Motal - Cultural Heritage Card
Motal (Polish Motol, Belorussian Моталь, Hebrew מוטאל) — is an Agro-town (village) in Ivanovsk district, Brest region of Belarus. It is the administrative center of Motal village council.
Motal is situated in the center of Polesye, in the northern part of Zagorodye plain. The relief of the ground is flat, weakly sinking to flood-lands of Yaselda River. The highest point is in the south of the village. It is Zhadova Mountain. Yaselda River flows through the northern suburbs of Motal. The river falls into Montal Lake which is in its turn connected with Zaozersk Lake.
Landscape around the agro-town is mainly of anthropogenic nature (agriculturally used areas). There are many forest vegetations. These are mainly pine forests. There are also small ponds. The biggest one is called Vidmenets. Two streams flow through Motal (Struga and Pilina).
Administratively Motal is divided into 10 plots. But historically this agro-town is divided into separate districts (Luka, Korzhyvka, Trubel, Morovyatnitsa, Vygon, Potyshche, Kalilskaya as well as Zaozerye, Dedovichi and Pantsevichi) which earlier were separate villages but after the war of 1941-1945 they were included to Motal.
Legends about origine of the name
During existence of a trade route from the Galician Rus to the Grand Duchy of Lithuania at the road from Pinsk to Bezdesh settlement a man of enterprise by surname Motyl (or by name Motl) built an inn and a tavern to organize rest of people and horses. Other people gradually joined Motyl (or Motl) because of the advantageous location. And so a settlement was created. "Let's go to Matyl" a phrase was then. And so the name of a new village was created and fixed.
There is also a legend about 100-year old Jew called Motl who proposed to his fellow-villagers to go down to Golodok River and to settle on one of island in order to save themselves from frequent raids of Swede troops.
These meadows situated not far from the river and filled with various plants and aromatic flowers were a perfect place for butterflies. A great number of butterflies (Slavic "Motyl") were so surprising for first inhabitants that they gave a respective name to this area (Motyl).
The first human settlements in the area of Motal Lake belong to the Mesolithic epoch and are dated back to the 9th - the 5th millenniums B.C.
In written sources (Lithuanian Metrica acts) Motal is first mentioned in 1422 as a private ownership included to Pinsk principality. In 1520 the settlement belonged to Pinsk prince Fedor Ivanovich Yaroslavitch who presented these lands to the Assumption Leshchinsk Church. There is also a document confirming this fact (a carter - letter of grant) where it is stated as follows:
"... I, Prince Fedor Ivanovich Yaroslavich inform who these lands are going to be owned by in accordance with our will. We present the God's Church of the Virgin Mary in Leshchi with five lakes: one lake in our village Motal, and the second lake situated in the neighborhood of Motal and called Zhyden, and two lakes in Tyshkovichi called Vylne and Skupoye, and the fifth lake in Poretsk district called Goshche...
This document is signed by me Prince Fedor Ivanovich Yaroslavich in Pinsk..."
After prince's death Motal was obtained by king of Poland Sigismund I the Old who then presented it to his wife Bona Sforza.
In the middle of the 16th century Motal became one of centers of handicraft and trading. Big fairs were carried out here. These fairs were attended by people coming from all over the vicinity.
In 1555 Motal obtained the Magdeburg Law and its inhabitants obtained respective privileges. In 1706 Sweden troops entered the village. The settlement was burnt and the majority of population was killed. On the 28th of November king of Poland August III confirmed privileges of the settlement.
In the 17th - the 18th centuries Motal was an eldership center in Brest voivodeship. It is known that starting from 1766 the settlement was owned by Michail Casimir Ogninskiy and Martin Volunskiy.
In 1795 the settlement was included first to Slonim, then to Lithuanian and in 1801 - to Grodno governments of the Russian Empire.
In 1812 the settlement was devastated by French troops.
In summer 1864 a half of the settlement was destroyed in the result of a fire. Authorities presented money for reconstruction of the settlement but these funds were used for construction of the Holy Transfiguration Church.
In 1905 mass disorders occurred in the settlement. In the result of these disorders property of landowners Yurgenson and Kolodny was significantly damaged.
In September 1915 Motal was occupied by German troops. In February 1919 the village was occupied by Polish troops but in July 1920 it was released by the Red Army and the Soviet power was established. Motal Volost Council of peasant deputies was formed.
In March 1921 in accordance with Riga peace treaty Motal was again included to Poland where it became a part of Drogichin district (Polesye voivodeship).
In 1921 Motal had 764 buildings (predominantly wooden ones) and its population was 4,390 people. The national composition of population was as follows: 1,363 Poles, 2,531 defined themselves as poleshuki (Rusyns), 640 Jews. As for their confessional composition the most of Motal population belonged to the Orthodoxy (3,241 people, 73.8 %) and Jews (1,140 people, 25.9%).
During the interwar period building of gmina council was situated in Motal being an administrative center. The settlement also had a significant (as for its staff) fire protection service. Despite the fact that there wasn't any separate building used as a hospital during 1930-s medical aid to population of the settlement was rendered by physician Sheyla Feldman. There was also a feldsher's station where medical assistant Skhauder performed his medical practice. Starting from 1922 a private pharmacy shop worked in the settlement. It was owned by local Jews.
Some citizens of Motal were engaged in agriculture. Fishing was also popular. Sources of information testify that there was a private fishing enterprise in the settlement and it brought a significant profit to its owner. Workmanship in Motal turned into the main occupation of citizens which was oriented to the market. This fact is confirmed by a great number of professional craftsmen owners of their own private workshops. In 1928 Motal had 68 workshops and 14 kinds of craftsman occupations: carpenters – 6, shoemakers – 7, painters – 1, brick layers – 1, joiners – 4, tailors – 4, tanners – 9, coachmen – 2, smiths – 6, butchers – 8, hairdressers – 1, weavers – 11, furriers – 6. This information is incomplete because many craftsmen worked illegally without craftsman (handicraft) cards. Some citizens of the settlement were specialists in several spheres simultaneously but had a handicraft card just in one of these specialties.
Eight times per year, on big Catholic and Orthodox holidays, fairs were carried out in the settlement. And once per week auctions were organized. Motal fair carried out on "Desiatukha" (the holiday of God's body) was of great goods turnover and had many participants.
There were a lot of Jewish shops in the Market square where any goods could be purchased. According to archive sources of information there were 85 shops (both general and specialized ones) in the settlement. These were shops of sausages, butcher's shops, liquor shops, shops of technical equipment, furniture, footwear, clothes etc.
Drinking establishments brought the most stable income. There were 16 such establishments in Motal: 4 liquor shops, 2 coffee houses, 4 taverns, 1 restaurant, 2 inns, 1 saloon, 2 refreshment rooms. The most of mentioned sales points were owned by Jews. But for take away sale of alcoholic beverages a concession was needed and it was given predominantly to Poles. Local Jews leased such concessions from Poles and that gave them an opportunity to open their own shops. Production of alcohol and vodka as well as selling these goods was under a strict control of the state. This control was performed by the service excise duty service or by the police. The state archive of Brest region includes quite interesting documents concerning organization of alcoholic beverages sale in the settlement. So, on the 1st of July during a revision concerning counterfeit of vodka a liquor shop owned by Sats Khane was closed. In 1929 citizens of Motal addressed the local administration asking to prolong the period of work of a liquor shop because this shop worked only till 07:00 p.m. But this request wasn't fulfilled.
Production of alcoholic beverages is one of the most profitable spheres of industry. Three distilleries and two beer factories worked in the settlement. These enterprises predominantly serviced their internal market.
In Motal there were two street traders who were engaged in retail delivery trade: during auctions and fairs they bought various trifles and then they resold their goods in neighboring villages as well as in the settlement. Street traders provoked no competition to stationary trading because their prices were much higher.
Despite the specialization of Polesye voivodeship (forest and chemical spheres of industry) food industry and tanning industry were more actively developing in Motal. In 1923 a cooperative diary plant worked in the settlement where 1,569 cows were kept. In 1927 Motal had 6 butcher's shops. Four of them were owned by Jews. Y.Vladlavskiy tannery was a small handicraft enterprise where two hired workers worked.
Flour manufacture took an important part in the economic life of citizens of the settlement. This fact is confirmed by a big number of mills. In average each Polesye settlement had from 2 to 4 mills. And there were eight mills in Motal: two steam powered mills and six windmills. Main products manufactured at mills included rye flour, wheat flour, barley cereal, buckwheat and wheat middling.
On the 18th of September 1939 an action against Polish authorities took place in Motal and on the 21st of September units of the Red Army entered the village. The Soviet power was established and the settlement council was formed.
On the 26th of June 1941 Motal was occupied by Nazi Germany. Local citizens formed partisan parties. On the 1st of August 1941 an action on extermination of Jewish population was carried out in the village. It was executed by SS troops. From the 28th of March and up to the 4th of April battles between German troops and partisan parties took place in the suburbs of Motal. These battles ended with defeat of partisans. After that the rest of Jewish population was exterminated and the settlement was burnt. Motal was released on the 16th of July 1944.
According to the inventory list of 1798 Motal had 617 inhabitants: 267 men and 307 women. There were 3 gentry yards and 11 Jewish yards, 113 yards belonging to middle class citizens and 13 bondmen yards.
Two water mills worked in the settlement on Yaselda River.
According to census of 1806 there were 152 Jews in the settlement (64 men and 88 women). According to census of 1811 the Jewish community of Motal consisted of 222 persons.
According to data of church records of 1871 Motal had 274 yards and 2,249 inhabitants. Trading was also in active development: there were more than 10 shops owned by Jews.
In 1885 404 of 2,194 inhabitants were Jews. According to census of 1897 the total population of the settlement was 4,297; 1,354 of them were Jews. In 1921 Jewish population of the settlement was 1,140 persons (26%).
According to the data of the 1st of January 2009 population of the agro-town was 4,079 people. Among them there were representatives of more than 10 nationalities (Byelorussians, Ukrainians, Russians, Poles, Jews etc.). Confessional composition of population: Orthodox Christians, Catholic Christians, Baptists, Jews.
History of the Jewish community
The first written source where Motal Jewish community is mentioned belongs to 1562. That year "Hospodar Jew tax collector Favish Yeskovich Kobrinskiy" who leased a right to collect goods tax from Pinsk and Kobrin elder Stanislav Andreyevich Davoyny set a complaint on Savostyan Yesifovich Druzhylovitskiy because he didn't permit Yeskocich to collect the tax "in his settlement Motal and in all neighboring villages". According to the respective document citizens of Motal knew Jews who collected taxes. But it remains unknown whether these Jews were full-time livers in the settlement. But documents of the 17th century present direct evidence that there was a Jewish community in the settlement. The territorial book of Pinsk includes information about two documents dated the 13th of August 1652. In one of these documents priest of Motal church set a complaint against Motal Jews leaseholders (Leybu Girshevich and his son-in-law) for giving him wounds and blows. This conflict occurred when the Jews built a house in Motal on Sunday (an off-duty day for Christians). The second document is a confirmation of Baranovich's words.
The debt inscription presented by Pinsk qahal to Jews on the 16th of January presented a list of all settlements where Jews belonged to Pinsk qahal: Lyakhovichi, Kletsk, Khomsk, Yanov, Drogichin, Motal, Turov, Davyd-Gorodok, Kazhan-Gorodok, Lakhva, Stolin, Vysotsk, Lubashev and Dubrovitsa.
Some other documents belonging to the second half of the 17th century presented names of Motal leaseholders: Movsha Yatskovich, Girsha Zelmanovich, Yudka Bogushevskiy, Yevzia Movshovich and Leyba Movshovich.
In the 19th century Jewish population took a significant part of Motal. So, in accordance with the revision carried out in 1806 there were 152 Jews in the settlement: (64 men and 88 women); according to the revision of 1811 the Jewish community of Motal consisted of 222 people. In 1885 404 of 2,194 inhabitants were Jews. In 1896 there were 654 living houses in Motal.
The settlement also had a stone church a wooden chapel, two Jewish prayerful schools, a public specialized school, the volost council, two bread saving village shops. Industry was represented with two candle workshops, a fullery, three smithies and a horse mill. There was one tavern and 16 trading shops. According to census of 1897 the total population of the settlement was 4,297; 1,354 of them were Jews.
In 1811 functions of "shokhet"[a cutter performing slaughter of livestock and birds in accordance with ritual prescriptions] were performed by Movsha-Shloma Leybovich Chemerinskiy.
In 1841 rabbi position in the settlement was taken by Velvel Areliovich.
During 1882–1900 position of the village elder was taken by Srol Movshovich.
In the middle of the 19th century position of the village rabbi was taken by Mordkhe-Meir; at the end of the 19th century Akiva Bergman was the rabbi and starting from 1910 these functions were performed by Meir-Chaim Dolinko.
From the end of the 19th century Palestinian societies "Hibat Zion" and "Safa Brura" performed their activities in Motal.
In 1895 a prayerful Jewish school worked in Motal. It was situated in house of Yudel Portnoy in Pinskaya Street. In 1898 prayerful board of this school was elected. This board included such positions as scientist (Shmerko Yevnovich Kribitskiy), elder (Borukh Fraimovich Liberman), treasurer (Yudel Shmuylovich Pulik). Later Liberman wasn't approved in his position as far as he was on trial four times.
In the beginning of the 20th century there were two synagogues in Motal.
In 1913 the entire medical staff (a physician, a dentist, and a midwife) was presented by Jews. Jews were owners of the only warehouse of pharmacy products, 3 grocery shops and the only fancy shops.
Jewish shops and inns were situated all around the Market square. The synagogue and the church were situated in front of each other.
The first president of Israel State Chaim Weizmann was born in Motal (1874). His parents were Ezer Weizmann (1850-1939) and Rokhel-Leya Chemerinskaya. He came here to his relatives and learned Torah. It is unknown under what circumstances Chaim Weizmann became acquainted with the daughter of Motal leaseholder Michael Chemerinskiy Rakhel-Leya who later became his wife. It happened in 1866 when Ezer was 16 years old and Rakhel was then just 14 years of age. Chaim was the third child in Weizmann's family (the total number of children was 15). Chaim obtained his elementary education at home. Blumenfeld and Honon Sokolovskiy were his teachers in Motal. At the age of 11 Chaim was sent to Pinsk gymnasium for further education. There he studied from 1885 and up to 1892. On the year of his graduation from the gymnasium his entire family moved to Pinsk.
Unlike Weizmann's family representatives of Chemirinskiy's family had deep roots in Motal. According to documents of the 19th - beginning of the 20th century there were several families of Chimerinskiys in the settlement and they lived there at least starting from the second half of the 18th century. It should be noted that during such a prolonged period of time this family left a significant trace in the Jewish history of Motal.
Enumeration lists of Kobrin district of 1806 include three Chemrinskiy families living directly in Motal. The biggest family was the family of Vavel Abelevich Chemerinskiy (54 years old). It consisted of his wife Beyla (45 years old), two sons Gitla and Itski (20 and 30 years old) two infant daughters Fruma and Odla and Vavel's mother Odla (75 years old). In column "Remarks" it was stated that they had arrived from Karolin of Pinsk district. Two other families were their direct relatives: 70-year old widower Shmuyla Meyerovich Chemerinskiy with his daughter and his son Abram Shmuylovich Chemerinskiy with his wife, his son and his three daughters. It is possible that the second son was Girsh Shmuylovich Chemerinskiy who was owner of an inn (tavern) in village Molodovo and was registered at Motal qahal. Vigdor Mikheliovich Chemerinsky (a leaseholder in village Tyshkevichi) and his family also belonged to Motal qahal.
The next in succession census (enumeration list) alongside with five above mentioned families includes two additional ones: that one of butcher Movsha-Sholom Leybovich Chemirinskiy (36 years old) and that one of David Grishevich Chemerinskiy (55 years old).
During the second half of the 19th century representatives of Chemerinskiy's family took various positions in the management system of the settlement Jewish society. So, on the 22nd of January 1844 "elections of members of the Jewish society for the next three years from the 1st of January 1841 up to the 1st of January 1844" were carried out. In Motal qahal senior positions were taken by Leizer Itskovich Chemerinskiy (qahal executive), Vavel Areliovich (learned rabbi) and Vigdor Mikheliovich Chemerinskiy who became the elder (gebe) and the treasurer (neyman) at the same time. In column "place of living and the Russian language command" in front of the name of Leyzer Chemerinskiy it is stated that he has a house worth up to 300 rubles in silver, command of Hebrew "as far as nobody in the settlement has got a good command of Russian". Others had houses worth up to 100 rubles in silver.
During the 1880-s the basket tax in Motal was for a long period kept by Nokhman Yevnovich Chemerinskiy. In the certificate giving right to take part in trading it is stated that he was a prosperous person of a good behavior having his own immovable property. In 1885 Nokhman was dismissed from keeping the basket tax but after he paid missing 70 rubles he became keeper of the basket tax again.
At the end of the 19th century during a period of almost twenty years position of the settlement elder was taken by Srol Movshovich Chemerinskiy who was possibly Chaim Weizmann's uncle through the maternal line. This position was obtained by Srol Movshovich in competition with representatives of another influential family living in Motal (Pinskiy's family). It happened that power in Motal appeared to be divided between families of Chemrinskiys and Pinskiys. Chemrinskiys took leading positions in the settlement council and Pinskiys were at the head of the prayerful board of the society. It was stated that the father of the first president of Israel Eter Weizman during a prolonged period took the position of deputy elder and even elder of the settlement.
At the end of 1881 Kobrin district police board informed that Motal Jews refused to elect a new deputy rabbi because Abram Pinskiy "as a persom having a good command of Russian and having 12 years of experience in this position was quite a corresponding person for this position". But a law is a law and on the 1st of March 1882 elections of the deputy rabbi of Motal Jewish society were performed. The list of candidates included three persons: Srol Movshovich Chemerinskiy, Abram Mordukhovich Pinskiy and Berko Srolevich Pulik. The "List of persons who carried out the elections of the deputy rabbi in Motal settlement" included 71 names. And the following Chemirinskiys were included to this list: Benjamin, Dovid-BBer, Airik, Nokhman, Berko, Srol, Itsko, Chaim-Leib, Khemya, Movsha and another Srol. According to the original document Yevzor Weizman was also included to this list under number 31. In accordance with requirements of the law participants of these elections had to sign a decisive oath and that was done. At the same time it turned out that Khemya, Srol Khemyavich, Movsha and Chaim-Leyb Chemirinskiys were illiterate. By majority votes (58 votes for, 13 votes against) Berko Pulik was elected as the deputy rabbi. All lists were signed by the village elder (Iodel (Yudel) Pulik) and some lists also include signature of his deputy (E.Weizman).
The further events in Motal were as follows.
On the 27th of August 1882 elections of new members of Motal prayerful board were held. Elected new members included: Gler Shakhat (the elder), Berko Aronovich Pinskiy (the treasurer), Shmerkh Movshovich Piasetskiy (the scientist). Despite the fact that his relative was elected to the prayerful board Abram Pinskiy didn't put up with his defeat at elections of the deputy rabbi. He wrote a complaint to Grodno Government Board. He informed that the village elder Pulik had included his illiterate relative to the electoral lists. This complaint had for Pinskiy a positive result: Berko Pulik was defined as incapable to perform his duties and new elections were called. In act dated the 5th of October 1882 it is stated that "For performing prescriptions of Grodno Government Board and the police officer of the 5th class Motal village council defined elections of the deputy rabbi (as far as Pulik is unable to perform his duties) to be carried out on the 5th of October but the district rabbi Shaerat didn't arrive and that's why elections should be postponed up to the 20th of October". It is unknown what happened with Iodel Pulik during a period of a bit longer than a month but the act of the 5th of October was signed by Motal village elder E. Weizman and his deputy S. Chemirinskiy.
Repeat elections of the deputy rabbi in Motal were carried out in accordance with the taken decision i.e. on the 20th of October 1882. And the balloting bulletin included only one name (Abram Mordkovich Pinskiy). And he was elected by the majority of votes: 44 – "for", 5 – "against". It should be noted that of all Chemerinskiys only Khemya Chemerinskiy took part in the elections and the list of participants of the elections was signed by "the Motal deputy village elder S. Chemerinskiy". Apperantly Chamerinskiys didn't want Abram Pinskiy to be elected and ignored elections. After they were not successful at elections of the deputy rabbi they took power to their hands at the village council. That very year Srol Movshovich Chemerinskiy became the legitimate elder of the Council and took this position up to 1900.
Chemerinskiys took an active part in another event. In February 1883 forty Motal Jews including almost all Chemerinskiys (Benjamin, Chaim-Leib, Girshka and others) informed Grodno governor that "on the 29th of January this year Abram Pinskiy arrived to the prayerful school drunken during a divine service and performed a noise. He cried that he would pay for funerals, weddings and circumcisions and that the society had to bring him money back". Persons who the complaint was signed by asked to appoint Shmuyla Rubenshtein instead of Pinskiy.
In his explanation Abram Pinskiy denied all charges. He explained that he called his coreligionists to pray for the Emperor and his family. But the struggle against Pinskiy wasn't over on that. In June 1883 discontent with the deputy rabbi was expressed by the elder of Motal prayerful house Giler Shakhat. In his petition addressed to the governor of Grodno he stated that in Motal prayerful houses were organized in various private houses without appropriate examination by the chief of the district and that this fact was of significant material harm for the prayerful house. He noted that Deputy Rabbi Abram Pinskiy didn't respond to Shakhat's proposals and so Shakhat asked "His Excellency to resolve the situation".
It is unknown whether inquests were held concerning all these statements against Pinskiy. But even if it was so Abram Pinskiy was seemingly innocent of the charges brought against him or maybe he just managed to get out of this unpleasant situation. According to documents of the beginning of the 1890-s he took the same position of the deputy rabbi. In October 1891 deputy rabbi in Motal Abram Pinskiy informed that Shmerko Piasetskiy taking the position of the elder of the prayerful board at Motal school at the Market square had died on the 5th of February and in the result of that it was necessary to organize elections. The elections were carried out by the village elder Yankel Dovid-Grish Piasetskiy, Treasurer Berko Aronovich Pinskiy and scientist Berko Meyerovich Pruzhanskiy.
The following year (1892) became the year when 71-year old Abram Pinskiy lost his authoritative position. But it happened not because of his declining years but because he was brought to justice. In the report of Metal village council (headed by elder Srol Movshovich Chemerinskiy) dated the 21st of February it was stated: "Despite the fact that Abram Mordkovich Pinskiy was elected deputy rabbi by the majority of votes but according to the order of the Provincial government he was brought to justice for improper keeping of parish registers". Then there was a request to approve Berko Ioselevich who obtained 38 ballots although he had a bad command of Russian as far as he was a person of good behavior, had never been brought to justice and was politically safe. The report was supplemented with the list of citizens who had taken part in the elections (73 persons including some representatives of Chemerinskiys families - Abram-Leyb, Khemya, Leyb, Chaim-Leyb, Meyer, Srol Khemionovich) as well as with ballot proceedings with information about candidates and number of votes "for" and "against" (Abram Pinskiy, Shmerko Krivitskiy, Borukh Liberman, Berko Gotlib, Osher Eisenberg). But A. Pinskiy wasn't going to give up. He filed an application where he stated that elections had been carried out irregularly as far as less than 2/3 of the community had taken part in these elections. "There are 180 Jewish houses in Motal and only 73 houses took part in the elections. Major house owners and five-yard deputies didn't take part. And Berko Gotlib belongs to Pinsk Jewish community and is illiterate".
By means of his application Pinskiy achieved that new elections were appointed. These elections took place on the 20th of July 1892. As far as Abram himself was under trial he couldn't stand as a candidate. The son (Itska Abramovich Pinskiy) continued his father's business. Two candidates were included to the balloting list. And the son of Abram Pinskiy 32-year old Itska got the most votes. But for some reason the prayerful board of Motal community came out with the following statement: "Itska Pinskiy takes the position of deputy village elder and combining two posts is inadmissible. According to court decision Abram Pinskiy has been acquitted and it should be taken into account that he served the society during a period of 24 years. We humbly ask to issue an order concerning exclusion of Itska Pinskiy from position of the rabbi and to approve Abram Pinskiy in this position in accordance with the first choice made in February 1892 and on the 18th of September 1892". But this statement had no influence on fate of Itska Abramovich Pinskiy (except for the fact that he left the position of the village elder). He managed to gain great credibility with his countrymen. It is confirmed by the fact that already in January 1894 citizens of Motal sentenced "to define salary of rabbi deputy Itska Abramovich Pinskiy at the level of 40 rubles for the entire period of his servicing. Money is to be collected from citizens. Elder Srol Chemerinskiy".
Until now it hasn't appeared possible to define the "entire period of servicing" of Itska Pinskiy as the deputy rabbi. At elections of 1895 he was elected without any problems. And in 1908 I. Pinskiy and his son Srol Itskovich Pinskiy acted as candidates at elections of executive officials to the village council. In his report to the governor the district police officer presented the following information: "Persons elected in Motal village council Shmuylo Smerkov Pisetskiy (44 years of age), Itsko Abramov Pinskiy (50 years of age), Leyzer Yankelev Gutenskiy (35 years of age) and Srol Itskov Pinskiy (30 years of age) are people of good behavior and of high moral qualities; they have never been under trial or police supervision and haven't performed anything reprehensible. And in view of that I report that Itsko Pinskiy taken as a candidate for position of village elder is the native father of Srol Pinskiy taken as a candidate for position of deputy elder, and as far as such a combination contradicts to article 117 of the Town Law Vol. 11 ed. 1892 I would propose tot to approve one of them for the elected position. The 6th of October 1908".
In exchange of letters Motal elder Shmuylo Pisetskiy informed: "... it hasn't been possible to make choice among Pinskiys elected for public positions because it hasn't been possible to organize a meeting as far as many Jews living in Motol are on earnings outside the settlement. These elections will be organized soon i.e. when local inhabitants are back and are free from their businesses for taking part in these elections". This document also includes the following inscription made by the police officer: "I inform that citizens of Motal never go for earnings in big groups. A meeting on the above mentioned matter is defined for the 1st of May 1909. Elections were really took place on the 1st of May 1909. 70 Motal Jews took part in these elections. Among them there are four persons with surname Chemerinskiy - Meyer, Chaim-Leib, Leib and Girshka. Srol Itskov Pinskiy was left at his position".
As it was mentioned above Srol Movshovich Chemerinskiy was left in his position of the village elder up to 1900. Now reasons why he left his position are unknown. In 1901 revision of monetary books of Motal village council for 1900 was performed. In verdict of the community the following data is presented: "Actions of the former village elder Srol Chemirinskiy and his deputy Abram Itska on keeping the mentioned books have been recognized correct. Our community doesn't have any complaints either to the former elder Srol Chemerinskiy or to his acting deputy Abram Motolianskiy". So, Srol Chemerinskiy finished his long-lasting official carrier never having brought dishonor upon his name. It is quite probable that he couldn't take his position anymore because of his age or even by reason of death. He died (or moved to another place) before 1912 as far as his name isn't included to lists of candidates to the Imperial Duma from Grodno government. These lists include six persons with surname Chemerinskiy: Chain-Leib, Srol Meyerov, Rubin-Meyer Shayevich, and Meyer Movshovich.
By 1915 there were three Chemerinskiys left in Motal. At any rate this is information presented in the "List of payers of immovable property tax in Motal settlement for the period of 1913-1915". These were Meyer Movshovich Chemerinskiy living in the Market square ("Bazarnaya" square) and Rubin-Meyer Shayevich living in Krasnaya street. These lists also include numerous names of Chemerinskiys' countrymen – Christians and Jews paying significant sums of tax to the state treasury: Gotlibs, Puliks, Chizhes, Grushevskiys, Fishman, Epstein, Golzman, Stupka, Khonon Iserovich Sokolovskiy (it is probable that he was Chaim Weizmann home teacher), Mints, Belitskiy and many others.
During the Second World War Motal Jewish community shared the tragic fate of many other communities living in Belarus. In the beginning of August 1941 the Nazi invaders surrounded the village and drove its Jewish population to the Market square. Adult men were immediately separated from old people, women and children. All men were shot dead in the eastern suburbs of village Osovnitsa in pits which had been preliminary dug out 2 km to the west from Motal. Old people, women and children were shot dead not far from village Kalila in Gay district (0.5 km from Motal) where pits had been also dug out. The total number of killed people was 3 thousand persons. That was the end of Jewish community which gave life to the great son of the Jewish nation, the creator and the leader of the State of Israel (Chaim Weizmann).
Starting from the middle of the 17th century division of labor natural for urban inhabited localities became evident in Motal. Except for peasants this settlement was inhabited by weavers, smiths, tailors, stove setters etc. Their estates formed the main street of Motal. People engaged in agriculture settled in the suburbs.
According to archive materials the main street of Motal was inhabited with the most well-to-do citizens having a big profitable plot of land or a workshop. In Motal names were traditionally given not to streets but to parts of the settlement. Territorial division was performed on the basis of material status of citizens or on the basis of some other distinctive features. Luka, Korzhyvka, Turubel, Morovyatnytsa, Vygon, Potyshcha, Kalilskay — up to date it is already difficult to understand meaning of some of these names. Streets were given names during the Soviet period.
In summer 1863 almost a half of the settlement was destroyed in the result of a strong fire. The official representative who was entrusted to plan construction of new buildings took into account fire safety rules. New streets were wide, houses were situated far from each other and in the result of that some citizens of Motal obtained plots of land completely in the suburbs. This prudent decision has stood the test of time: almost all streets built in Motal during that period have survived until now thanks to their good traffic capacity.
The first human settlements in the area of Motal Lake belong to the Mesolithic epoch and are dated back to the 9th - the 5th millenniums B.C.
On the territory of this district a settlement of the early Iron Age as well as items of Zarubinets culture were discovered.
Researcher Maria Sakovich studying folkloristic peculiarities of Motal during the 1880-s wrote as follows:
"Clothes of Motal inhabitants included: for men - a peasant's overcoat made of cloth, a long and quite broad blue or red woolen belt encircling the body several times, a black astrakhan hat with a cloth quadrangular top. And some young men also wear high hats like those in Little Russia and usually high boots. Women's clothes include a white linen frock, an apron of the same kind, a skirt which they weave of wool and paint it blue or red. Married women wear "namitka" (a white long cloth which is tied in a very original way and is kept on head with a help of a round roller made of flax and covered up with cloth; these all are covered with a cotton net called "tkanytsia"). When women were going to church namitkas were decorated with flowers. One had to know how it is tied because it was long (about 2.5 m). In order to make it firm (in order it could "stand") namitka was starched. Starch was obtained from potatoes or from wheat. Namitkas (in local dialect called "Namatkas") were abandoned in the beginning of the 20th century.
... Women as well as young girls used leather shoes with lacing as footwear. It should be noted that the wooden heel was situated not in the area of heel itself but almost in the middle and because of that the heal was really elevated. Girls wore the same costumes as women. The only difference was that they wore headscarves and only when they went to the church and during the rest of time they were bareheaded. Girls' hairstyle included two plaits tied around the head.
Women's overcoats were sewed of old cloth and for holidays sleeves are edged with red or green cloth. This decoration is called "zakervashy". For wedding party dancing women wore colorful sleeveless jackets bordered with laces. These jackets are called "garsetkas". Jewelry included a great number of beads and necklaces called "mysiury". In winter men and women wore sheepskin coats.
The main occupation of men was agriculture and float of wood and women alongside with field works and domestic works were also engaged in fishing in the local lake. Women living in Motal performed fishing also on Sunday afternoons. During holidays peasants loved to organize meetings in the street for talks and conversations. Sometimes in houses where literate youths lived readings were organized. Schools existed in Motal from the earliest times.
Citizens of Motal prescribe to their ancestors some divine talents, for example the gift of prophecy. According to them this gift was obtained by dead and gone peasant Nikita Porypa who over many years before the present period used to say that "stone roads will be built" (highways), then "carts will run themselves" (railways), "the whole world will be bound with one node" (telegraph) etc.
Citizens of Motal didn't believe in healers, witches and witchcrafts. In case of diseases they addressed local medical assistants; a significant value was also given to prayers.
All peasants living in Motal were representatives of the Orthodoxy and were really religious. On holidays with the first sound of the bell the church was attended by many people. There was a tradition to come to the central square for the liturgy. Almost all women knew the procedure of the liturgy. People loved to attend divine services in some definite places: Kiev, Pachayev. And neighboring churches famous about their wonder-working icons (Cherniakovo of Pruzhanskiy district, Leshch in Porechye of Pinsk district) are attended on temple holidays by many people each year. There was a custom to stay in churches after the evening prayer and to sing holy songs of Pochaev Bogogolosnik taking into account that some prayers of these songs were created by themselves.
From the earliest times citizens of Motal had some peculiar customs and rituals of celebrating the most important holidays.
Before Christmastide peasants prepare the rice pudding ("kutya"). This custom has existed here from the earliest times. Each hostess tries to cook as many lenten dishes as possible. Hay is laid on the table (in sign of the fact that Jesus Christ lied in a crib with hay). The table is also covered with a table cloth and the entire family sits down at this table with a prayer. The first course – kutya – barley porridge with poppy seeds, kvass with mushrooms, fish, pancakes, dried and boiled pears etc. The hay from the table is preserved till the Epiphany (during 2 weeks).
When people were more prosperous the "eve" was organized during this period: members of the church fellowship went to Pinsk bought there bier, honey, meat and then organized selling of all that items in the house of one of members of this fellowship. After the liturgy a musician was invited. Money earned during these three days was presented to the church. After the population became poorer this custom was abandoned. But the custom of caroling with songs to the accompaniment of several violins has survived.
And concerning family events they are organized in a very simple way except for wedding which is organized in accordance with certain ceremonies as a really big celebration.
All relatives come together to celebrate birth of a child and christening. A dinner is prepared during which the newborn is "presented" - coins are put to the porridge. During funerals when the father or the mother dies their daughters take their hair out of braids. Sawdust remained after the coffin is thrown away behind the house and the next day they are burnt in order the dead person could warm his/her feet. During several days the floor in the house isn't swept and rubbish isn't taken out in order not to bring another deceased next after the first one. A pillow filled with nine wreaths or aromatic herbs preliminary consecrated in the church are laid under the deceased's head. Girls are dressed as if down the aisle: her hair is taken out of braids, ribbons are bound, namitka is laid at the head, and hands are tied with a towel. The coffin is brought down to the grave also with towels and not with ropes. After funerals everybody who followed to the grave go to the house and after having the rice pudding ("kutya") go away.
Citizens of Motal attach a great importance to coming into full age. From that moment young men have a right "to go to parubki" and are considered completely adult. Those who reach this age donate one ruble to entertain young men who accept him to their community. Before he has joined their community he has no right to look for a bride and to ask in marriage. The day of becoming a "parubok" is celebrated as a party by a big company with songs all over the settlement and starting from this day the young man starts to look for a bride. For this purpose he attends "zbrodni" (special meetings).
"Zbrodni" are organized every evening during the entire winter. Young women and girls come together with their neighbors and are engaged in their business until young men disturb them. And after songs are started the flax is put aside. "Zborni" are organized in summer as well. These meetings are organized on festive evenings near houses on the bench or at the bank of a lake where until late at night young people sing their poetic songs. Everybody paid with rye and fat to the owner of the house which was hired for "zborni". For many people (especially elderly people) such payments were often the only profit. Young men had to invite musicians: an accordionist and a drummer. Young people danced, sang songs without any alcoholic beverages. Those who appeared to be drunk were not considered real cavaliers and were not admitted to dancing.
Weddings were mainly organized in autumn or in winter after Christmas. Almost no weddings are organized in spring - the hot season is coming and there is almost no free time and neither girl will dare to leave her family during the hardest period of the year and to go to another one.
The bridegroom sends his matchmakers and upon receiving the consent the date of wedding is defined. At the eve of wedding a round loaf ("karavay") is baked in the house of the bridegroom and the bride. The baked Karavay is put on the table and decorated with snowball flowers, periwinkle, oats and strawflowers. Then the Karavay is brought to the chamber and is put next to the one cooked by the bride. Matchmakers put bread and vodka on the table. Relatives of the bride put bridegroom's bread to the red corner and put their bread instead. The bridegroom pours a glass of vodka takes a sip out of this glass to the bride; after taking a sip she gives the glass to her bridegroom. This procedure is repeated three times; after that the glass is given by turns to all people present. This ceremony is called "zapoiny". After performing this ritual the bride is taken to the chamber where she is dressed up. A towel is tied up on her hand and she goes back to the house where her brothers or friends take her hair out of braids. The bride takes her place next to the bridegroom at the table. All people present also take their places at the table and everybody is sitting silent during several minutes. Then everybody stands up, reads a prayer and bride's parents give their blessing to their daughter for wedding.
After the wedding the newlyweds accompanied by their friends go in various directions to invite their relatives and friends to the wedding party (each of them goes to his/her relatives and friends) They bow low three times to everybody they meet and kiss these people three times. The same ritual is performed in the house and after bowing the following phrase is said: "Welcome to the wedding". After guests are invited the bridegroom and the bride go to their houses (each to his/her house). Relatives present the bridegroom with money and after dinner everybody is going to the bride. The bridegroom goes surrounded by girls wearing namitkas. Everybody stops at the gate of the bride's house where the bridegroom is met by matchmakers.
So is the image of Motal and its citizens obtained by Mariya Sakovich during the second quarter of the 19th century.
(Just existing objects)
- Holy Transfiguration Church is a monument of the retrospective Russian style. This temple was built in 1888 of brick. The project of this church was developed in 1867 by architect M. Bartoshevskiy.
- Boris and Gleb Chapel – built in 1986.
- The house of Chaim Weizmann, - the house of the first president of Israel where his family lived up to 1894.
Places of memory
- Jewish cemetery restored in 2004.
- It is a memorial to citizens of the village who died during the Great Patriotic War.
- An Unknown Soldier Monument (at the cemetery).
Village Motal is the mother village of a certain number of well-known personalities who realized their potential in various spheres of activity. Among them:
Chaim Weizmann (the 27th of November 1874 — the 9th of November 1952) – a scientist (chemist), a politician, the president (1921—1931, 1935—1946) of the World Zionist Organization, the first president of the State of Israel (he was elected on the 16th of May 1948, and was the president during 1949—1952), the founder of the research institute which now bears his name.
After obtaining the traditional Jewish education and graduating from non-classical secondary school he studied chemistry in Germany and Switzerland. In 1897 when he was only 23 years of Age Weizmann obtained doctor's degree. A year earlier he joined the Zionist movement and in 1897 he already took part in work of the World Zionist Congress. For periods of 1920-1931 and 1935-1946 Weizmann was elected as the president of the World Zionist Organization. His activity significantly contributed to the fact that by the end of the Second World War the Jewish Brigade was formed as a part of the British Army. In 1947 Weizmann being a member of the Jewish delegation took an active part in work of the General Assembly of the UN where the problem of Palestine division into two separate states (Jewish one and Arabian one). And it is Weizmann's merit that Negev was included to the territory of the Jewish State proposed by the UN. His merit was also that the USA recognized the proclaimed State of Israel. It was Weizmann who obtained promise of the president of the USA to finance the beginning of the new state economic development by means of presenting a loan of 100 million of USD on favorable terms and to define diplomatic relations with the State of Israel after creating the first democratic government of this state. First Chaim Weizmann was elected as the president of the Temporary State Council and in February 1949 he became the first president of the State of Israel.
Weizmann's name was given to one of the biggest scientific centers of the state. It is the scientific and research institute in Rehovot on the territory of which (in the garden of his house) he was buried. He died on the 9th of November 1952.
Weizmann always believed that despite the hostile Arabian environment Israel was going to become a flourishing state.
Anna Weizmann (1886, Motal — the 17th of February 1963, Rehovot) — an Israel chemist.
She was a sister of Chaim Weizmann. She learned in Zurich from 1905 to 1912. During a period of about a year (1913—1914) she worked in Manchester at the chemical laboratory of a university and lived in her brother's house. After the First World War she worked at the Biochemical institute in Moscow under guidance of Professor A.N. Bach. After moving to Palestine in 1933 she started to work at the Ziv Institute (which later was renamed and got the name of Weizmann). After retirement she became a honorable professor of the institute.
Gita Duniya-Weizmann (the18th of July 1887, Motal — 1975, Israel) — an Israel pianist and musical pedagogue. She was a sister of Chaim Weizmann and Anna Weizmann. She received her musical education in Warsaw and Kiev. In 1911 she migrated to Palestine. And in 1918 she married engineer Tuviya Duniy. She lived in Haifa and taught music. In 1924 Gita was one of founders of a music school in Haifa which was later named "Duniya-Weizmann conservatory". Alongside with teaching at this school of music she was also a teacher at Shulamit Conservatory in Tel-Aviv. Zvi Zeitlin, Ivri Gitlis and others were among her students.
Moshe Weizmann (1878, Motal — the 24th of June 1957, Israel) — an Israel chemist. He was a brother of Chaim Weizmann. He started to study agriculture at the Higher Technical School in Kiev in 1900. Later he studied chemistry at Geneva University. From 1918 he was an assistant at the Moscow University. In 1924 he settled in Palestine and started to work at the Jewish University in Jerusalem. First he was Andor Fodor's assistant at the Institute of Chemistry and then he became the head of organic chemistry laboratory. In 1927 he was awarded the title of Professor. From 1935 he was a teacher and from 1947 he was a professor at the university.
David Bartov (born David Gutenskiy; 1924, Motal) — an Israel lawyer, diplomat and public activist. He is the former head of "Nativ" (an Israel state institution which is subordinated to the chancellery of the Head of the government. This institution was organized for building relations with Jews living in the Soviet Union and countries of the Eastern Europe for coordination of struggle for their repatriation right and their emigration to Israel).
He learned in Pinsk town in Tarbut gymnasium. In 1941 Gutenskiys family was exiled to Siberia and in 1946 he camer back to Poland.
He migrated to Berlin in 1947 and was one of founders and teachers of a Hebrew School for refugee children. Two years later Gutenskiy was repatriated to the State of Israel and gets a position at the Ministry of the Head of Israel Government. In 1952 he became the director of the President's Office of Yitzhak Ben-Zvi. He entered the faculty of law at the Jewish University in Jerusalem and worked as the legal adviser of the president of Israel (Chaim Weizmann, Yitzhak Ben-Zvi and Zalman Shazar).
Starting from 1964 he worked in "Nativ". From the same year he worked in Moscow up to severance of diplomatic relations in 1967 when Bartov came back to Israel. He got position of a Justice of the Peace, then a position of a District Judge and then position of the deputy chairman of the Jerusalem District Court.
He took part in organization of the Agranate Commission and the Commission of the Judgement Day War. He coordinated work of the Commission on Sabra and Shatila
After retirement from the position of a judge (1985) Bartov was at the head of "Nativ" up to 1992. After that he was directed to the Israel Embassy in Moscow. In 1994 he came back to Israel.
He worked as the executive director of Yad Ben-Zvi institute during 1997-2003. And since 2004 he is the chairman of the Community Board of this institute.
Bartov was awarded David Ben-Gurion Prize for his contribution to the matter of repatreation of Jews living in the USSR (1991).
David Bloch Blumenfeld — Zionist movement activist, the mayor of Tel-Aviv in 1925—1927. He was born in Motal of Grodno government (up to date it is Brest region of Belarus). His birth name was Ephraim Blumenfeld. During his young years he was a member of Poaley-Zion party. In 1912 he migrated to Palestine where he became one of founders of left-wing parties (Achdut ha-Avoda and Gistadrut trade union center).
From 1923 Bloch took position of deputy mayor of Tel-Aviv. In December 1925 after M.Dizengof's resignation from the position of mayor David Bloch-Blumenfeld got this position. On the 26th of January 1927 Bloch-Blumenfeld took part in the municipal elections in Tel-Aviv as a candidate from Gistadrut. In 1928 Meyir Dizengof replaced him as a new mayor.
In the 1960-s a "moshav" (a kind of rural inhabited localities) was named after David Bloch-Blumenfeld. The name of this locality in the north of Israel was Dobeb which is an abbreviation of initial letters of his name (DBB).
Shaul Liberman (1898, Motal — the 22nd of March 1983, the USA) — a commentator and researcher of Talmudic literature. He was a laureate of the State Prize of Israel.
He was born in the family of rabbi Moshe Liberman and Dina-Badana (daughter of Kobrin rabbi Shaul Kazenelenbogen). He received his education in Sloboda yeshiva, at Kievan University and at Nancy University.
In 1927 he migrated to Eretz Israel. After settling in Jerusalem he continued his education at the Jewish University (starting from 1928; he obtained his first scientific degree in 1931) where he later taught Talmud. During the period from 1935 and up to 1940 he was at the head of H. Fischel Institute of Talmudic Research in Jerusalem.
In 1940 he obtained a position at Shekhter's seminary in New York where Liberman took position of a professor; in 1949 he became a dean and in 1958 he became the rector. During many years he was the president of the American Academy for Jewish Research and a member of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA, a member of the Israel academy of Sciences and an honorable member of the Hebrew Language Academy. In 1971 he was awarded the State Prize of Israel in the sphere of Jewish sciences; the same year he was awarded Harvey Prize. He is a laureate of Bialik Prize (1957).
His main works include: scientific edition of Tosefta text and composition "Tosefta ki-fshuta" ("Tosefta in Popular Presentation"); this is a multivolume commented edition of Tosefta.
Liberman died on the 22nd of March 1983 during his flight from New York to Israel.
Chaim Israeli (Gutianskiy) (1927, Motal) — an Israel military commander; in 1950-s to 1970-s he was the deputy minister of defence of Israel. In 1998 he was awarded the State Prize of Israel.
Leonard Chess (1917, Motal — 1969) — in 1928 he and his parents immigrated to Chicago, the USA. He is the founder of Chess Records label which gives afro-American performers an opportunity to perform music predominantly in blues and rock styles.
Shmuel Yanovskiy (1890, Motal – 1935, Warsaw) – a journalist; he wrote in Yiddish; he is the author of the World Bibliography of Jewish periodicals.
Etyen Wassersurg (1860—1888) — a French biologist.
Every year in August the International culinary festival "Motal Tastes" is carried out in Motal.
Culinary specialists and on-stage performance groups from various regions of Belarus and from other countries arrive to Motal for carrying out this festival.
Pinsk Jewish community has taken part in this festival for several years running. In 2011 this community presented various exhibits and took part in organization of an exposition in Chaim Weizmann house (jointly with employees of Belorussian Polesye Museum).
Everyday use items of the pre-war period were presented. These are candlesticks, a tray, a sauce tureen, a box, prayer books, mortars, a shoe case with a pad, a device for spinning clothes, and an ink device. In addition to that a picture of painter Arcadiy Shusterman (it was painted according to the plein-air style to the 65th anniversary of extermination of Jews on the territory of Belarus). This picture presents a Jew, a native of Pinsk Chaim Krasilskiy in clothes for reading prayer, wearing a talliet and a beanie with tefillin. People could also see these items in reality: the talliet, the beanie and the tefillin were exhibited near the portrait.
The presented exhibits were collected for the Museum of Pinsk Jews History which was planned to be opened in 2012 by the 70th anniversary of Pinsk ghetto destruction.
Honorary guests of the festival attended Weizmann house museum. Among them: the charge in affairs of the State of Israel in the Republic of Belarus Zvi Koen-Litant, heads of the Brest Executive committee, the deputy prime minister of the Republic of Belarus Anatoliy Afanasyevich Tozik.
Museums, archives, libraries, private collections
Motal Folks Museum was grounded in 1983 and opened for visitors on the 13th of August 1995.
Address: Belarus, Brest region, Ivanov district, village Motal 225822
Phone: +375 1652 5-87-53
The main activity of the museum consisted in propaganda of folks trading, handicrafts and oral folk arts of the district. Exposition of the museum includes halls of history and peasants' everyday life, handicrafts, farming, flax processing, weaving, clothes, rituals, exhibition hall which present regional peculiarities of material and spiritual culture of Western Polesye. The number of exhibits of the main fund of the museum (as of the 1st of January 2012) was 17,990 units, and number of exhibits of the scientific supportive fund was 8,571 units. Museum has got rich collections of ethnography, weaving, embroidery, plaiting. Peculiar attention in the work of the museum is paid to preserving and propaganda of people's art. Composition of the museum includes a mill where the museum of bread is located.
On the territory of Motal Secondary School No 1 a museum is situated, this museum is dedicated to the Great Patriotic War.
You can get to Motal by your own car as follows:
From Minsk (390 km): from MRHW 43 to town Dzerzhynsk (38 km to Stolbtsy town), turn to Baranovichi (75 km to Baranovichi), turn to town Kobrin (148 km), turn to village Zalesye (9 km to village Zalesye) and turn to town Drogichin (49 km), turn to Ivanovo town (28 km to Ivanovo town).
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НИАБ в г. Гродно. – Фонд 1. – Оп. 20. – Д. 620. – Рапорты полицейских учреждений о случившихся в городах губернии убийствах, самоубийствах и др. проишествиях
НИАБ в г. Гродно. – Ф. 1. – Оп. 20. – Д. 1107. Ведомости о количестве синагог, родившихся, бракосочетавшихся и умерших среди еврейского населения за 1843 г.
НИАБ в г. Гродно. – Ф. 2. – Оп. 38. – Д. 599. Дело о строительстве еврейской школы в м. Мотоль. 1863 г.
НИАБ в г. Гродно. – Ф. 1. – Оп. 4. – Д. 49. Списки городов, местечек, помещичьих дворов, сел Гродненской губернии. 1832-1833.
НИАБ в г. Гродно. – Ф. 2. – Оп. 31. – Д. 1730. О ревизии денежных книг Мотольского мещанского управления за 1900 г.
НИАБ в г. Гродно. – Ф. 2. – Оп. 31. – Д. 2703. О выборах должностных лиц в Мотольское Мещанское Управление. Июнь-октябрь 1900-1907 гг.
НИАБ в г. Гродно. – Ф. 313. – Оп. 1. – Д. 17. Список плательщиков государственного налога с недвижимых имуществ местечка Мотоль. 1912-1913 гг.
НИАБ в г. Гродно. – Ф. 1. – Оп. 17. – Д. 159. Производство выборов мещанского старосты по м. Мотоль. 1882 г.
НИАБ в г. Гродно. – Ф. 2. – Оп. 34. – Д. 41. О назначении торгов на отдачу в откупное. 1845-1849 гг.
НИАБ в г. Гродно. – Ф. 2. – Оп. 34. Д. 1396. О назначении торгов на отдачу в откупное содержание коробочного сбора по местечку Мотоль. 1857-1862 гг.
НИАБ в г. Гродно. – Ф. 2. – Оп. 32. – Д. 365. О выборах помощника раввина и членов молитвенного правления Мотольского еврейского общества. Октябрь 1881 – декабрь 1883 гг.
НИАБ в г. Гродно. – Ф. 2. – Оп. 33. – Д. 860. О выборах членов правления еврейской школы м. Мотоль Кобринского уезда. Июнь-октябрь 1891-1892 гг.
НИАБ в г. Гродно. – Ф. 2. – Оп. 33. – Д. 857. О выборах помощника раввина Мотольского еврейского общества Кобринского уезда. 1891-1892 гг.
НИАБ в г. Гродно. – Ф. 2. – Оп. 3. – Д. 1689. Баллотировочный Акт Кобринского уезда местечка Мотоль о выборах членов еврейского общества на будущее трехлетие с 1 января 1841 г. по 1 января 1844 г.
НИАБ в г. Гродно. – Ф. 2. – Оп. 32. – Д. 308. О назначении торгов на отдачу в откуп содержания коробочного сбора по м. Мотоль. 1881-1885 гг.
НИАБ в г. Гродно. – Ф. 2. – Оп. 33. Д. 2818. О выборах членов молитвенного правления еврейской школы м. Мотоль. 1898-1899 гг.
НИАБ в г. Гродно. – Ф. 2. – Оп. 33. – Д. 1994. О выборах помощника раввина Мотольского мещанского еврейского общества. 1895-1896 гг.
НИАБ в г. Гродно. – Ф. 1. – Оп. 16. Д. 7. О проведении выборов общественного правления в м. Мотоль Кобринского уезда. 1887г.
НИАБ в г. Гродно. – Ф. 1. – Оп. 16. – Д. 1418. О выборах должностных лиц в мещанскую управу Мотоля. Июль-сентябрь 1881 г.
НИАБ в г. Гродно. – Ф. 1. – Оп. 17. – Д. 359. О проведении мещанских выборов в мест. Мотоль. 1883 г.
НИАБ в г. Гродно. – Ф. 2. – Оп. 3. – Д. 699. Опроведении выборов кагальных по губернии. 1837-1838 гг. (Мотоль на стр. 124)
НИАБ в г. Гродно. – Ф. 2. – Оп. 32. – Д. 365. О выборах помощника раввина и членов молитвенного правления Мотольского еврейского общества. 1881-1883 гг.
НИАБ в г. Гродно. – Ф. 2. – Оп. 33. – Д. 1994. О выборах помощника раввина Мотольского мещанского еврейского общества Кобринского уезда. 1895-1896 гг.
НИАБ в г. Гродно. – Ф. 17. – Оп. 1. – Д. 372. Списки избирателей Гродненской губернии по выборам в IV Государственную Думу. 1912 г. (Л. 191-192, Мотоль)
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НИАБ в г. Гродно. – Ф. 2. – Оп. 31. – Д. 2703. Список лиц, производивших выборы на избрание должностных лиц Мотольского мещанского управления. 1908 г.
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Мотоль. Изюминка Полесья. [электронный ресурс] / Режим доступа: http://motol-by.narod.ru/history/history00.html. – Дата доступа: 10.03.2014
Мотоль [электронный ресурс] / Режим доступа: http://globus.tut.by/motol/ . – Дата доступа: 15.03.2014.
Мотоль Мотоль [электронный ресурс] / Режим доступа: http://www.rujen.ru/index.php/МОТОЛЬ . – Дата доступа: 15.03.2014.
Мотольские прысмаки [электронный ресурс] / Режим доступа: http://www.beljews.org/news1286.html. – Дата доступа: 16.03.2014