July 31, 2017

Mass surveys underway in Belarus

ESJF European Jewish Cemeteries Initiative in cooperation with The U.S. Commission for the Preservation of America’s Heritage Abroad has now officially started its Belarus survey project with the completion of surveys last week in Volozhyn raion of Minsk oblast.

In total, six cemeteries were visited and documented – Rakov (Ракаў), Volozhin (Валожын), Kamen (Камень), Vishnevo (Вішнева) and two cemeteries in Ivenets (Івянец).

The ESJF survey team also visited the villages of Zakhazhova (Захажава), Byaryava (Бярава), Bryli (Брылі) and Bogdanovo (Багданава), where recorded Jewish communities were identified by our historical researchers. However, Jewish cemeteries were not found in these villages. Following interviews with local inhabitants, it appears that there were no cemeteries in these villages and local Jews were buried in nearby settlements.

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