Beshenkovichi Fire 1922

‹ Back to Documents Associated With Aaron Kamins
Other - uploaded by Private User on 2/7/2011

Sources (Cited: 4/29/2020)

People
Facts
Source Information
Action
Private Date of Death
(9/14/1922)
6 members of the Royak/Gilman died in the 1922 fire as told by this man.
Cause of Death
(Perished in the Beshenkovichi fire)
6 members of the Royak/Gilman died in the 1922 fire as told by this man.
Private Date of Death
(9/14/1922)
Cause of Death
(Perished in the Beshenkovichi fire)
Private Date of Death
(9/14/1922)
Cause of Death
(Perished in the Beshenkovichi fire)
Private Nicknames
(Velv)
Date of Death
(9/14/1922)
Cause of Death
(Perished in the Beshenkovichi fire)
Private Occupation
(Shochet - Ritual Butcher (resnick))
By inference, father of Hasya is referenced in this document as, "Alter Resnick" or the ritual butcher who slaughtered the animals.
Ethnicity
By inference, father of Hasya is referenced in this document as, "Alter Resnick" or the ritual butcher who slaughtered the animals.

1922

Beshenkovichi, Vitebsk Oblast, Belarus

Description:

Details of the Beshenkovichi fire as told by Leib Itskovich Yudovin. Recorded in 1973-1974.
Re-recorded by Sara Yudovina in 2004.

In 1922 Beshenkovichi had a fire, which I witnessed. The summer of 1922 was very hot. That year the town was frequented by horse-thieves.

It was September and we had not had rain for almost a month. The days were becoming shorter and the nights longer. We did not have electricity and were sitting at home with only the light of an oil lamp.

One night father looked out of the window and did not see our horse, so he went out to look for it. After walking about a kilometer he found it eating grass on a field. So father came back home and told us that the horse was safe and sound. He also added that he saw a strange light at a distance, which he had noticed. Mother told him to go out again and make sure that it was not fire.

When he came out he saw a raging fire…

We ran outside. The neighbors were sleeping soundly, so father ordered me to wake everyone up, which I did. Next we heard the sound of the main church bell. Even though our houses were not at risk, because the wind was blowing in a different direction, all the people came outside. The wind was spreading at an incredible speed.

The fire brigade was located really close to the spot where the fire began. The primitive fire engines had been quickly destroyed by fire before anyone could use them. Our neighbors crossed the river on a ferry to help their relatives and friends in their tragedy.

Being a witness to this nightmare, I observed the fire gobble up different parts of the town.

The fire blew burning chars to a distance of hundreds of meters, thus forming new spots of fire.

The houses in Beshenkovichi were mainly wooden. Brick or stone houses were scarce. Al the houses stood in close proximity to each other…

About three hours later the fire reached Lugovaya Street, which was close to the river. At the light of the fire we saw people dragging their furniture, clothes and personal belongings towards the river. I remained on our side of the river and we were lucky the fire did not spread to our side.

By 5 a.m. the town had been turned into ashes. About 90% of the town was burnt down.

A little later we received the horrible news that eight people had been burnt in the fire, six of them – from the family of rabbi Alter Reznik. The fire killed his wife Haye Sore, son in law Velv Gilman and four grandchildren.

The exhausted people were rambling in the ashes in hopes of finding their things. It looked like they did not know what they were looking for. At that time rabbi Alter was asking the locals if they had seen his relatives. He was still hoping he would find someone. His face looked grief-stricken and I saw tears in his eyes.

My uncle Peishe gave shelter to him and his widowed daughter Hashke with her three children.

After the fire many people left the town. Some of them moved to Vitebsk, others – to Leningrad, or other towns, where their relatives or friends lived.

Some of them had doubts that the town would ever rise again from the ashes. Nevertheless it did, because the people, who remained in Beshenkovichi had to move on with their lives.

Profiles

Private
0 facts
Private
2 facts
Private
2 facts
Private
2 facts
Private
3 facts
Private
2 facts
Private
0 facts
Private
0 facts
Private
0 facts
Private
0 facts

...and 1 other profile. View all.

Projects