Minsk Jewish Heritage Tour

Description

In its history the territory of modern Belarus was a home for millions of Jews for a very long time. For the first time the Jews appeared here in the 14th century. The ruler of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania Vytaut, willing to improve the economic condition of his lands, has invited Jews from Western Europe, granting them many rights and benefits. The plan of the wise Great Duke worked, and the migration of Jews bringing their capital here was started. The time passed, rulers, names of countries and their borders changed (the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, Rzeczpospolita, the Russian Empire, the USSR, Belarus), but Jews lived happily here until the beginning of the World War II. Imagine that in the late 19th century in all major Belarusian cities the Jewish population amounted to 40% or even more.

The World War II was a great tragedy for the entire Belarusian people. Almost one million Belarusian Jews were killed, and it was almost a half of all Belarusians killed during this war!

Unfortunately today only a small number of Jews live in Belarus, but we still have a memory of this hard-working people, and we invite you to familiarize with the history of the Jewish community of Minsk.

Our tour begins at the Pit Memorial. This is the first, and for a long times the only monument to the victims of the Holocaust in the territory of the former USSR. It is also the first monument on which the Soviet government allowed to make an inscription in Yiddish! However, despite the permission of the authorities, the author of the monument was sent to the Gulag prison camp. A complete silence about the terrible Holocaust was kept in the Soviet Union for a long time. This memorial is installed on the place where 5000 prisoners of the Minsk ghetto were killed.

Next, we will drive along the narrow streets of the very center of the capital, where once the Minsk ghetto was located, and we will tell you its history. The quantity of prisoners of the Minsk ghetto was one of the biggest in Europe, and the second on the territory of the USSR after Lvov. Also we will visit the area of Sondergetto or the so-called ghetto in the ghetto. Jews were brought here from Austria, the Czech Republic, Germany, and this territory was separated from the rest of the ghetto by barbed wire.

The next point of our tour will be a visit to the former Jewish cemetery, where today there is a small square. Numerous tombstones, as well as memorial monuments to the victims of the Minsk ghetto, established not only by the Belarusian government, but also by Germany, the Czech Republic and Austria were preserved in this square.

Not far from the former cemetery there is a small house of ghetto’s period – a historical workshop where we will have an opportunity to familiarize with the life of ghetto’s inhabitants, and with the schedule of Holocaust victims commemorating events.

Then we will visit the building of the former Minsk choral synagogue, which was converted into a theater during Soviet times. The theaters stills there till nowadays, but the restorers have left the original facade of the facade in memory of the former synagogue.

From the former choral synagogue we will move to the acting main synagogue of the capital. Here we will have an opportunity to visit the Minsk Jewish community, and to learn about its current activities.

Our last stop will be a visit to the Museum of History and Culture of Belarusian Jews. Here you will see how Jews lived in Belarus, not only during the war, but also in peacetime, what well known enterprises have they opened, and what was their occupation.

The company Minsk Holidays invites you to join our interesting tour "Along the Jewish Places of Minsk".

Duration

4 hours (the length of the route is 15 km)

Inclusions

Private professional guide
Visiting the museum of jewish history and culture
Visiting the historical workshop in the former ghetto area
The main monuments of the Holocaust in Minsk
Visiting the Jewish community and synagogue
Transport services

Exclusions

Entrance tickets to museums ($ 2 per person)

Beginning

At your hotel or any other location in Minsk

Ending

At your hotel or any other location in Minsk

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