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

Bruce Drake

There is much to enjoy in “Only Memories Are Left” from the Yizkor book of Dokshytsy, Belarus. I can only compare its words to a vivid painting in its descriptions of the town and its environs.
“Sprinkled with beech trees, the road traverses the forests and the villages… There is silence and only the herdsman's flute dares interrupt the bliss… Not only the flute shatters the tranquility - A great sound suddenly is heard: " Ku ku-ku ku-ku ku-ku ku" - among the tree tops - the mockingbird… A flock of snow-white doves flying among the trees. An eye-full of blossom and new life! A new spring has conquered the land…Autumn - sheafs of standing corn - like wigwams. The smell of dry hay... And, in winter, whiteness and frost. Trees tops and house roofs covered with snow. At home - plated windows. A blazing stoked fire-place, and the windows full of blossomed frost lilies.”
The same eloquence touches stories of Disha leaving for America, the bonding of the people over the making of matzoh as Passover approaches, the joy of the children at the advent of Hannukah, young people sitting on the hay in a barn singing, "with feelings of nostalgia, warmth and love all around."
And the lament that ends the chapter after all these things have been wiped out by the Holocaust:
“In the town: streets, alleys, squares, markets, synagogues and schools. Children, boys, women, grown-ups, elderly - everything is gone to dust. Only stories are left, memories, nostalgia and a heart torn in infinite grief.”

Bruce Drake
Silver Spring, MD

Towns: Wojnilow, Kovel