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Svyatsilavichy, Svetilovichi. 52°48' N 31°19' E, 172.4 miles ESE of Minsk.

In his 1929 autobiography, Shmarya Levin, described the approximate location of the cemetery that served the townlet of Svislovitch at 48º41 28º52. He wrote that the Beth Olam was not in the town but 2 km from the town, beyond the peasants' fields on the road to Minsk. The town of Svislovitch is or was surrounded by two rivers, the Beresina and the Svislo. This was described in the book (Forward From Exile) translated by Maurice Samuel in 1967. Source: Michael M. Miller; 2680 O'Grady Street, VSL, QC Canada, H4M 2W5; This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

"UPDATE: I met an American while visiting Belarus last summer. He was very generous in making available his time and his staff members to help me locate the Jewish cemetery in Stolbtsy and some other sites near Novogrudek. His name is Mark Rose. He has lived for the past seven years in the village of Ratamka, on the oustskirts of Minsk where he operates a number of social service programs funded in part by the US Agency for International Development and in part by a group of Baptists in Georgia. Mark moves around Belarus a lot as part of his work. Recently, he was in Svislovich. He wrote:
"Recently I traveled to the oldest village in Belarus. I thought of you there because in this village is a 300-400 year old Jewish cemetery. The village is called Svislatch and it is at a place where the Berizino and Svislatch rivers join. This is near Bobrusk. The cemetery is a very large one, and I saw hundreds of Jewish headstones. Each was carved with Hebrew writing so I could not read them. The cemetery overlooks the river from a bluff that rises 200 feet above the water. Below, the water has cut into the bank over the years and many of the graves are literally falling into the water.

Steve, this is tragic and the village people, some of the poorest around, could care less. Nobody seems to care. I would do anything if we could somehow fix that bank so as to stop the erosion. Then, clean out all the old trees and weeds that have grown up over the years and bring this back to its original beauty. It is one of the most beautiful spots I have ever seen in this part of the world. Some of the guys I was with went down along the shore and literally picked up human bones and a skull from one of the graves. I know you are a good organizer and I hope you can help me find a way to clean up the cemetery and prevent its further deterioration. I can put together a team here, if you can find some resources.

Mark Rose, President, Russia Inland Mission, Ratamka, Belarus. Phone: 011-37517-502-4815 (office); 011-37517-502-4816 (home). E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . Feel free to contact me or Mark Rose directly. I live in Boston. Steve Landrigan Source: sent by David Fox, Belarus SIG. [October 2001]

Last Updated on Thursday, 18 February 2010 21:54
 
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