
Towns: Wojnilow, Kovel

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