Remembering the Jewish Community of 

Braslav and Dubina, Belarus

Remembered by Dina Rosenbaum
Daughter of Max Wischkin of Dubina and Etta Fischer Wischkin of Braslav

Dubina is a small town in Poland, north of Vilna. In the 1930s, Dubina was inhabited by 45 Jewish families all of whom owned farms. There were two synagogues. Cheese and butter were the main products of the farms. There were only two gentiles living in the town. In 1941, the Germans moved the Jews to Ponara, where they were killed and burned. Only about eight residents from Dubina survived the war. Dubina was burned to the ground during the fighting between the Germans and Russians.

Braslav was a busy town of 5,000 people, 3500 of whom were Jewish. The town was 180 kilometers north of Vilna. Most of the residents were merchants or tradesman. There were four synagogues, one Hebrew school, one Yiddish school, two Polish schools and one high school. There were four Jewish bakeries and three Jewish hotels. Like Sharon, there was a large lake in the middle of the town. Braslav was on a railroad line and had weekly open markets to which came many farmers from nearby towns. In 1941, the Germans oversaw a ghetto in Braslav with 3000 Jews. Only 40 Jews from Braslav survived the war. Today, Braslav has no Jews, although most of their homes remain.

Note: Dubina and Braslav are both in Belarus, near the border of Lithuania and Latvia. They are 10 miles apart.

Here is a partially translated Yizkor book for Braslav and Dubina. There is also a web site about Braslav.

Dina has co-chaired the Holocaust committee for several years. The committee, which now includes nine congregations, oversees the annual South Shore community-wide Yom Hashoah service. Her involvement began after Sandy Wine asked her to contribute the Remembrance you see here. They started a service together with Temple Sinai, and the program and Dina's involvement have continued grow.