JewishGen is a non-profit organization founded in 1987 as an international electronic resource for Jewish genealogy. In 2003, JewishGen became an affiliate of the Museum of Jewish Heritage – A Living Memorial to the Holocaust in New York City, it provides amateur and professional genealogists with the tools to research their Jewish family history and heritage. JewishGen was founded in 1987 by Susan E. King in Houston, Texas, as a Fidonet bulletin board with 150 users interested in Jewish genealogy. To access the bulletin board, users dialed into the connection via telephones. Annual donations of $25 were requested to fund the service. Around 1989 to 1990, JewishGen moved to the internet as a mailing list and online forum, was called the Jewish Genealogy Conference, it was loosely managed by founding members and volunteers that included Warren Blatt, Susan E. King, Bernie Kouchel, Gary Mokotoff, Michael Tobias, others active in the community. JewishGen had a website by 1995. At the end of 2002, King announced that in 2003 JewishGen became an affiliate of the Museum of Jewish Heritage.
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Baranavichy is a city in the Brest Region of western Belarus with a population of 173,000. It is a significant railway home to Baranavichy State University, it was the center of the Baranavichy Voblast between 1939-1941 and again between 1944-1954. In the second half of the 17th century the Jesuit mission housed in Baranavichy. In the second half of the 18th century Baranavichy was the property of Mosalskih and Neveselovskih, in the 19th century belonged to the Countess E. A. Rozwadowski, it was part of Novogrodek okrug, successively part of Slonim Governorate, Lithuania one, Grodno one and Minsk one. The city's history began on 17 in November 1871, when began a movement at the newly built section of the railway Smolensk - Brest. Name of the station that arose during construction, gave the nearby village - Baranavichy, the first mention of, found in the testament of A. E. Sinyavskaya in 1627. In 1871, not far from the station has been built the locomotive depot. 1874 - the appearance of the railway junction.
The wooden building of the station, station buildings, a few houses in which lived the railway - such were Baranavichy. The new railway will link Moscow with the western outskirts of the country; the impetus for more intensive settlement of the areas adjacent to the station from the south, was the event in May 1884 - Minsk provincial board has made a decision about building a town on the landlords' lands Rozwadowski, known Rozvadovo. Building of the town was carried out according to plan, approved by the Governor of Minsk May 27, 1884. In the village were 120 houses and lived a half thousand people. According to the plans, approved by Emperor Alexander III, was assumed that there will still be one railway - Vilnius - Luninets - Pinsk - Rovno. Therefore, at the same time, two and a half kilometers from the station, the Moscow-Brest railway line crossed the track Vilnius-Rovno from Polesie railways. At the crossroads of the railway there is another station Baranavichy, which became the second center of the city.
As in the first case, in the area of station settle workers and traders. There is a new settlement, which unlike Rozvadovo, which became informally named the Old Baranavichy, was named New Baranavichy, it was developed on the land owned by peasants of villages located near the new station. More convenient than the landlords' land, lease terms, proximity to administrative agencies contributed to the rapid growth of this settlement. At the beginning of World War I, Baranavichy was the headquarters of the Russian General Staff. But, after Great Retreat of Russians from Congress Poland, it became a frontline city, it was taken by the German Empire in the Baranovichi Offensive of 25 July 1916 and was under German occupation for 2 years. Germans gave the town to Belarusian People's Republic. During the Polish-Soviet war, it was occupied by Poland on 18 March 1919. Soviets retook it on 17 July 1920 but the Polish retook it on 30 September 1920. On 1 August 1919 it became a poviat centre in Nowogródek Voivodship.
In 1921 Baranowicze had over 11,000 inhabitants. Soon the city became an important centre of trade and commerce for the area; the city's Orthodox cathedral was built in the Neoclassical style in 1924-31. The city was an important military garrison, with one KOP Cavalry Brigade, 20th Infantry Division and the Nowogródzka Cavalry Brigade stationed there; because of the fast growth of local industry, in 1938 a local branch of the Polish Radio was opened. In 1939 Baranavichy had 30,000 inhabitants and was the biggest and the most important city in the Nowogródek Voivodship. After the beginning of World War II the control of the city was gained by the Soviet Union on 17 September 1939; the local Jewish population of 9,000 was joined by 3,000 Jewish refugees from the Polish areas occupied by Germany. After the start of Operation Barbarossa the city was seized by the Wehrmacht on June 25, 1941, it was part of Generalbezirk Weißruthenien in Reichskommissariat Ostland during German occupation. In August of the same year a ghetto was created in the city, with more than 12,000 Jews kept in terrible conditions in six buildings at the outskirts.
Between March 4 and December 14, 1942, the entire Jewish population of the ghetto was sent to various German concentration camps and killed in gas chambers. Only about 250 survived the war; the city was seized by the Red Army on July 6, 1944. Significant part of the Polish population of the city had been expelled to Kazakhstan. Most of remaining Poles were expelled to Poland. After World War II the city became part of the Soviet Union and the Byelorussian SSR and started to be referred to under its Russian name of Baranovichi. In this time an intensive industrialization took place. In 1991 it became part of independent Belarus; the city is located on the main east-west highway in Belarus, the M1, which forms a part of European route E30. The first rail line through the city opened around 1870. With additional lines built subsequently, the city developed into an important rail junction. A large military airfield used by the Belarusian Air Force is located just south of the city. Elchonon Wasserman, Rosh Yeshiva Baranavichy is twinned with: FC Baranovichi Polish Radio Baranowicze Bar
Belarus the Republic of Belarus known by its Russian name Byelorussia or Belorussia, is a landlocked country in Eastern Europe bordered by Russia to the northeast, Ukraine to the south, Poland to the west, Lithuania and Latvia to the northwest. Its capital and most populous city is Minsk. Over 40% of its 207,600 square kilometres is forested, its major economic sectors are manufacturing. Until the 20th century, different states at various times controlled the lands of modern-day Belarus, including the Principality of Polotsk, the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, the Russian Empire. In the aftermath of the 1917 Russian Revolution, Belarus declared independence as the Belarusian People's Republic, conquered by Soviet Russia; the Socialist Soviet Republic of Byelorussia became a founding constituent republic of the Soviet Union in 1922 and was renamed as the Byelorussian Soviet Socialist Republic. Belarus lost half of its territory to Poland after the Polish–Soviet War of 1919–1921.
Much of the borders of Belarus took their modern shape in 1939, when some lands of the Second Polish Republic were reintegrated into it after the Soviet invasion of Poland, were finalized after World War II. During WWII, military operations devastated Belarus, which lost about a third of its population and more than half of its economic resources; the republic was redeveloped in the post-war years. In 1945 the Byelorussian SSR became a founding member of the United Nations, along with the Soviet Union and the Ukrainian SSR; the parliament of the republic proclaimed the sovereignty of Belarus on 27 July 1990, during the dissolution of the Soviet Union, Belarus declared independence on 25 August 1991. Alexander Lukashenko has served as the country's first president since 1994. Belarus has been labeled "Europe's last dictatorship" by some Western journalists, on account of Lukashenko's self-described authoritarian style of government. Lukashenko continued a number of Soviet-era policies, such as state ownership of large sections of the economy.
Elections under Lukashenko's rule have been criticized as unfair. Belarus is the last country in Europe using the death penalty. Belarus's Democracy Index rating is the lowest in Europe, the country is labelled as "not free" by Freedom House, as "repressed" in the Index of Economic Freedom, is rated as by far the worst country for press freedom in Europe in the 2013–14 Press Freedom Index published by Reporters Without Borders, which ranks Belarus 157th out of 180 nations. In 2000, Belarus and Russia signed a treaty for greater cooperation. Over 70% of Belarus's population of 9.49 million resides in urban areas. More than 80% of the population is ethnic Belarusian, with sizable minorities of Russians and Ukrainians. Since a referendum in 1995, the country has had two official languages: Russian; the Constitution of Belarus does not declare any official religion, although the primary religion in the country is Eastern Orthodox Christianity. The second-most widespread religion, Roman Catholicism, has a much smaller following.
Belarus is a member of the United Nations since its founding, the Commonwealth of Independent States, CSTO, EEU, the Non-Aligned Movement. Belarus has shown no aspirations for joining the European Union but maintains a bilateral relationship with the organisation, participates in two EU projects: the Eastern Partnership and the Baku Initiative; the name Belarus is related with the term Belaya Rus', i.e. White Rus'. There are several claims to the origin of the name White Rus'. An ethno-religious theory suggests that the name used to describe the part of old Ruthenian lands within the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, populated by Slavs, Christianized early, as opposed to Black Ruthenia, predominantly inhabited by pagan Balts. An alternate explanation for the name comments on the white clothing worn by the local Slavic population. A third theory suggests that the old Rus' lands that were not conquered by the Tatars had been referred to as "White Rus'"; the name Rus is conflated with its Latin forms Russia and Ruthenia, thus Belarus is referred to as White Russia or White Ruthenia.
The name first appeared in Latin medieval literature. In some languages, including German and Dutch, the country is called "White Russia" to this day; the Latin term "Alba Russia" was used again by Pope Pius VI in 1783 to recognize the Society of Jesus there, exclaiming "Approbo Societatem Jesu in Alba Russia degentem, approbo." The first known use of White Russia to refer to Belarus was in the late-16th century by Englishman Sir Jerome Horsey, known for his close contacts with the Russian Royal Court. During the 17th century, the Russian tsars used "White Rus" to describe the lands added from the Grand Duchy of Lithuania; the term Belorussia first rose in the days of the Russian Empire, the Russian Tsar was styled "the Tsar of All the Russias"
Kobryn is a city in the Brest Region of Belarus and the center of the Kobryn District. The city is located in the southwestern corner of Belarus where the Mukhavets River and Dnepr-Bug Canal meet; the city lies about 52 km east of the city of Brest. Kobryn is located at Latitude 52.12.58N and Longitude 24.21.59E. It is at an altitude of 485 feet, it is a station on the Brest – Homiel railway line. As of 1995, the population was around 51,500. Sometimes the name of the city is written as Kobrin, a transliteration from Russian. In prehistoric times it was inhabited by the ancient Baltic Yotvingian tribe. At various times, the city had belonged to Lithuania and Poland, Imperial Russia, the Byelorussian SSR following World War II. First mentioned in the 11th century, since the late 13th century the town was owned by the princes of Volhynian Vladimir. In the early 14th century the town formed part of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. A seat of a powiat authorities, between 1589 and 1766 it was a free city of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, located on Magdeburg Law.
This allowed for a large number of Jews to settle in the area following the 16th century. The Jewish population in 1900 was 6,738. After the Partitions of Poland of 1795, the town was annexed by Imperial Russia. Occupied by Germany during World War I, following the Polish-Bolshevik War it was handed to Poland under the terms of the Treaty of Riga and became a seat of a powiat within the Polesie Voivodeship. During the Polish Defensive War of 1939 the town was the scene of heavy fighting between the Polish 60th Infantry Division of Colonel Adam Epler and the German 19th Panzer Corps of General Heinz Guderian. After three days of fighting, the Poles withdrew southwards. Between 1939 and 1941 the town was occupied by the Soviet Union from 23 June 1941 to 20 July 1944 by Nazi Germany and administered as a part of Reichskommissariat Ukraine. During the latter period, the majority of Jewish inhabitants were first amassed in a ghetto and murdered by the Nazis in their extermination camps. In 1944, the town was occupied once more by the USSR and attached to the Byelorussian SSR.
Since 1991, it is a part of Republic of Belarus. Battle of Kobryń Kobryn T. A. Khvagina POLESYE from the Bug to the Minsk Vysheysha shkola, ISBN 978-985-06-1153-6 Ye. N. Meshechko, A. A. Gorbatsky Belarusian Polesye: Tourist Transeuropean Water Mains, Minsk. Tourist Kobrin Coat of Arms Photos on Radzima.org Jewish Kobrin – Your Virtual Shtetl Pictures of Kobrin Kobryn cemetery A virtual tour of the city Kobrin Kobryn, Belarus at JewishGen
Ivanava is a city in the Brest Region of Belarus, an administrative center of the Ivanava district. First mentioned in the 14th century it was a village named Porkhovo. In 1423 it was granted by the king Władysław Jagiełło to the cathedral in Lutsk. Renamed to Janów, in 1465 it was granted with city rights. A small town in Polesia, it shared the fate of the region. On May 16, 1657 it was the seat of the martyrdom of Saint Andrzej Bobola. Annexed by Russia during the Partitions of Poland in 1795, the town did not develop much because of the proximity of much more populous town of Pinsk. At the end of the 19th century it had circa 3000 inhabitants peasants and workers in a local minor textile works. Between 1915 and 1918 occupied by Germany, in 1919 it was transferred to Poland. During the Polish-Bolshevik War it was occupied by the Russians between July and October 1920. After retaken by Poland, the town was the centre of mobilization of Gen. Jarosławcew's 3rd Volga Infantry Division, part of Gen. Stanisław Bułak-Bałachowicz's forces.
Between the wars, the town remained a rather non-notable centre of commerce in the area. In 1926 it was linked with the world by a new railroad; this however did not lead to fast development as the industry preferred other regions of Poland. During the Polish Defensive War of 1939, there was an armed uprising by the local Jews against the Polish Army and refugees, in support of invading Soviet forces; until June 27, 1941 the town was occupied by the Soviet Union and until July 1944 by Nazi Germany. During the German occupation most of the Jewish inhabitants of the area perished in the Holocaust. On January 22, 1943 30 locals were murdered as a reprisal for Ponury's action against the Gestapo prison in Pinsk. Occupied by the Soviet 61st Army, the town was annexed by the USSR to the Byelorussian SSR. A seat of a rayon between 1954 and 1962 and again from 1965, since 1991 the town is part of Belarus. Photos on Radzima.org Pre-war photos of Janów Poleski Janów on a lithography by Napoleon Orda Janów-Kamień Koszyrski railroad as of 1926
The Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth – formally, the Crown of the Kingdom of Poland and the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and, after 1791, the Commonwealth of Poland – was a dual state, a bi-confederation of Poland and Lithuania ruled by a common monarch, both King of Poland and Grand Duke of Lithuania. It was one of the largest and most populous countries of 16th– to 17th-century Europe. At its largest territorial extent, in the early 17th century, the Commonwealth covered 400,000 square miles and sustained a multi-ethnic population of 11 million; the Commonwealth was established by the Union of Lublin in July 1569, but the Crown of the Kingdom of Poland and the Grand Duchy of Lithuania had been in a de facto personal union since 1386 with the marriage of the Polish queen Hedwig and Lithuania's Grand Duke Jogaila, crowned King jure uxoris Władysław II Jagiełło of Poland. The First Partition of Poland in 1772 and the Second Partition of Poland in 1793 reduced the state's size and the Commonwealth collapsed as an independent state following the Third Partition of Poland in 1795.
The Union possessed many features unique among contemporary states. Its political system was characterized by strict checks upon monarchical power; these checks were enacted by a legislature controlled by the nobility. This idiosyncratic system was a precursor to modern concepts of democracy, constitutional monarchy, federation. Although the two component states of the Commonwealth were formally equal, Poland was the dominant partner in the union; the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth was marked by high levels of ethnic diversity and by relative religious tolerance, guaranteed by the Warsaw Confederation Act 1573. The Constitution of 1791 acknowledged Catholicism as the "dominant religion", unlike the Warsaw Confederation, but freedom of religion was still granted with it. After several decades of prosperity, it entered a period of protracted political and economic decline, its growing weakness led to its partitioning among its neighbors during the late 18th century. Shortly before its demise, the Commonwealth adopted a massive reform effort and enacted the May 3 Constitution—the first codified constitution in modern European history and the second in modern world history.
The official name of the state was The Kingdom of Poland and the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and the Latin term was used in international treaties and diplomacy. In the 17th century and it was known as the Most Serene Commonwealth of Poland, the Commonwealth of the Polish Kingdom, or the Commonwealth of Poland, its inhabitants referred to it in everyday speech as the "Rzeczpospolita". Western Europeans simply called it Poland and in most past and modern sources it is referred to as the Kingdom of Poland, or just Poland; the terms: the Commonwealth of Poland and the Commonwealth of Two Nations were used in the Reciprocal Guarantee of Two Nations. The English term'Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth' and German'Polen-Litauen' are seen as renderings of the Commonwealth of Two Nations variant. Other names include the Republic of Nobles and the First Commonwealth, the latter common in Polish historiography. Poland and Lithuania underwent an alternating series of wars and alliances during the 14th century and early 15th century.
Several agreements between the two were struck before the permanent 1569 Union of Lublin. This agreement was one of the signal achievements of Sigismund II Augustus, last monarch of the Jagiellon dynasty. Sigismund believed, his death in 1572 was followed by a three-year interregnum during which adjustments were made to the constitutional system. The Commonwealth reached its Golden Age in the early 17th century, its powerful parliament was dominated by nobles who were reluctant to get involved in the Thirty Years' War. The Commonwealth was able to hold its own against Sweden, the Tsardom of Russia, vassals of the Ottoman Empire, launched successful expansionist offensives against its neighbors. In several invasions during the Time of Troubles, Commonwealth troops entered Russia and managed to take Moscow and hold it from 27 September 1610 to 4 November 1612, when they were driven out after a siege. Commonwealth power began waning after a series of blows during the following decades. A major rebellion of Ukrainian Cossacks in the southeastern portion of the Commonwealth began in 1648.
It resulted in a Ukrainian request, under the terms of the Treaty of Pereyaslav, for protection by the Russian Tsar. Russian annexation of part of Ukraine supplanted Polish influence; the other blow to the Commonwealth was a Swedish invasion in 1655, known as the Deluge, supported by troops of Transylvanian Duke George II Rákóczi a
Brest Brest-Litowsk, is a city in Belarus at the border with Poland opposite the Polish city of Terespol, where the Bug and Mukhavets rivers meet. It is the capital city of the Brest Region; the city of Brest is a historic site of many cultures. It was the location of important historical events such as the Union of Brest and Treaty of Brest-Litovsk; the Brest Fortress was recognized by the Soviet Union as the Hero Fortress in honor of the defense of Brest Fortress in June 1941. During medieval times, the city was part of the Kingdom of Poland from 1020 until 1319 when it was taken by the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, it became part of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth in 1569. As a result of the Partitions of Poland, it was incorporated into the Russian Empire in 1795. After World War I, the city returned to Second Polish Republic. During the Invasion of Poland by Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union in 1939 the city was first captured by the Wehrmacht and soon passed on to the USSR in accordance with German–Soviet Frontier Treaty.
In 1941 it was taken again by the Nazis during Operation Barbarossa. After the war, once the new boundaries between the USSR and Poland were ratified, the city became part of the Belarusian SSR and as such was part of the Soviet Union until the breakup of the USSR in 1991. Brest is now a part of an independent Belarus. Several theories attempt to explain the origin of the city's name, it may have come from the Slavic root beresta meaning "birch", or "bark". The name could originate from the Slavic root berest meaning "elm". Or it could have come from the Lithuanian word brasta meaning "ford". Once a center of Jewish scholarship, the city has the Yiddish name בריסק, hence the term "Brisker" used to describe followers of the influential Soloveitchik family of rabbis. Traditionally, Belarusian-speakers called the city Берасце. Brest became part of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania in 1319. In the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth formed in 1569 the town became known in Polish as Brześć Brześć Litewski. Brześć became part of the Russian Empire under the name Brest-Litovsk or Brest-Litovskii in the course of the Third Partition of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth in 1795.
After World War I, the rebirth of Poland in 1918, the government of the Second Polish Republic renamed the city as Brześć nad Bugiem on March 20, 1923. After World War II the city became part of the Byelorussian Soviet Socialist Republic with the name simplified as Brest. Brest's coat of arms, adopted on January 26, 1991, features an arrow pointed upwards and a bow on a sky-blue shield. An alternative coat of arms has a red shield. Sigismund II Augustus, King of Poland and Grand Duke of Lithuania, first granted Brest a coat of arms in 1554; the city was founded by the Slavs. As a town, Brest – Berestye in Kievan Rus – was first mentioned in the Primary Chronicle in 1019 when the Kievan Rus took the stronghold from the Poles, it is one of the oldest cities in Belarus. It was hotly contested between the Polish rulers and Kievan Rus princes, laid waste by the Mongols in 1241, was not rebuilt until 1275, it was part of the territory of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. In 1390 Brest became the first city in the lands that now comprise Belarus to receive Magdeburg rights.
Its suburbs were burned by the Teutonic Knights in 1379. In 1409 it was a meeting place of King Władysław II Jagiełło, duke Vytautas and Tatar khan under the archbishop Mikołaj Trąba initiative, to prepare for war with the Teutonic Knights. In 1410 the town mustered a cavalry company that participated in the Polish-Lithuanian victory at the battle of Grunwald. In 1419 it become a seat of the starost in the newly created Trakai Voivodeship. In 1500 it was burned again by Crimean Tatars. In 1566, following king Sigismund II Augustus decree, a new voivodeship was created - Brest Litovsk Voivodeship. After it became part of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth in 1569, it was renamed Brest-Litovsk. During the period of the union of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth and Sweden under king Sigismund III Vasa, diets were held there. In 1594 and 1596 it was the meeting-place of two remarkable councils of regional bishops of the Roman-Catholic Church and Eastern Orthodox Church; the 1596 council established the Uniate Church.
In 1657, again in 1706, the town and castle were captured by the Swedes during their invasions of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. In an attack from the other direction, on January 13, 1660 the invading Muscovite Russian army under Ivan Andreyevich Khovansky took the Brest Castle in a surprise early morning attack, the town having been captured earlier, massacred the 1,700 defenders and their families. On July 23, 1792 a battle was fought between the regiments of the Duchy of Lithuania defending the town and the invading Russian Imperial Army. On September 19, 1794 the area between Brest and Terespol was the scene of a victorious battle won by the invading Russian Imperial army under Suvorov over the Kościuszko Uprising army division under general Karol Sierakowski (known in Russian sourc