The Friends of Jewish Dokshitsy, Inc conditions before the start of our projects
The picture shows condition of the Jewish cemetery in Dokshitsy, Belarus and the sites of the Shoa both in Dokshitsy and in nearby Parafianov.
These towns, and nearby villages shared the cemetery.Here is a sketch showing the relative positions of the Jewish cemetery in Dokshitsy, Belarus, and the Shoa massacre site directly across the street. Click on the sketch to enlarge it.The Jewish cemetery in Dokshitsy has suffered over 60 years of neglect. In 1964, the Soviet Union passed a law enabling the government to take control of all property that had been abandoned. This affected many cemeteries, both Jewish and non-Jewish. In Dokshitsy the cemetery was turned into a public park. showing the condition of the cemetery in early 2006 before restoration work began (photos courtesy of Yuri Dorn). Across the street from the cemetery is a ravine where most of the Jews from Dokshitsy were killed and buried, on Lag B'Omer, 1942, and during succeeding days. The ravine is surrounded by houses. A massive Soviet era monument, was erected on the spot. The monument reads: More than 4300 Soviet citizens were brutally tortured and killed here by the fascist butchers in 1941-1945. There are very few facts in the inscription: the German occupation ended in 1944. The phrase Soviet citizens obscures the fact that most of the victims were Jewish, that were killed because they were Jewish, and that this was part of the Holocaust. It is unclear how the number of victims was arrived at. It may be too high or too low. Here are several pictures of the site
taken in early 2006 where so many died a horrible death. In nearby Parafianov, a memorial was erected in July, 2005 at the site of a recently rediscovered Shoa massacre site. The memorial was funded by the Lazarus foundation and a non-Jewish business man from Lida, Belarus. The mayor of Parafianov was also very helpful, reports Yuri Dorn. The site was discovered in 2004 on a piece of abandoned land behind a local grocery store. View a photo album of the dedication.
The monument reads, "Here in the year 1942 171 Jews from Parafianov were brutally murdered. To the everlasting memory of the victims of the Holocaust." At the bottom the stone reads: "A contribution from Simon Mark Lazarus foundation made this project possible" Present at the ceremony were Igal Koyfman, First secretary of Israeli embassy, Marina Fromer, Head of American Jewish Distribution Committee in Belarus, Alla Shick, Head of Jewish Agency for Israel in Belarus, Diana and Michael Lazarus, Directors of the "Mark Simon Lazarus Charitable trust," Viktor Apanasevich, Head of Dokshitzy's administration(Dokshitsy and Parafianov are jointly governed), and Yuri Dorn, Co-director of Holocaust's victims Commemorative Commission. Unfortunately, when we arrived in May 2008, the stone was barely legible.