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Brest cemetery project

Many of our ancestors traveled from close-by Shtetls to the major medical center of Brest-Litovsk when they were taken ill. Brest-Litovsk had the best hospital and medical doctors in the region.

We have been told that there were over 10,700 grave markers in place in this Old Jewish Cemetery before 1941.

Today, the Old Jewish Cemetery of Brest-Litovsk, where thousands upon thousands of our ancestors are buried is a soccer field. It was totally destroyed by the German Army and Nazis SS in 1941 and 1942. Nothing was spared. Then after the war in the late 1950s or early 1960s the Russian government converted our ancestors burial grounds into a soccer field.

The Belarusian children and young adults who run, play and laugh on this soccer field have no idea that under their feet lays the remains of some of our ancestors.

This total desecration of the sacred land where our ancestors were laid to rest is a humiliation to Jews around the world.

NOW an opportunity to commemorate and memorialize our dear and precious departed has presented itself. To create something from the chaos caused by the German Army and the Nazi SS criminals. The Government of Brest has approved a Memorial Monument Park to be built in memory of our dear departed. It cannot replace the grave markers, but this Memorial Monument Park can restore a measure of the love and respect our beloved relatives deserve; and preserve a part of the very ground our ancestors were buried in.

The Brest Jewish Community, the Brest City Government, the Brest State University Construction Faculty, the East European Jewish Heritage Project and the Brest, Belarus Research SIG have a plan to rededicate a part of this Old Brest-Litovsk Jewish Cemetery.

The reclaiming of part of this Old Jewish Cemetery and the erection of the above modeled Memorial Monument Park, dedicated to our deceased, is very dear to me and might be very dear to you.
  • TO ME - because my great grandfather, Israel Leon Binenbaum was buried in this Old Jewish Cemetery in the year 1902.
  • TO YOU because you most likely had some ancestors buried there.
From the research in the Archives of the Death Metric Books, we discovered that during an eight (8) years period of time around the turn of the 19th century 5,446 Jewish citizens died in Brest-Litovsk from natural causes. Most, if not all of these people, our ancestors were buried in what was the Old Brest-Litovsk Jewish Cemetery.

The Brest Jewish Community has recently recovered 60 old grave markers that at one time marked the graves of our ancestors, plus over 1,112 fragments of grave stones. These full and fragmented grave markers are all going to be part of the Memorial Monument.
  • There is no list available of the names on these grave markers.
Youre deceased ancestors and the Brest Jewish Community needs your help. Your money is needed to create this Memorial Monument Park. Large and small donations are requested.
  • To only one (1) family will go the honor of having their name and their ancestors names immortalized on a large structure in a prominent position in the center section of the Memorial Monument Park. A donation of US $10,000 is required to be given this honor.
  • To each famiy that donates US $2,000 (up to a limit of 18 families) will go the honor of having their name and one (1) of their ancestors names immortalize on a 24 x 12 (61 cm x 31 cm) bronze plaque that will be affixed to the outside wall of the center structure of the Memorial Monument Park.
  • Two (2) families have already submitted their donations and will have the most prominent positions. There is only room for sixteen (16) additional family plaques. Succeeding donors will be placed in the order of the receipt of their donation.
  • To each family that donates US $200 (up to a limit of 100 families) will go the honor of having one (1) ancestors name listed on the Inscription Board in the center area of the Memorial Monument Park. Each gold colored plastic plaque will be a size of about 10 x 2 (25 cm x 5 cm).
  • Three (3) families have already submitted their donations and will have the most promenent positions. Suceeding donors will be placed in the order of the receipt of their donation.
  • It is up to all of us Jews around the world to help erect this monument that restores respect to a shattered graveyard, the final resting places of our ancestors. I ask you to join me in this once-in-a-lifetime Mitzvah. The Mitzvah you perform will be long remembered - your help in restoring a precious site. Providing we can quickly raise the required funds, a dedication ceremony in Brest is planned on Friday, September 23, 2005 during the Group Trip to Brest by 29 people from around the world.

  • For those of you who donate either the US $10,000 or US $2,000 we will send you a free DVD of the dedication ceremony.

Please contact me directly to offer your help.

If at any time you want to contact me by telephone, my telephone number is 310 441-1488. I live in Los Angeles, California, United States and if you want to call, please only between the hours of 9AM 6PM California time, Monday through Friday.

Larry Schenker (Binenbaum) Los Angeles, CA USA
OWNER/MODERATOR Brest, Belarus Research SIG

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