|OSTRYNA: [Astrin, Ostrino, Ostrin, Astryna, Istrin] former Lida uezd|
Jews are first mentioned in Ostryna as customs and taxes contractorsbefore 1569. In 1623 the Councils of the Lands placed Ostryna under the jurisdiction of the Grodno Jewish community. 436 Jewish poll tax payers in the town and surrounding communities are listed in 1765 with 405 in 1847, 1,440 (59% of total population) in 1897. 1,067 (67.3%) in 1921. The Jews engaged mainly in trading, forestry, crafts, peddling, and agriculture; Early 1920s Jewish popuolation was 60 Jewish farmers plus family. Germans left Ostryna in 1919 so Jewish youth and military veterans established a Jewish police force to guard against peasant attacks. A Jewish self-defense group organized in 1934, acted effectively against peasants incited by Polish students to loot Jewish shops. A Jewish savings and loan fund established in 1912 with 214 members was dissolved in World War but a later cooperative bank had 168 members in 1921. A Hebrew school was established by the Zionist M. Gornilki. The first coeducational school was founded in 1913. In 1921 the CYSHO (Central Yiddish School Organization) established a Yiddish school that promoted cultural activities. Zionists were active in Ostryna as winessed by a 1923 Tarbut school. AJewish public library eisted in the town/ A forestry training center (hakhsharah), was attempted in the area. *Ha-Shomer ha-Ẓa'ir was established in 1927. Many ḥalutzim from Ostryna emigrated to Israel. Among Ostryna's rabbis were Jacob Ẓevi Shapiro, author of Tiferet Ya'akov on the Mishnah; Jacob Tabszunsky; and S. Gerszonowicz, the last rabbi, who was murdered by the Nazis along with his congregation . Harry Austryn *Wolfson was a native of Ostryna. Source: Encyclopedia Judaica
A cemetery is at the east-end of town with no Jewish gravesites. An older man (in his 80¹s?) remembered much about the Jews of Ostrina. The remaining information about them and the cemetery I acquired was from him via translation. The three houses that were next to the market were the homes of Jewish families. He motioned to the left to point them out. I was told that the synagogue was nearby the houses at the end of the street. It was larger than the houses with a facade that were similar to the other synagogues that I had seen in the older parts of cities in the Baltic Oblast. A facade with an arch softened the sharp lines of the roof. I walked around the synagogue and examined the building. The brickwork on the sides and back of the structure were more elaborate (and costly to build) than the style used for houses. Currently, the building is used as a small local theater. There are some brass plaques indicating the current use of the building by the front door. There was another large two story brick house that was near the synagogue, also was the home of a Jewish family. Two brick houses and three wooden ones belonged to Jewish families. The last Jew in Ostrina was named Rosenberg. He died recently. His children had moved away some years ago.
Jewish cemetery photos. [February 2010]
Witness interview: Yelena S. : "The Jews were taken in waggons [sic] from Ostrino to the river. The Germans gathered the Jews of several villages on the public square. There were men, women and children." (Witness N°341 interviewed in November, 2010), No memorial marker. [July 2015]
The Germans had entered Ostryna on June 25, 1941, and swiftly established a Judenrat. The following week, the first Jews were killed. In October 1941 the Jews of Ostryna with those of Nowy-Dwor, about1,200, were concentrated in two small ghettos. On Nov. 2, 1942, all the Jews from the Ostryna ghetto were deported to the Kelbasin forced-labor camp near Grodno, and at the end of the month were deported to*Auschwitz. A few young people escaped from the trains going to Auschwitz and joined partisans.Source: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.
|Last Updated on Saturday, 22 August 2015 17:30|