Shtetl Routes. Vestiges of Jewish cultural heritage in cross-border tourism in borderland of Poland, Belarus and Ukraine


Shtetl Routes. Vestiges of Jewish cultural heritage in cross-border tourism in borderland of Poland, Belarus and Ukraine


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Stolin Cultural Heritage Card

Столін [Belarus.],

Столин [Rus.],

סטולין [Heb.],

Stolin [Polish].

Stolin is a town in Brest region of Belarus. It is an administrative center of Stolin district. The town is situated along Kopanets River down to the point of its inflow into Goryn River 15 kilometers from the border with Ukraine. Population of the town is 12, 395 people (2013).

Orthodox church of Ascension in Stolin (1938)
Orthodox church of Ascension in Stolin (1938) (Author: Vershitskaya, Tamara)

LandscapeDirect link for this paragraphGo back to indexGo back to index

Area of the district is 3,342 sq. km. There are 98 inhabited localities on its territory (2003). In the west the district share borders with Pinsk district and in the north it borders to Luninetsk district (districts of Brest region). In the west it borders to Zhytkovichesk and Lelchitsk districts of Gomel region and in the south its neighbors are Zarechinsk, Dubrovitsk and Rakitnovsk districts of Rovno region of Ukraine. In the southern district the state border of the Republic of Belarus lies. 

The district is situated on the territory of Belorussian Polesye. Relief of this territory is predominantly flat. There are morainic uplands which are traces of glacial epoch. The highest point of the district is 123.1 m. It is situated to the north-west from village Semigostichi. Mineral resources: peat, building sands and quartz sands, high-melting clays and low-melting clays, oil shales, brown coal.

Hydrographic network is dense. Seventeen major and minor rivers are flowing here. The largest rivers are: Pripyat, Goryn', Styr, Stsviga, Mastva (Lva).

Ground in north-western and especially north-eastern parts of the district is significantly swamped.  In 1998 a republican scenic reserve Olmany swamps was created here. Its area is 94 thousand ha. The center of this reserve is situated in forest and swamp complex which is the biggest one in Europe. Forests take 128.3 thousand ha. General area of farmlands is about 115 thousand ha.

Legends about origine of the nameDirect link for this paragraphGo back to indexGo back to index

1.     Once upon a time a big lake was situated in this district. One day 100 tenches were caught in it.

2.     There were 7 little towns on Goryn' river where 12 brothers reigned. The place of their meetings i.e. the table at which the brothers came together was situated on the territory of up-to-date Stolin.

3.     The place of the ancient town was on the left bank of river Kopanets in the district of the bread-baking plant. Ancient Indian meaning of this word is raised ground or earth mound (bank). And as far as ancient Stolin was situated on a high abrupt bank of the former river-bed of Goryn', Kopanets this high bank may be considered the origin of the name of the town.

HistoryDirect link for this paragraphGo back to indexGo back to index

The first written mention about town of Stolin was found in Record book of  Pinsk and Kletsk princedoms and is dated by 1555. But according to a number of archaeologists the town is even more ancient. This opinion is confirmed by the fact that even more ancient cultural layer was found on the abrupt bank of Goryn' river.

In the 12th - 13th centuries the territory of the district was a part of Turov-Pinsk princedom. And starting from the middle 14th century it was included to Grand Duchy of Lithuania.

In the 16th century Stolin was in private ownership of magnates Solomoretskiye, Vishnivetskiye, Pantsy, Soltany, Skirmunty, Stakhovskiye.

In 1569 the Lublin union was concluded between Poland and Grand Duchy of Lithuania and the territory of up-to-date Stolin district became a part of Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth (Rzeczpospolita).

In the 17th century Stolin district became a cruel struggle between Ukrainian Cossacks joined by local Orthodox inhabitants and troops of Rzeczpospolita. Rebellion of 1648-1649 was cruelly suppressed.

Military actions during the war of 1654-1667 between Russia and Rzeczpospolita also touched Stolin district. In 1655 Stolin was occupied and burnt during a military raid performed under command of Prince D.   Volkonskiy. During that period Stolin was a small town with three or four tens of houses and population of about 300 persons.

After military events which occurred in the middle of the 18th century when the feodal Rzeczpospolita was at the death's door and carried continuous wars with Russia., Sweden, Turks, Tatars Stolin district sank into degradation. The period of Stolin recover is dated by the end of the 18th century.

In 1792-1793 Stolin became the center of Zapinsk district of Brest voivodeship. In 1792 it was the place of seymik congresses which were transferred there from Mozyr occupied by Russia.

 In 1792 after the second devision ofRzeczpospolita Stolin district became a part of the Russian Empire. In 1795 Stolin became the volost center of Pinsk uyezd of Minsk district.

In 1886 there were 121 yards in Stolin and population of the town was 815 persons. In the town there were a church, a synagogue, Jewish preaching houses, a chapel, volost administration, a Zemstvo people's school, a horse post station, a distillery and a tea plant, a tavern and 20 shops. Population was engaged in farming, cattle breeding, fishing and lumbering (storage of timber).

According to population census of 1897 Stolin had 250 yards and its population increased up to 3.3 thousand of people. In the beginning of the 20th century the town had 471 yard and its population was 4.7 thousand of people.

Economic development of the district was facilitated by means of Luninets-Rovno railway branch construction. This railway branch crossed the district from south to north and that was a significant event in the history of Stolin.

Development of Stolin was also significantly influenced by the fact that magnates Radzivills' estate was situated in the neighborhood in village Mankovichi. In 1885 a landscape park was initiated on the territory of this estate. A bit later a wonderful palace was erected which was then destroyed during the Second World War. The last owner of the estate Kinh NNickolay Radzivill was at the head of it up to 1939.

In November of 1917 the Soviet power was established in Stolin. From February 1918 till December of 1919 the town was occupied by German troops. In accordance with Riga peace treaty of 1921 Stolin became a part of the Republic of Poland. On the 6th of December 1925 Stolin povet (district) was created as a part of Polesye voivodeship.

In September of 1939 Stolin district was included to Belorussian SSR. By 1941 population of Stolin was 12,500 people

On the 6th of July 1941 Stolin was occupied by the Nazi. Fascist occupation lasted until the 7th of July 1944.

ArcheologyDirect link for this paragraphGo back to indexGo back to index

On the territory of Stolin district about 150 archaeological sites have been found. These sites include settlements, burial grounds and separate findings.

In various periods of time research of archaeological sites on the territory of Stolin district was conducted by V.S.Vergey, M.M. Krivoltsevich, Y.V. Kukharenko and I.P. Rusanova.

On the territory of Stolin traces of ancient settlements of the Late Stone Age period and the Bronze Age period were found. These settlements were situated on the territory of the eastern part of the town on the bank of Goryn' river (from the road leading to village Struga and up to the square in front of the Executive Committee building).  A stone holed axe, a pendant made of pebbles and various flint articles were found.

Not far from the Agrarian Economic College in the park "Mankovichi" a processed flint and moulded ceramics belonging to Zarubinets culture were found.

History of the Jewish communityDirect link for this paragraphGo back to indexGo back to index

The precise date when Jews came to Stolin district is unknown. But in the 18th century the Jewish community was already presented here. In 1765 it included 408 people.

In 1847 Stolin Jewish Community consisted of 777 people. In accordance with population census of 1897 3342 persons lived there, 2489 of them were Jews (74.4 %). By the end of the 19th century Stolin turned into a little town inhabited predominantly by Jews. The reason why the number of inhabitants increased consisted in the fact that Jews from neighboring villages moved to the town and settled there (as a rule these were wood mongers).

Development of trading in Stolin led to activation of construction. A white stone synagogue was built in the town (1792). There were also three praying houses, mikvahs, Jewish schools, mills, shops, pharmacy shops and new living houses.  Jews were strongly related between each other through family relations and religious relations. They lived mainly around the market place.

At the synagogue there were four preaching houses (beyt-ga-midrashy). The stone building of the synagogue wasn't heated and regular worship acts were carried out in warm preaching houses.

In the 19th century Stolin became a major center of hasidic[1] movement. Spiritual leaders of Stolin Hasides had a significant influence not just in Stolin but also on the territory far beyond the town. The founder of Hasid family of Stolin tzaddiks was Reb Asher Perlov, the son of the well-known tzaddik rabbi Aaron Perlov. Reb Asher Perlov Stolinskiy was one of the most prominent tzaddiks of that period. His son Reb Aaron the 2nd Perlov (1802-1872) took position of tzaddik in Karlin (in the suburbs of Pinsk) and had a significant influence among Jews of the North-Western krai (district).

In 1867 Reb Aaron the 2nd Perlov moved to Stolin. After his death the position of tzaddik in the town was taken by his son Reb Asher the 2nd Stolinskiy Perlov. In 1873 he died and his successor was his five year-old son Reb Isroil Perlov who was called "Yenuka Kadisha" (holy infant). It was met by a strong discontent and opposition on the part of many Hasids. Afterwards Reb Isroil Perlov declared himself as an energetic public person in the sphere of religion and a skillful organizer. And that gave him an opportunity to hold this position up to the beginning of 1920-s. The last Stolin tzaddik was his son Reb Moshe Perlov (born in 1890). He died in 1942 with his family in Stolin ghetto.

In the Jewish community a significant attention was paid to upbringing of children as well as to their education. Heder played the role of primary school Heder completely justified its name as a primary school for boys as far as it didn't separate children from their families but was an addition to family life.  If boys were brought there at the age of three heder was an infant school for them. In 1848 there were 2 heders in Stolin: But not all heders were registered and in fact there were more of them in Stolin. Heders presupposed fee paying and were under control of community council. Learning was carried out in Yiddish as the mother tongue of schoolchildren. Melamed was the main person in heder. At the same time he acted as the director, a teacher, mentor and the manager of the educational unit. Heders gave Jewish families an opportunity (even if these were very poor families) to perform their religious duty – to teach their sons the Law and prayers.

In order to define the number of heders and melameds on the 23rd of July 1844 power authorities executed the Statute "About Private Educational Establishments and Home Teachers" and demanded their obligatory registration with provision of information about location of heders their rank (primary or secondary) and lists of students. Parents had also to provide information about the level of their satisfaction with education provided. Melameds meeting all requirements who had paid 50 kopecks in silver (primary payment) and one ruble (secondary payment) obtained their teaching certificate alongside with their right to perform teaching. Certificate was valid during a year. As far as the process of receiving this certificate was quite easy many melameds made a claim about themselves and Authorities used this information. So it became known that in the middle 19th century two melameds were teaching in Stolin.

We have got information about Stolin during the period at the turn of the 19th and the 20th centuries presented by its inhabitant A. Avi-Menakhem.  He writes that "During the 80-s and 90-s years of the 19th century Stolin was an old poor settlement which was lost among gardens and forests. Wooden houses were predominantly low and were situated close to each other. Many of them were covered with thatched roofs. At the end of the 19th century the majority of noble families decided to leave the town. That's why these houses were inhabited by poor people (both Jews and non-Jews). All Jews living in the town belonged to "amkha" class (ordinary people) who didn't have any special complaints, kept traditions of their fathers and performed Commandments. The source of their income was mainly small trading between each other as well as with local inhabitants who arrived to the town on Sundays and on days of fairs.  

 Market place was divided into two parts by lines of Jewish shops which were built of wood. During those times various kinds of goods were sold in shops (food, fabrics, building materials, medicines, kerosene etc.) And it is just in the beginning of the 20th century that food shops were separated from other kinds of shops.

At the end of the 19th century "Yard" of the rabbi was the center of the town. A special spirit was coming from there. Hasids who came to their rabbi brought income for local Jews and so several families were feeding around the "Yard".

Fires often broke out in Stolin. Gradually Authorities began to suspect that Jewish population set their houses in fire in order to get insurance. And that's why the state insurance company stopped insuring property of Jewish population in Stolin as well as in other places. Then the problem of Jewish property in shops was solved by an oldman Ichelo (Ichelo-basuk) who took a little fee for guarding property of Jewish population.

Thanks to A. Avi-Menakhem names of public figures of the town are known: 

- Rabbi Israel Haim Frenkel who was called "kahalsmen"; he was a chantor at the old Hasid synagogue Berezhnoye;

- Reb Shmuel-Leyb;

- Melamed rabbi Yasha Torover Neidich who was a significant scientist;

- Melamed Hazhameter (it was his nick name), a great expert of the Holy Scripture;

- Reb Leybka, melamed of Talmud for youths;

- Melamed hedera rabbi Ishaya;

- Melamed hedera rabbi Meirl;

- reb Israel-Benyamin Gloyberman, who was the right hand man of Rebe and Leyba Zeligs Levin who went around towns and villages collecting money for Rebe;

- Turkenich family (known as "Hirshes") who were leaseholders of the post office (they performed transportation of post from Pinsk to Stolin and neighboring localities by horses), they also provided horses for transportation of officials around the neighborhood.

Hasids and misnagids were almost always in conflict[2] and sometimes conflicts between them were really sharp. Recollections of those years indicate that Stolin was also included to these conflicts. There were occasions when Hasids from Stolin offended rabbis from Berezhnoye.

Economic position of Jews living in Stolin began to worsen in the beginning of the 20th century and that provoked emigration to America. And this process of emigration was becoming increasingly intensive from year to year. Emigrants sent remaining money to their families for living and covering debts. Gradually they took their families to America or came back to Stolin themselves.

During this difficult period of time Haskala movement popularity was increasingly growing. A number of Jewish political parties came to existence. They tried to protect interest of the Jewish people. At the same time development of trading among Jewish population was in active progress. All these events provoked Jews living in Stolin as well as the life of the town in a whole to move forward despite suppressions of Authorities and restrictions in various spheres of life.

In November of 1917 the Soviet power was established in Stolin. From February 1918 till December of 1919 the town was occupied by German troops. These years brought multiple sufferings and troubles to the Jewish community of the town. In 1921 in accordance with Riga peace treaty Stolin was included to the Republic of Poland. This period is characterized by respective stability and flourishing of economic activities performed by members of the Jewish community in Stolin. In 1930 the total number of Jews in the town was estimated at the level of 5,000 persons.

Initially there were no large manufacturing outfits in the town. During the interwar period the following enterprises were operating here: Goldberg's bakery (from 1899 г.), Kolodniy's timber plant (from 1911) and several mills including Fenkel's mill with a workshop where vegetable oil was produced. Mills owned by Gleyberman Mendel, Vysotskiy Sokhar, Frnkel, Kolodniy were in operation.  In 1929 Gleyberman's mill was situated at the address: str. Amerikanskaya, 39. And this mill processed 900 kg of grain per day. Berko Frenkel's mill was situated at the address: Market square, 1. It processed 3,000 kg of grain per day.  Sokhar Shlaver's mill was situated in the street Vygornaya, 8. It processed 2,000 kg of grain per day.  Pharmacy shops were owned by Chernik and Kolodniy. Merchants Durchin, Furman, Isroel Zarakhovich sold timber, salt and were also creditors in affairs of Prince Radzivill.

During this period trading, food services and hotel business in Stolin were in private ownership. There were up to 50 shops in the town. The largest shops included grocery shops of Liberman  and Bashkin, small wares shop of Kontarovich, Fialkov's shop of houshold items and Motorin's shop of stationary materials. Shops were also held by brothers Shklar, Tukhman, Fikangor. Great popularity was obtained by snack bars and restaurants of Gonskiy, Turkin, Vinnik, Vysotskiy, Rogozinskiy, Kosmovich as well as by hotels of Gleyberman, Rodkevich, Goberman.  There was also a printing house owned by Samson Motorin, factory of carbonated water owned by Kogan and Rukhotskiy cinema.

Jews were engaged in the sphere of  retail trading performed by local peasants on Sundays and during fairs. Fairs were carried out at the Narket place (up to date it is Komsomolskaya square). In the center of the Market place was intended for stallholders and sellers of agricultural products (hawkers). And around them there were shopping lines. On other days Jews went to neighboring villages for the purpose of selling their goods.

A Jewish nursery school, heder, "Tarbut" school, Talmud Torab, "Yavne" religious school were in operation in Stolin during the interwar period. There was also an orphan home in the town. Experienced melameds worked with children. Among them there were such melameds as Yasha Torover-Neydich, Reb Leybka, Ishaya, Meyrl and others.

In 1925 according to the decision of Polish ministers Jewish religious communities were created on the territory of Polesye voivodeship.  Stolin Jewish community was one of them. This community had three preaching houses, mikvahs and a cemetry. The town had a white stone synagogue (it wasn't heated). Management of the community was performed by its board. Up to 1939 Stolin religious community was headed by Rabbi Asher Fialkov. 

In 1939 upon establishment of the Soviet power on the territory of western Belarus Jewish communities were liquidated and their property was nationalized. Arrests and repressions were started. Active members of Zionist organizations and Bundists were particularly affected in the result of these events. Among them there were Gedalya Milman, Yosel Perel, David Frenkel, Nudelman, families Tukhman, Durchin, Glinskiy, Luba Beloguzskaya and her children, teacher Rusman, Brekman, Kagan, Rubinstein and others. They were sent to live in remote regions of Russia and that helped them to stay alive because the fate of other Jews living in Stolin was tragic.

After Poland was occupied by Nazi Germany a big group of refugee Jews was formed in Stolin. In 1941 Jewish population in Stolin was 8,500 people (68%). On the 12th of July 1941 Stolin was occupied by troops of Wehrmacht.  Occupancy lasted during 3 years till the 7th of July 1944. In early spring 1942 a ghetto was created and all Jews of Stolin as well as Jewish women and children from David-Gorodok settlement, village Rubel and other neighboring towns of Stolin district were driven to this ghetto. Borders of the ghetto were going along streets Polesskaya (from the river), Kostushko (now it is street Sovetskaya), Market place (now Komsomolskaya) of Lublin union and to the west towards the river.  Street Naberezhnaya was in the center of the ghetto. Judendrat (an administrative body of Jewish self-government) was organized. Warsaw Jew Berger was put by Germans in the head of this administrative body.

In ghetto Jews were subjected to numerous restrictions. And there was only one punishment determined for breaking these restrictions. This punishment was death. All Jewish people had to wear patches in form of yellow stars. In the evening they had to be at home behind close shutters. They were prohibited to appear in the street after 07:00 p.m. and to walk along pavements. Every day up to 12 persons died of hunger, cold weather and various diseases. Prisoners were kept in extreme tightness: all houses, the school, the synagogue and granaries were full of people. Under such awful conditions people living in the ghetto were soon crushed physically, morally and psychologically.

Nazi and policemen often made Jewish men to write letters to their relatives before death. Then in exchange for these letters murderers swindled from women the last clothes and decoration items. There was almost no food in ghetto. And food items brought by those who worked outside the ghetto behind their backs were the only source of livelihood.    During the first period of ghetto existence in the cellar of one of the houses people managed to hide a caw.  There was almost no food for this caw and that little amount of milk taken from the caw was used to support old rabbi Perlov who was later executed by shooting.

Each month the Judendrat had to pay a tax to the occupiers (ten rubles from a person) and to present a certificate informing about prisoners who were still alive. Threatening with bodily harm jews were made to give their valuables and gold to the cashdesk of the Gebietscommissar. Every day prisoners were used for performing heavy compulsory works. Mainly they were made to dig trenches at about 3 kilometers from Stolin in the Dolin estate. They were constantly beaten with butts, whips and spades. Specialists (tailors, carpenters, shoe makers) were made to work almost round the clock and also were subjected to humiliation and beating.

Stolin ghetto was completely destructed on the 11th of September 1942 at the eve of the Jewish New Year (Rosh a-Shana). All remaining prisoners of Stolin ghetto were killed (about 7,000 people).  In total during years of occupancy Germans and their accomplices killed 12,500 people including 8,000-8,500 Jews.

A certain number of Jews managed to hide in the ghetto and to escape from shooting on the 11th-12th of September. But only very few of them managed to get out of there and to save themselves because it was almost nowhere to run. Even if somebody of wounded people managed to get out of the pit of death and to hide in the forest at the catholic cemetery they were found later and killed.  In the fifth column driven to shooting before the sunset there were many young Jews who made their attempts to run away. They tried to get to Zatishye district. Many of those who tried to escape were shot dead but some of them managed to hide themselves.

Germans left several medical workers at the local hospital alive in particular the chief physician Roter. Afterwards partisans managed to get him to the forest. Among those who managed to save their lives there were also physician Henry Rid with his wife Eva and three-year old son Sasha, physician Poznanskiy with his wife Genia and veterinarian Akharonger with his wife.  In their escape they were helped by Roman Catholic priest of Stolin church Francis Smortsevskiy, forester Kayovskiy, Baptists Stepan Mozol and Agafia Mozol who hid strange people during several months until it became possible to send them to partisans.  Francis Smortsevskiy, Stepan Vasilyevich Mozol and Agafia Mozol in 1979 were awarded the honorary title "Righteous person of Nations of the World" at Israel Memorial Institute "Yad Vashem" "in sign of the deepest gratitude for help rendered to Jewish people during years of the Second World War".

Today we have got a farewell letter written by ghetto prisoner Shloma Beloguzskiy which was handed to his son in 1945:

"My dear Libele, Moyshale and Gershale.

Yesterday I sent you two greetings in Abasha's letters which he handed to faithful people. I hope that if with God's help you stay alive these letters will fall into your hands.

And now, my dear, I feel a necessity to say goodbye to you forever. I wish you all the best in life.  Let the good faith shine for you brighter than it shone to me and to all Jews of Stolin.  Human pen just cannot describe all sufferings and worries of each of us  as well as everything that happens to each of us when he is waiting death every minute of his life.  But so is our Fate and it cannot be changed my dear and beloved. You should always live together.

Libele, I am addressing you asking you to make everything possible in order to live with our children till they become adults and are possible to defend themselves.

Moyshale, your duty is to stand for me in the life of our family. Live in peace with Mashele, Gershele and mummy. And if you only have an opportunity you should try to get to Israel to Betsalel and Fane.

 Everything I managed to hide (jewelry and clothes), is recorded at Abasha.  And if you find my hidings use these things at your leisure. A lot of valuable property is left and anemies shouldn't take possession of it. But it isn't what I am interested in now.

I don't have an opportunity to be verbose because my heart aches a lot and I leave you my photograph as a keepsake. And if I have an opportunity I will leave all my photographs for you.

I wish you good health. Live in goodness and be happy. So is our Fate and it cannot be changed.

Mashale, you should be a devoted daughter. I hope that you will live in concord with your mom and I believe that you will always listen to her advice. You should know that your mother is one of the best. You are a responsible person, be an example for others, don't be obstinate (remove obstinacy from your heart) in order to have a better life.

And finally let me address you, Gershale, my son. You have always been devoted to each of us with your body and soul.  Be like this in future as well.

I kiss all of you from far away on the last day of my life.

Be happy and live in goodness.

Your Shlomo. Thursday, 03:00 a.m., the 10th of September 1942".

After the Great Patriotic War the Soviet Goverment sent specialists of various occupations to emptied Stolin in order to restore national economy of the region. People from various places of Belarus, Ukraine and Russia came to Stolin.  There were Jews among them as well. And only in 1999 it became possible to perform official registration of the Jewish Community of Stolin.  So Stolin Jewish cultural and educative public society "MOST" (Bridge) and "Yakhad" community of progressive Judaism were organized.  Names of these organizations are non-random.

"MOST" is a bridge through times to lost Jewish roots for links of generations. It is a memory bridge of  untimely dead Jews living in Stolin, David-Gorodok, Rubel, Gorodnaya, Belousha, Berezhnoye, Glinka, Radchitsk, Olpen' and many other settlements. It is a bridge of lost links of generations for Jews who took their origin from Stolin, David-Gorodok, Rubel, Gorodnaya, and other settlements where their ancestors lived  "Yakhad" is Hebrew for "Together". These two organizations act jointly. The main target of their work is to preserve the heritage of Jewish Stolin, David-Gorodok, Rubel, Gorodnaya and other Jewish settlements as well as to perpetuate and to preserve memory about thousands of innocent Jewish lives which were ruined. 

Secular organizationsDirect link for this paragraphGo back to indexGo back to index

Jewish public, social and cultural life in the beginning of the 20th century was quite saturated and interesting.  As well as in many other communities charity was a widespread phenomenon.  Starting from the middle 19th century it takes organizational forms. In 1908 inhabitants of Stolin I.A. Kashtan, I. Derevenskiy, V.M. Plotnik, S.Sh. Furman, M.E. Pilchik, S.N. Gotlib and I.S. Shyriayev a cash desk of mutual help was opened. Its organizers had a goal to provide lump sum allowance for daughters and relatives of founders and members of the cash who were going to marry. An unlimited number of persons of both genders could become members of the cash without difference in their religion, ranks or positions.

After the February Revolution of 1917 influence of Zionist ideas was increased. It is during this period that Stolin Zionists obtained an idea to create a school intended for upbringing of Jewish children in accordance with Zionistic ideas. "Tarbut" school for boys was the first educational institution of the kind. Teaching at this school was organized in Hebrew. Despite a certain number of problems including absence of monetary funds and premises, negative attitude of some Jews and lack of skilled teachers in summer of 1917 the school was opened. Teacher Feinstein was invited to take the position of its director. He arrived to the town with books and learning guidebooks.

The number of potential pupils during a short period grew up to 70-80 persons.  Based on results of the examination children were divided into 3 forms.  Soon the school could accept everybody who wanted to learn there. During the first year of work a "Tarbut" representative from Moscow visited the school.  Pupils of the school showed a high level of knowledge. In the result of this a significant sum of money was promised to the school. But this sum wasn't obtained in view of change of government in Russia.

Forms of the school were distributed in two private apartments. And that had a negative influence on the learning process and the process of school development in a whole.  A plot of land was acquired for performing construction of a school building. Necessary monetary funds were collected for this purpose as well as for buying schoolbooks.  A bit later, after "Tarbut" school building was finished there appeared a necessity to build the second building of the school.  An invaluable contribution to implementation of this task was made by a local rabbi Agaron Fialkov who was a Zionist-idealist and advocate of Hebrew. There was a nursery school in Stolin where upbringing and learning was also performed in Hebrew.

There was a yeshiva which was organized by Rabbi Moshe Perlov in 1922. About 100 youths studied here. During 1920-1930-s  17 public and religious organizations (including organizations for youths) were acting in Stolin" : "Shvat Tsion" ("Coming back to Zion"), "Ha-Shomer Ha-Tsair", "Gorodonia", "Haluts" ("Pioneers" getting repaired to mastering of Palestina), "Poaley Zion" (left-wing oriented Zionistic organization), "Beytar" (right-wing oriented Zionist organization), youth organization "Lion cubs".

There was also a department of "Bund" party. Yet in the beginning of the 20th century Bund party attracted thousands of Jewish youths and girls from underprivileged sectors of the society. The main activity of Bund participants consisted in agitation for reorganization of the society. Their activity became more intense during the period of the first Russian revolution of 1905. When Jewish pogroms were started troops of Jewish self-defense were organized by Bund party in Stolin. Because of persecution of royal authorities Bund’s activities were gradually minimized. Several years later, upon the victory of the socialist revolution of the 1917, Bund became active again. But with a start of the civil war Bund had to go underground again. And only after establishment of power of the Republic of Poland activity of Bund as well as activity of other political parties and movements was renewed and lasted until establishment of the Soviet power in 1939.

During the period of the first Russian revolution Poaley Zion movement was formed in Stolin. But after the revolution was defeated in 1905 this organization stopped its activity in view of political repressions on behalf of the royal government. "Poaley Zion" group renewed its work in 1925. A Tabut school teacher Shapiro and Moshe Milman were at the head of this movement.  Relations of Poaley Zion and Bund were quite complicated. In 1930 during reading a lecture about collapse of the Zionist movement by a representative of Bund who arrived to Stolin from Warsaw a mass brawl was started. Police separated the fighting parts and took representatives of both camps under arrest.

In Polesye voivodeship two youth organizations were working. These were Beytar (Trumpeldor Union) and Freygait ("Liberty"). The first organization tried to be presented in Palestine by means of military actions. Members of this organization collected funds for creating a national army. A great attention was paid to military training. The second organization promoted emigration to Palestine and had a goal to build socialism there.  The Z|ionist right-wing organization Beytar was founded in Stolin. But it wasn't popular among the Jewish population of the town. Pisakh Fishman was one of devoted followers of this party.

Organization Ha-shomer had a task to prepair a citizen of the Future Jewish State in Palestine. It promoted a love to the historical motherland, the Hebrew language and brought up patriotic feelings instead of class consciousness. Children 9-13 years of age were accepted to the organization. And those who reached 16 years of age were included to Shomer troops. History of Stolin group Ha-shomer Ha-zair was started in1920-s when Josef Trumpeldor scout's group of youths was formed. Sarel Kashtan was a person standing at the beginning of Ha-shomer Ha-zair movement. Sarel was born in a typical Jewish family at the end of the 19th century and got a traditional Jewish upbringing and education.  He was a photographer and so he managed to keep his big family. Sarel Kashtan had an unquestionable authority among likeminded people.

Management of Stolin group Ha-shomer Ha-zair required from teacher of "Tarbut" school to spend more time on promoting Zionist socialist ideas among scouts.  Cudner didn't agree and that resulted in separation of scouts into two groups. One of these groups joined Ha-shomer Ha-zair. It stirred up Zionist activities and promoted repatriation of young people from Stolin to Israel.

In 1920-1930-s He-haluz movement was activated (it was founded in the beginning of the 20th century). Its final goal was to prepare Jewish youths and girls for working activities on the territory of Israel.

Aid funds of reconstruction of Palestine "Keren-Kajemet" and "Keren-Hajesed", the cah of mutual aid, Women's public organization and Jewish fire brigade were also active and successful during that period. 

Urban planning Direct link for this paragraphGo back to indexGo back to index

Urban planning of the town is related with a Stolin landlord (presumably his name was Stakhovskiy) who had bond workers. They lived not far from his estate, their barns were situated next to each other and so they formed a street.  In the course of time Belorussian inhabitants named this street "Stolinskaya". It ran up to the street which was previously called Vygonnaya. Up to date it is street Polesskaya.

 It would be no exaggeration to say that Stolin was built by Jews although they weren't the first inhabitants of the town. After moving to Stolin they prolonged the village street Stolinka in the west direction. They settled along the river on one side and in the opposite direction towards the field: so they embraced the lake. In order to drain the lake and to prevent the flood Jews dug a drain between the lake and a stream at the border with the cemetery. And really the lake was drained and became much smaller. It almost completely dried. People living near the lake tried to conquer the territory. Later Jewish houses also embraced the cemetery hill.

At the end of the 19th century Belorussian peasants preferred to settle in the suburbs of the town behind Jewish houses and soon they settled around the territory from the bank of the river and up to the field as well as along the Jewish cemetery. (Str. Dombrovicha (up to date str. Gorynskaya), str. Krivaya (up to date str. Dzerzhynskogo) and took also several side streets). There they built their houses, arranged their yards and cowsheds and only their fields were outside the town.

By the beginning of the 20th century Stolin settlement acquired rectangular form which was broadening to the east. Streets were straight. The majority of buildings were built of wood. Gradually inhabitants started to build houses of bricks but these houses were not numerous.  Being under power of Poland (1920 - 1939) Stolin continued its development and turned into a big beautiful town with roads, pavements, beautiful buildings, trees in streets etc.

So the town was growing both regarding the area and the number of people living in it. During many years Jewish cemetery was the border of the town from the western side. But later some peasants settled behind the cemetery as well along the road leading from Stolin to the railway station Goryn'.

EthnographyDirect link for this paragraphGo back to indexGo back to index

Inhabitants of Stolin used a traditional complex of Eastern Plesye folk costume. This costume was distinct from other costumes in its original design, complex silhouettes of women's costume and headdresses of married women. For manufacturing and ornamentation of inhabitants' clothes manufactory fabric was broadly used alongside with jewelry and skillfully processed leather etc.

Breast jewelry was a significant decorative element of the costume. Women wore massive brass crosses of local production, beads of natural stones and metal, little icons on chains as well as rings. Prosperous inhabitants could be able to afford expensive elements of ornamentation they ordered from local smiths. Broadening material and aesthetic needs of villages lead not just to increase of assortment of smith's articles but also to improvement of their quality and technology of production.

M. Romanuk noticed similarity of forms and motives used for decoration of cast stone sepulchral crosses produced in the middle of the 19th century with breast crosses. In his works this ethnographer wrote:

"Headstones in form of crosses which were cast of sandy limestone mass is a rare phenomenon which is territorially limited by the territory of Stolin district... In fact it is the only known case when the composition of sepulchral cross repeats the form of the ancient (the 17th - 18th century) breast jewelry cross".

So on the basis of decoration and artistic forms of these headstones we can estimate possible variants of forms used in breast crosses. Tracery on one of cast crosses resembles cornflower inflorescence which is a typical Belarus flower and on horizontal bars heads of angels with wings are depicted volumetrically like the figure of Christ. Crosses were the most widespread group of hanging ornamentation in Belarus during all periods of time. Known since the period of adoption of Christianity they are preserved in the up-to-date life as well.

Trading and manual crafts were popular among inhabitants of Stolin. Old-timers recollect that joiners and tailors sewing upper garments were popular in Stolin. Craftsmen sold their produce not just far away from their homes but also at fairs carried out in Stolin, David-Gorodok during state and religious holidays. 

Fairs were a traditional form of trading from long ago. In the register of 1837 sent as a report to Minsk governor it is stated that fairs in this region were carried out on the 13th of March, the 23rd of April, the 29th of July and the 6th of August. The total sum of goods brought for sale to these fairs was 2028 rubles. The sum of sold goods was 1881 rubles. The number of sellers who took part in these fairs was 350 persons. In 1893 6 fairs were carried out.

Representatives of various nationalities and confessions lived on the territory of this district. They lived in peace.  They might differ from each other in appearance.  Jews Hasids whose local name is "kitayovtsy" wore a peculiar form of clothes which was quite different from clothes of local Jews Misnagides living alone clothes of Christians. According to stories told by local inhabitants Hasids wore black clothes resembling tailcoats and round black caps. 

Living in vicinity from each other it was impossible not to notice peculiar features of cultures and ceremonies of neighbors. A native of Stolin Vera Yakovleva Tsupa recollects:

"My father during many years put out candles in the synagogue. There was a Jew whose name was Yankel. He called him. All night long they prayed and during the whole night they had to watch candles. Then my dad refused this work and another person took this position. And among them it is as follows: they lay "abrok" and it should stay there all the time. Before the Easter good items are taken and bad items are taken out and burnt. Another person came and started to steal. Yankel told him: "Go away!".  As for my father he never took anything from there. He said as follows: "People bring these items. They ask from God. Why should I take it?"

Jews living in Stolin observed rules of kashrut. From recollections of local inhabitants it is known that there was a bench in their kitchen used for preparing meat dishes and a bench for preparing milk dishes. It was prohibited to eat milk dishes and meat dishes at the same time. If Jews ate milk dishes they washed their mouth before eating meat. And if they ate meat than milk dishes could be taken only 6 hours later. If a plate cracked it was considered treif and shouldn't be used for taking food. 

Holidays of Jews and Christians sometimes didn't coincide but in any situation people could count on help of their neighbors. One of such days was Saturday when Christians worked and Jews took a rest. They fired candles had a supper and in order not commit a sin they called Belorussians to put out the candles.

Wedding ceremony and funeral rites of Jews significantly differed from those of Christians and that's why these ceremonies are remembered by inhabitants of Stolin. Vera Yakovlevna Tsupa had an opportunity to observe these ceremonies. She told the following story: "When Jews got married they made a Chuppah. Tytsyn's son got married. There were a lot of people. They went to the pine forest where a Chuppah was placed[3]. And when somebody of Jews died than his/her body was wrapped up in a sindon and laid on the ground. Burning candles were put around and only then the body was taken to the cemetery. New vessels were broke and put on dead person's face because they buried without a coffin.

Samples of contructions and architectureDirect link for this paragraphGo back to indexGo back to index

(just existing objects).

White stone synagogue (1792).

A big synagogue in Stolin which is the oldest stone construction preserved until now not just in Stolin but in the entire Stolin district. Building of the synagogue was erected in 1792-1793. The big synagogue is the only memorial of synagogue architecture of the 18th century constructed in the style of late baroque with elements of classicism which has been preserved on the territory of Belarus.

Starting from the end of the 18th century the architectural style of stone synagogues deviated from the traditional centric type. Synagogues acquired traces of secular buildings and their internal planning lost its originality.  Stolin synagogue doesn't have traditional bimah (ambon) with columns supporting the vault. Stolin synagogue has got two floors. It is a prolonged rectangular building. It is distinguished through its main facade which is performed not in a traditional way. The facade is divided into two stages (layers). It has got bevelled corners and a low triangle pediment. Archtectural solutions of the kind are natural for palaces of that period.

On the first level of the building there are no pilasters, windows have a bow-shape upper ends with imitation of palace stone. The first and the second floors are devided with cornices. On the second level there are flat pilasters in the corners; pairs of pilasters situated in each partition wall and high round headed windows with fascias.

Inside the rectangular building is divided with a wall into the outer entrance hall (where three entrances led from the main facade) and a square preaching hall for men. Over the entrance hall and side naves around the space of the central nave there was a gallery for women where stairs led. Preserved fragments of painting on internal walls give an opportunity to conclude that the synagogue was well ornamented by means of alfresco painting and stucco moulding. Hips of the roof have various levels of steepness. Over the main facade the slope is steeper. The form of the roof becomes more complicated in view of pediment availability.

Because of numerous fires the building of Stolin synagogue was repeatedly rebuilt in the 19th and the first half of the 20th century.  During the fire of 1827 the bimah and forty Torah scrolls in silver cases decorated with gilded roots were burnt. Despite the fact that the building of the synagogue has got the status of historical and cultural site up to date its condition is unsatisfactory. 

Rabbi's house (yeshibah)

In front of the synagogue the building of former yeshibah is situated. It is a white-pink building with a balcony and a sloping roof. During previous times the building was equipped with a special mechanism which was used for lifting both sloping sides and opening the roof. It was used during Succoth holiday. According to some reports the building was also inhabited by the rabbi – Moshe Perlov (1892-1942)

Voznesenskaya church – built in 1938 of wood. This church is of four bases and axial composition. The main square volume and the pentahedral absis are of equal height and are united with a help of a multifaceted roof and a common cornice. Over the main volume luminous octagonal structure is situated. It is cowered with a flat headed tent.  The refectory (which is lower) and the forechurch have an interrelated composition of volumes. Small subsidiary premises on each side of the forechurch are prolonged by means of arched portals forming side entrances to the refectory. Over the forechurches there is a three-storied bell tower with a hip roof which dominates in the entire composition. Low symmetric adjacent buildings are situated on each side of the absis.  Window apertures are rectangular and with semicircular upper sides. Facades are vertically reinforced and decorated by means of carved frieze. The interior of the main volume has two tiers of windows. Four round columns with a help of console sails support the octagonal structure. Choir gallery is situated over the refectory. The church is a memorial of ecletic architecture combining elements of Belorussian Polesye and the Russian wooden architecture. 

Park "Mankovichi"

Its history is related to the history of Radzivills' princely family. In the 16th century during the reign of Nickolay Radzivill the Black David-Gorodok ordination of Radzivills was initiated. But up to the end of the 19th century this ordination didn't have its residence.  When there was a necessity to build a new estate because of devision of Nesvezh-Kletsk ownership between sons of Antoniy Radzivill (1833-1904 гг.) an exceptional picturesque place was chosen situated on a high terrace over the old course of Goryn' river in Mankovichi estate. A big stone in the park has the name of the foundress of the park Maria Dorota de Kastelian (1848-1915), who was the wife of Antoniy Radzivill as well as the year 1885. An old oak forest became the basis for the park. Berlin architect Venzel built a neo-baroque palace here. The style of this park resembled the style of the Nesvizh Park. Its landscape included motives of romanticism and ideas of naturalism as well as traces of regularity. The most exotic place in the park is the crest of the terrace with its cape-like ledges and the slope with its deep ravines overgrown with oaks, hornbeams and fir trees. 

Palace built by Stanislav Radzivill (adjutant of Y.Pilsudskiy) after his death was obtained by his nephew Karol Radzivill who was the last David-Gorodok ordinate. And in 1943 it was burnt.  The place where it was situated is marked with a beautiful oak tree with a big crown in the center of a big park clearing.

In Stolin the following memorials have been preserved:

-         buildings of administration built in the first half of the 20th century, 

-         building of eldership (the first half of the 20th century);

-         shopping lines (the 19th - the first half of the 20th century);

-         brandy kitchen building (the end of the 19th - beginning of the 20th century);

-         alcohol cellar building;

-         horse stables (the end of the 19th - beginning of the 20th century);

-         Rukhotskiy cinema – building of the District Culture Center (the up-to-date department of culture);

-         Trukhman's manufactory – building of the Children's Paradise, up-to-date "Slavianskiy" bar;

-         Ficangor manufactory - up-to-date building of the District Consumer Association;

-         Chernik pharmacy shop –  the former book store, the up-to-date "Paritetbank";

-         Two-storeyed Krupnik's house – up-to-date center of employment (the 1st store was also taken by:   Eisenberg - the warehouse of vines and iron products; Gonskiy - a snack bar; Motorin - a stationery shop. From 1935 to 1939 a magistrate was situated in the house.

Memorial placesDirect link for this paragraphGo back to indexGo back to index

Stolin has got graves of the Stolin community rabbi Shlomo from Karlin and Mordekhay Lekhovicher who died on 13 Shevat 5570 (1810).

"Borok" urochishe (district) (village Hotomel) – 53 persons older than 14 were killed; shootings were organized on the 10th of August 1941.

"Hinovsk" urochishe (district) near David-Gorodok town  – 685 persons older than 14 were killed (according to information presented by the Jewish community about 3 thousand of people were killed). Shootings were performed on the 10 of August 1941.

"Podraliche" urochishe (district) near village Gorodnaya in July of 1942 200 women and old people were killed. Other 400 Jews were killed 3 km from the village.

"Stasino" urochishe (district) - 4 km from Stolin 12.5 thousand people were shot dead including 8.5 thousand of Jews. Shootings were performed on the 11th of September 1942.

In 1960 in Stasino district where 8.5 thousand Jews and 4 thousand people of other nationalities were killed an obelisk was later set up which was later disassembled.  In October of 1993 a memorial was opened where one of monuments was presented in form of an open book (on one page text in Hebrew is presented and on the other page this text is presented in Russian).  The second monument to victims of Holocaust  is presented as a sculptural composition of a woman with a baby.

Intangible valuesDirect link for this paragraphGo back to indexGo back to index

Stolin district is the birth place of some well-known personalities.

Nadezhda Nickolayevna Ostapchuk (born on the 28th of October 1980 in village Bolshiye Orly, Stolinsk district, Brest region, Belorussian SSR - a Belorussian shot putter, the bronze medallist of Olympic games of 2008, champion of Europe and the world. She is the deserved master of sport of the Republic of Belarus (2005).

Vladimir Mikhaylovich Matushok – doctor of economic sciences, professor, an honorable worker of higher education of the Russian Federation, the vice president of the International Association of Economists CEMAFI-international (Nice, France), academician of IASS, an honored scientist of the Ingush Republic.

Chechik Iyekhoshua (יהושע צ'צ'יק) (1895–1973) – Israel editor

Kastelanets Dvora (דבורה קסטלניץ) (1905–1986) – Israel theater actress.

Museums, archives, libraries, private collectionsDirect link for this paragraphGo back to indexGo back to index

Stolin District Museum of Local Lore, History and Economy was opened on the 5th of November 1955. Up to date it is situated in a picturesque corner of "Mankovichi" Landscape Park.

Address: 225510, Republic of Belarus Brest region, Stolin, "Mankovichi" park 

Tel./fax: (1655) 2-23-96, 2-43-67

E-mail: [email protected] 

As of the 1st of January 2011 funds of the Museum consisted of 22,075 museum items (14,641 of the main fund and 7,434 of the scientific supportive fund). 

Up to date the 3rd exposition of the Museum is working. It was opened on the 11th of December 2005. It is situated in 6 halls: of nature, archeology, history (3 halls) and ethnography.  According to the chronological plan the exposition covers the historical period from the 7-8 thousand years B.C. (Mesolite epoch) and up to the modern period. One of hall telling about the history of Stolin district includes a section devoted to Holocaust.  In the hall of nature attention of visitors is drawn by diorama "Olmany Swamps" depicting one of the main natural sights of Stolin lands and namely taxidermic figures of animals; there are explicit collections of insects and fishes.

Stolin District Museum of Local Lore, History and Economy takes an active part in realization of the international program CORE. In particular employees of the Museum have developed a number of personal minor projects.  "Stoliniada", "Go around Potter's Wheel!", "Polesye   in my Heart". In the course of their realization collaboration with interested organizations and structures of the Russian Federation and Swiss Confederation has been organized.    

Touristic potential of the regionDirect link for this paragraphGo back to indexGo back to index

Transport communications of Stolin and Stolin district

Town of Stolin is situated 257 kilometers from Brest on Pinsk - David-Gorodok highway.  From stolin highway roads are going to Pinsk, David-Gorodok, Dubrovitsa (Ukraine). In several kilometers from Stolin there is a railroad station Goryn' which is on the main railway line Lvov – Sarny – Luninets – Baranovichy – Vilnus. There are three railway stations: Goryn', Vidibor, Priryat and one halting point Bukhlichi. 

Touristic potential of Stolin and Stolin district:

There are 252 historical and cultural memorials in the district.  Out of them 17 memorials are samples of architecture, 2 memorials are samples of art, 90 memorials are items of history and 143 memorials are archaeological items. "Mankovichi" park is a real pearl of nature in Stolin.  Estate and park ensemble in Novo-Berezhnoye settlement is not less interesting.

A good tradition consists in carrying out public events based on folks holidays "Kaliadki", "Kupalle", "Maslenitsa", "Trytsa". And "Paleski kirmash" renewed in the beginning of 1980-s became a prototype of the republican holiday "Dozhniki".


Goryn Hotel (Stolin)

Address: Republic of Belarus, Brest region, Stolin, str. Lenina, 7

Phone: +375 (1655) 2-13-67

Fax: +375 (1655) 2-49-52

It is situated in the center of the town. 5 stores 38 rooms Types of rooms: suite rooms, standard single and double rooms.   Distance from: the railway station Stolin - 1 km; bus station Stolin - 1 km.

Information on the web-site:


Restaurant "Goryn"

Address: Stolin, str. Sovetskaya, 60,

Tel.: +375 (1655) 2-17-09.

Working hours: 12.00 p.m - 01.00 a.m.

Number of seats: 144.

Visitors have an  opportunity to taste a broad assortment of dishes of the Belorussian ethnic cuisine; servicing of ceremonies, anniversaries, themed nights is performed.


Bar "Slavianskiy"

Address: Stolin, sq. Komsomolskaya, 6

Phone: +375 (1655) 2-26-87

Working hours: 12-00 p.m. -00.00 a.m.

Number of seats: 104.


Bar "Domino"

Address: Stolin, str. Gorkogo, 15/16

Phone: +375 (1655) 2-16-75

Working hours: 02-00 p.m. - 00.00 a.m.

Number of seats: 40.


Bar "Tete-A-Tete"

Address: Stolin, str. Sovetskaya, 38а

Phone: +375 (1655) 2-25-74.

Working hours: 11.00 a.m. - 00.00 a.m.

Number of seats: 40.


Bar "Liga"

Address: Stolin, str. Sovetskaya, 115,

Phone: +375 (1655) 2-11-92

Number of seats: 50


Bar "Olymp"

Address: Stolin, str. Sovetskaya, 69

Phone: +375 (1655) 2-18-71

Number of seats: 50


In Stolin district eco-touristic routs have been developed with an accent not just on familiarization with the unique nature of landscape reserves of the district "Srednyaya Pripyat" and "Olmany Swamps" but also on the history and culture of local population. The following ecological routes in the district are proposed for tourists:

Route "Floating on Pripyat"

(From village Korobye on river Pripyat to David-Gorodok or to village Olshany)

Rout type: water route

Route length: 45 km.

The most favorable time: April-September.

Number of tourists: 5 persons, duration - 2 days.


GPU has got an opportunity to provide one rowboat and two motor boats. Except for the necessary tourist equipment participants of this floating should have gumboots. Workers of GPU accompany the group of tourists along the entire route. Food – independently or in accordance with preliminary agreement nutrition is organized by GPU. The rout starts in village Korobye. Ecologic and educational center of the reserve is situated in the village. It is equipped with all necessary items for accomodation of 7-9 persons. Ecological path "Korobeynaya" is organized in the neighborhood of village Korobye. Its length is 2.3 km. During your journey you can see a great diversity of birds including some rare species (great egret, black stork, bittern, terns etc.). Fifteen kilometers from beginning of the route in the district of river Vetlitsa there is a place for the first stop.

The main goal of the route  – to get acquainted with life of aquatic and swamp animals and birds, vegetation, landscape of the reserve. Fauna on this route is presented by semi-aquatic animals and birds; amphibians may be also noticed; on soundings fishes may be met. You may see European beaver, European mink and   American mink, otter and muskarat. Birds are mainly represented by waterfowl (mute swan, mallard, gadwall, coot, gallinule, garganey teal, great crested grebe, common tern, black-headed gull, little gull, short-billed gull); except for waterfowl you can meet little heron, grey heron, duck hawk, buzzard, various kinds of sandpipers (Eurasian curlew, snipe, great snipe, redshank etc.). Rare bird species include: white-tailed eagle, black stork, great egret, Eurasian bittern, little bittern, marsh owl, corncrake, whiskered tern etc.   

Program of the route presupposes familiarization with every-day life of people living in village Korobye, David-Gorodok, village Olshany.


Route "Along Swamp Labyrinths"

(Journey to "Olmany Swamps" reserve)


Rout type: combined route

Length – about 26 km.

The most favorable time: May-September.

Number of tourists: 10-20 persons.


This pedestrian tourist trip with the total length of 26 km is estimated for three days (the variant by bicycles is estimated for 2 days) The main goal of the trip along the south-eastern part of Stolin district consists in familiarization with historical memorials, landscapes of the western suburbs of the republican landscape reserve "Olmany Swamps" in particular with neighborhood of Bolshoye Zasominnoye lake and with this lake itself.

First of all it is advisable to attend Stolin District Museum of Local Lore, History and to get acquainted with the exposition of the nature hall and then to go to village Struga. After crossing river Goryn' (before villages Bolshiye Vikorovichi and Maliye Vikorovichi) excursionists can see what is left of so called Radzivill's channel which used to connect rivers Lva and Goryn'.

Not far from village Yamnoye excursionists learn Kirchak urochishe (district), natural sand buildups which are a unique picturesque element on the background of the flat land. A small village Koshara or Olmany Koshara (as old-timers call it) is a picturesque point on the bank of Lva River. Once upon a time the owner of these lands Prince Radzivill had an estate here. The village is also known by the fact that during the Great Patriotic War partisans defeated major forces of Fascists. Lva River flowing nearby may be with good reason named Belorussian Amazon. It is better to perform a separate trip along this river in order to be convinced in the pristine beauty of Polesye and to get acquainted with its flora and fauna many representatives of which have extincted or became quite rare in other corners of Belarus. The surrounding area may be viewed from the observation tower situated in village Koshara.  

The final inhabited locality of the tourist tour is village Olmany. A general sightseeing is organized around it. And tourists get acquainted with this big village which was granted in 1566 by the Queen of Poland Bona to landlord Korzhenevich.

The territory of Olmany swamp massive is presented with two broad swamps: Krasnoye swamp and Galo swamp as well as with residual lakes, high mineral ridges and islands (isolated hills covered with old forests). Olmany swamp massive includes a number of old small residual lakes situated in floodplains of rivers   Lva and Stviga. Two lakes (Big Zasominoye and Small Zasominoye) situated out the floodplains.

Big Zasominoye Lake is the biggest natural reservoir of the district and participants of the hike should wear high boots for going along an old totting road. Wooden boats can be used for moving on the lake itself.  Being on the lake and among the swamp excursionists learn flora and fauna of the district.  The route presupposes extreme elements consisting in moving along the swamp territory with length of 1.3 km. After visiting the lake and the swamp tourists come back to village Koshara where on the bank of river Lva a resting place is equipped. And in village Koshara there is a farm "Lva" where tourists may stay for the night.

For information: Except for the necessary tourist equipment participants should have gumboots. A worker of GPU accompanies the group of tourists along the entire route. Food – independently or in accordance with preliminary agreement nutrition is organized by GPU.

ReferencesDirect link for this paragraphGo back to indexGo back to index

1.     «Жемчужины Беларуси. Столинский район», стр. 10, «Плутос- инфо», 2007 г.

2.     Акт о производстве осмотра кладбищ, где производился расстрел граждан СССР Столинского района Пинской области БССР немецкими извергами // Филиал Госархива Брестской области в г. Пинске. – Ф. 118. – Оп. 1. – Д. 1. – Л. 22.

3.      Басін, Я.З. Іўдаізм / Я.З. Басін // Рэлігія і царква на Беларусі: энцыкл даведн. / Я.З. Басін, Ю.В. Бажэнаў. – Мінск, 2001. – С. 134-136.

4.     Выборы кагальных и раввина в м.Столин (1817 г.) // НИАБ в Минске. –  Ф. 299. – Оп. 2. – Д. 449.

5.     Дело о назначении Сегел Г. агентом Русского Северо-Западного Пароходства в мест. Столин Пинского уезда // НИАБ в г. Минске. Ф. 295. – Оп. 1. – Д. 8363.

6.     Дело о проведении дознания об авторе Столинского анонимного объявления, расклеенного в Столине об изгнании евреев из волости // НИАБ в г. Минске. Ф. 295. – Оп. 1. – Д. 3741.

7.     Дело о расследовании причин отдачи мещанину Найдичу утверждённого за купцом Л. Айзенбергом содержания коробочного сбора в мест. Столин Пинского уезда // НИАБ в г. Минске. Ф. 299. – Оп. 2. – Д.  32510

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9.     Древняя земля на берегу Горыни: Столинский район / [автор текста Н. В. Суслова. - Минск: Рифтур, 2013. - [44] с.

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[1]                       Hasidism (from Heb. חסידות‎, hasidut, or in Ashkenazi pronunciation, hasidus, "righteousness", literal translation — "learning of godlikeness") — a religious movement in Judaism, which during a very short period in the 18th century involved Jewish population of  Rzeczpospolita and neighboring territories. In Hasidism a significant attention is paid to emotional comprehension of the God.

                (Information taken from Wikipedia — the free encyclopedia)
[2]                       Misnagdim, mitnagdim, misnagids (Heb. מִתְנַגְדִים‎, in Ashkenazi pronunciation misnagdim; literal translation — "those who oppose", "those who object", singular form — mitnaged) — it is the name opponents of Hasidism named themselves (they were from among rabbis and heads of Jewish communities. Initially activities of these circles were predominantly of polemic nature and their religious perception resulted in a peculiar lifestyle and an integral ideology. The leading role in the process of opposing Hasidism was played by Vilenskiy Gaon Eliyakh ben Shlomo Zalman, thanks to whom Lithuania became the center of Mitnagdim (Litvaks).

                Influence of leaders of Hasidism was based on unquestionable authority of their personalities as leaders of communities and for Eliyakhu ben Shlomo Zalman and his followers the main criteria defining position of a person in the society was still rabbi's erudition.

                (Information taken from Wikipedia — the free encyclopedia)
[3]                       Chuppah is a cannopy (a big coverlet) attached to four poles and usually well decorated under which Jewish wedding ceremony takes place.

Addendum ADirect link for this paragraphGo back to indexGo back to index

Table 1

Jewish population of the town of Stolin as per Inventory of 1836. 

1. Leiba Makarovich Frenkel
2. Faivel Portnoy
3. Shlema Furman
4. Movsha Lapitskiy
5. Haim Derevenko
6. Movsha Derevenko
7. Leizer Nosanovich
8. Movsha Meyerovich Kutalchuk
9. Itzik Portnoy
10. Hiram Zagarlimatr
11. Hiram Borukhovich Lapetskiy
12. Leisher Leibovich Koval
13. Mapir Shklar
14. Abram Kotlar
15. Geinokh Leib Furman
16. Yankel Meyerovich Kutan
17. Yankel Leib Kravets
18. Shlomowa Yalpiukova (Shloma Yalpiuk's widow)
19. David Movsha Leibovich Kravets
20. Shloma Aron Abramovich Koniuh
21. Grits Girtovich Bakalar
22. Movsha Meyerovich ...
23. Ovsey Yeliyevich Zaidman
24. Aaron Borshevich Furmna
25. Burko Vigritskiy
26. Bontiamnin Yevnovich
27. Yankel Shendrovich Bulichtskiy
28. Itsko Yevnovich
30. Moisha Garpovich
31. Ovsey Topalchik
32. ... Burilovich Rubintreik
33. Movsha Yudkovich Varpin
34. Mendel Marovich Frikel
35. Itsko Gonchar
36. Burkevich Furman
37. Leiba ...
38. Meyer Yainek Kushner
39. Yankel Skarovich Turasnich
40. Shloma Itskovich Liberman
41. Shenderova Mopengukova
42. Yankel Nisenovich Getik
43. Yosel Reznik
44. Plats Rabinovskiy
45. Movsha Shlomovich Kushnir
46. Leiker Yankenovich Geer
47. Gert Sromovich Beloguskiy
48. Abram Itskan Fialko
49. Yankel Itskovich Krikun
50. Movsha Yemovich Glinskiy
51. Avremel Yankelevich
52. ... Mordukhovich Reznik
53. Yankel Notkovich Tsyrulnik
54. David Kutalchuk
55. Itsko Sromovich Koval
56. Aron Mendemovich Vikarovitskiy
57. Abram Leibovich
58. Nilo Girtovich Koval
59. Leiba Yevnovich Gorodenskiy
60. Leisherova (widow of Leisher)
61. Avremel Davidovich
62. Movsha Shevemovich Perebrotskiy
63. Meyer Yaknuk
64. Aron Derevenskiy
65. Nevah Abramovich Vinnik
66. Movsha Leibovich Kravets
67. Tevya Golodukova
68. Joseph Zelenkevich

Addendum BDirect link for this paragraphGo back to indexGo back to index

Table 2

The list of Jews, who payed duty for the shops they maintained to a local landlord Earl Aleksander Soltan as per the Inventory of 1836.

1. Movsha Yankel Leibovich
2. Polka Lutskiy
3. Marduch Meyer Frenkel
4. Chetsa the widow
5. Faivel ...
6. Borukh ...
7. Hankel Perlovich
8. Ela Lemstvitskiy
9. ... Stolinskiy
10. David Tylchin

Table 3

Jewish population of Stolin before Great Patriotic War according to a regional newspaper “Krestianskaya Pravda” (from Russiam “Peasants's truth”), 1939-1941

No. Name Occupation Gender
1. V. Mayerovich    
2. Milman Specialist of Stolin vocational school m
3. Marshalok Inspector  
4. Shlafer Inspector  
5. N. Elias Pioneer leader at Stolin Russian junior secondary school f
6. Rozenblum Foreman of rafting department m
7. Shpetrik Head of the choir of Stolin Russian junior secondary school f
8. Piotr Davidovich Lekht, born in 1914 Secretary of Comsomol district committee m
9. Deikun    
10. Shpot Karp Beloushskiy Member of Selsoviet (Rural Council)  
11 Menakhem Srul Leibovich Kleiman Carpenter of Stolin factory of kitchen furniture m
12. Leizer Sanovich Vuninskiy Carpenter of Stolin factory of kitchen furniture m
13. Vigdor Shleimovich Goltsman Carpenter of Stolin factory of kitchen furniture m
14. Fishman Employee of Savings bank  
15. Leizer Haimovich Meidelev Pupil of Stolin vocational school m
16. Boruch Butenskiy Boruch Butenskiy m
17. Ivan Lvovich Deikun, born in 1903 Head of District planning committee, secretary of Primary party organization m
18. Grigoriy Korneevich Moiseevich, born in 1893 Head of Struzhski Selsoviet (Rural Council) m
19. Shloma Abramovich Kagan, born 1912 Director of Stolin timber mill m
20. Ela Haimovich Wolfman, born 1904 Secretary of Stolin Russian Communist Party (Bolsheviks) m
21. Sakovich    
22. Rotter Doctor at Stolin hospital  
23. L.I. Burman Head of Plant committee  
24. Levin Shahna Anshelevich, born 1909   m
25. Akkerman Movsha Meerovich, born in 1909 Member of Tailors' Guild “A new Life” m
26. Gleiberman Malka Nohimovna, born in 1903 Chief of Kulttovary (from Russian “Cultural goods” - shop that offered office supplies and other stationary, musical instruments etc.). f
27. Burman Leizer Itskovich, born 1906 Employee of Furniture factory m
28. Geer Wolf Meerovich, born 1908 Doctor at Stolin hospital m
29. Molochnik Lev Velvelevich Director of the Furniture factory Osvobozhdenie” (from Russian liberation) m
30. Tribukh Abram Movshevich, born in 1980 Head of the Shoemaker's Guild “Kooperativ” (from Russian cooperative society) m
31. T. H. Butenskiy Employee of Furniture factory m
32. H. Sher pupil f
33. I. Butensiy Blacksmith of Stolin timber mill No.1 m
34. German Head of Gorsoviet (City Council)  
35. Vaksbaum  Manager of the Canteen No. 1  
36. G. Shmuts Waitress at the canteen No. 1 f
37. Perlov Foreman at Furniture factory m
38. Faivel Shviets Employee of Furniture factory m
39. Osher Muchnik Employee of Furniture factory m
40. S Furman    
41. Mikhail Glazman Pupil of vocational school m
42. Morduch Kutalchuk Pupil of vocational school m
43. Girsh Furman Pupil of vocational school m
44. Motal Goltsman Employee of Furniture factory m
45. Ya. Liberman Employee of Furniture factory  
46. Liberman Liberman f
47. Sh. Golfman Pupil of vocational school m
48. Farbman Chief of the Regional union of consumer cooperatives m
49. Gluksman   m
50. Yu. Shklaver Head of the guild “Kooperput” (from Russian cooperative way)  
51. Glovberman Stolin region insurance inspector  
52. Leon Padvidelskiy Pupil of vocational school m
53. Ivan Nanek Pupil of vocational school m
54. Gleiberman Foreman of the building brigade at the construction site of Fireproof brick factory m
55. Yu. A. Goltsman Carpenter of the building brigade at the construction site of Fireproof brick factory m
56. I.S. Fridman Carpenter of the building brigade at the construction site of Fireproof brick factory m
57. I.S. Fridman Carpenter of of the building brigade at the construction site of Fireproof brick factory m
58. A. Graiver    
59. Tribukh Head of the guild “Kooperput” (from Russian cooperative way)  
60. Shandorovitch Cultural worker (person in charge of cultural and educational activities) of the Guild “Kooperput”  
61. G. Glukoman Clerk at Stolin State bank branch  
62. Sholam Butenskiy Employee of Furniture factory “Osvobozhdenie” (from Russian liberation) m
63. Rotfeld Director of Timber mill No.1 and Timber mill No.2 in Goryn m
64. M. Vaks Employee of the guild “Pishchevik” (from Russian food industry worker)  
65. Yaker Molochnik Pioneer m
66. Vaserman Employee of the Shoemakers' guild “Kooperput” m
67. Goldberg Planner of Stolin Regional union of consumer cooperatives m
68. Farbman Head of Stolin Regional union of consumer cooperatives m
69. Singer Chief physician of maternity hospital m
70. Gebershtein Employee of Regional union of consumer cooperatives m
71. R. Goltsman Employee of Furniture factory m
72. I Melamed Employee of the Timber mill “Goryn” m
73. V. Rambelskiy Employee of the Timber mill “Goryn” m
74. Ruban Political propagandist of Belarus Communist party (Bolsheviks) m
75. Karol Boba Member of the building brigade at the construction site of Fireproof brick factory m
76. Bronislav Bobo Member of the building brigade at the construction site of Fireproof brick factory m
77. Berka Vysotskiy Director of Brick factory No. 3 and No.4 m
78. A Fagelsh    
79. M. Gleizerman    
80. R. Adonailo    
81. H. Rehtman Employee of Furniture factory m
82. Katsman Senior foreman at furniture factory m
83. A. Yaskulka Blaksmiths' guild worker m
84. S. Budomskiy Blaksmiths' guild worker m
85. I. Butenskiy Blaksmiths' guild worker m
86. A. Tobiyash Blaksmiths' guild worker m
87. Gobershtein    
88. Grigoriy Moisievich   m
89. Fogel    
90. Konovitch    
91. Ivan Adamovich Deilid Army recruit m
92. Ela Litvin    
93. Svistun Leyzer    
94. N. Gampel Blaksmiths' guild worker m
95. G. Sukennik Blaksmiths' guild worker m
96. Z. Yaskuka Blaksmiths' guild mechanic m
97. Sh. Kagan Blaksmiths' guild worker m
98. Malava Secretary of Primary procurement and trading organizations m
99. Feldman Pupil of vocational school m
100. Samson Motorin Employee of Stolin printing house , its former owner  

Author: Margarita Kozhenevskaya & Tamara Vershitskaya