Kirkuty and the Warburg Colony

Berestye, Brest-Litovsk, Brześć nad Bugiem or Brest has always been a multinational city. From ancient times Belarusians, Russians, Ukrainians, Poles, Jews lived there. The city was built and grew by means of their work. New generations came, and the former, ending their life, settled in three cemeteries: Russian Trishinsky which was Orthodox, Catholic Polish and Jewish. People separated by faith were united by many other things: they were residents of one city, friends, neighbours, acquaintances, often shared joy and sorrow, and they all considered Brest their homeland.

For a long time, the majority of Brest’s population was Jewish. This was not by choice, but rather as a result of the policy of tsarist governments. This was the case until October 1942, when more than 30,000 ghetto prisoners were killed by the occupying forces. I want to tell you everything I know about the Jewish colony, cemetery and about the events connected to them. I am a witness of some. I learned about others from my friends in Kievka, who did not leave Brest during the occupation. Most of them are not with us anymore, many of their descendants moved to other parts of Brest, to other cities and much has changed in Kievka itself.

Translated from Russian by Leo Levine and Sofia Levine