Thursday, July 26, 2007

Jewish Minsk

Our tour of "Jewish Minsk" unfortunately left no time for examining all the positive artifacts of a rich cultural history that included a thriving Yiddish theatre scene even in the early Soviet years, during which, for a short period, Yiddish was one of Belarus' official languages.

After the pit at Yama, where 5000 Jews were murdered in one night and the trip to the site of the Maly Trostenetz concentration camp, as well as assorted other stops, we ended an emotional day.
The photos, from bottom right going clockwise show (1) detail from monument to German Jews brought to Minsk to be killed; (2) Yama; (3) sign at site of Maly Trostenetz, where 206,000(!) were killed by Nazis; (4) Yama; (5)Alla, the guide, explaining the monument at Yama, which includes a tribute to ordinary Belarusians who risked their lives to save Jews on that awful day; (6) Winding down at the Lido cafeteria afterwards with Lisa and Yvonne, the two Fulbrights, Yvonne's husband Mike, and Erica, an American volunteer at the Minsk Jewish Community Center.

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