RAKOV: Minsk Print

Alternate names: Rakov [Rus], Raków [Pol], Rakaŭ [Bel], Rakovi [Yid], Raków (pow. Mołodeczno), Rakuv, Russian: Раков. ראקאוויי-Hebrew: רקוּב. -Yiddish:- Belarusian: Ракаў. 53°58' N, 27°03' E, 22 miles WNW of Minsk, 22 miles ESE of Valozhyn, 25 miles SSE of Maladzyechna (Molodechno). Minsk uyezd, Minsk guberniya. Rakov was in the Rakovskaya volost'. town history, images, and links and cemetery photos. 1900 Jewish population: 2,168. Słownik Geograficzny Królestwa Polskiego (1880-1902), IX, pp. 508-510: "Raków" #1.

JOWBR burial list [August 2010]

Jews bought the land for Rakov Cemetery in 1684 [or 1642?]. In 1956 local authorities built a grocery store and a market on this plot. In 2002 the Hurovetz family from South Africa and the Grinholtz family from Israel donated money for a fence around the cemetery. A mass grave for 132 young Jewish people murdered by the Nazis at the beginning of WWII is in the Rakov Cemetery. Oleg Kosov and Yuri Dorn of the Jewish Heritage Research Group have information. 909 burials. photos and information [March 2009]

While I have no know connection to Rakow (Rakov), I did visit there in 1999 and walked through the cemetery, taking photographs. While I did not see any overt vandalism, the cemetery was not adequately protected by a fence and young children were playing soccer in the cemetery. There were many readable stones, but there were also stones that had fallen over face down and others that had sunken below ground level that were not readable. As will most cemeteries in Belarus, overgrown vegetation made it difficult to reach certain parts of the cemetery. About three years ago, the Union of Religious Jewish Congregations of the Republic of Belarus with the financial help of sponsors from South Africa and Israel built a new fence around the Jewish cemetery in Rakov. There are more then 100 tombstones in the cemetery and the Union would like to carry out a restoration of the tombstones. If you have any interest in seeing this cemetery restored, please contact Yuri Dorn. [date?]

For a little more information about Rakov, please read. Rakov is on the road to nearby Volozhin, the site of a very famous yeshiva, which has been returned to the Jewish community of of Belarus. I also visited Volozhin in 1999 and walked through the old yeshiva, which had not get been restored. I also saw the Jewish cemetery in Volozhin, which like most of the remaining Jewish cemeteries in Belarus need major restoration. Unfortunately, there are no Jews living near these cemeteries; and there is no one to care for them and no funds to restore them.  [Source: David Fox, March 2003]

landmarked Jewish cemetery photophoto.. February 2010]

MASS GRAVES: In 1956 local authorities built a grocery store and a market on the plot. In 2002 the Hurovetz family from South Afrika and the Grinholtz family from Israel donated money to fence the cemetery. A mass grave for 132 Jewish people, murdered by the Nazi in the beginning of WWII, is in the Rakov cemetery. [February 2010]

Last Updated on Friday, 27 August 2010 14:48