Radoshkovichi, Radoshkovitz or Radaškovičy — Spring 2017
Radoshkovichi, a small town like many others in Belarus, is 20 or so miles outside of Minsk. My Axelrod ancestors called it Radoshkovitz when they lived there starting in the 1830s, if not before. There are still houses that could have been built in the early 1900s but apart from a cemetery there is no trace of the Jewish community that was there from the 16th century to the 1940s. A ceramics factory is the major employer.
Many people paint their houses bright colors. Each town used to have its own unique wooden window frames although many have been replaced by standard metal ones.
Walking through the town we came across the most amazing house. We peeked through the fence and were invited in by Leonid, who had decorated the house he shares with his sister with an amazing array of colorful animals and flowers that they made out of plastic bottles and other throw-away objects.
Most towns of this size have small convenience stores for foods that cannot be grown.
We finally reached the Jewish cemetery — it was an odd combination of well-tended graves of people who had died after WWII as well as many scattered, overgrown stones from centuries past.
There were also two memorials in the cemetery. There were about 1200 Jews in Radoshkovitz when the war started. The Germans killed 870 of them in 1942 and rounded up the rest into a ghetto. A year later most of those were killed although a few escaped to the forests to join the partisans.
More Radoshkovichi resources: