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Appendix 1: Documents I.V. Poliansky Chairman of the Council for the Affairs of Religious Cults at the USSR Council of Ministers K.A. Ulasevich Commissioner of the Council for the Affairs of Religious Cults at the BSSR Council of Ministers1 October 26, 1946 The Voroshilovsky district of Minsk City handed the synagogue building at 1, Nemiga Street over to the Jewish community, which numbers, according to incomplete data, about 800 members. Most of the members are elderly. These are people who are dependants supported by their children , and a small number of the people who work at Minsk industries and institutions. Obllit2 carried out an inspection of the synagogue library, which did not reveal any editions liable to removal. All the books found were those needed for prayers. The decision approving the opening of the synagogue caused great enthusiasm among not only religious Jews, but also among the rest of the Jewish population. It manifested itself in the fact that even though repairing and arranging of the premises required considerable funds, all was done in the shortest possible time. During the autumn holidays, a lot of people came to the synagogue, and for many there was no room inside. A large crowd was standing and praying across the street. In August 1946, religious Jews initiated erection of a monument on the grave of Minsk residents who were shot to death by fascist invaders on March 2, 1942. The group of initiators did their best to organize a memorial religious service on the day of the monument’s inauguration. Taking into consideration the fact that there had been not only Jews among the executed, but also individuals of other ethnic origins, I did not give my approval. Notwithstanding , the believers held the event without official permission. D. Gulyaev СARC Representative for Minsk Province 1   Source: GARF, F. 691, Op. 3, D. 307, 19, 26; NARB, F. 952, Op. 3, D. 29, 14. 2  Obllit: Minsk provincial branch of the Department for Protection of the Military and State Secrets in Press. i5.5 Smilovitsky 00 book.indb 265 2014.07.01. 15:09 266 Appendix 1: Documents K.A. Ulasevich Commissioner of the Council for the Affairs of Religious Cults at the BSSR Council of Ministers3 December 18, 1946 In the Grodno Province, there currently are 90 cemeteries of the Roman Catholic faith and 36 cemeteries of the Jewish faith. The parish cemeteries of the Roman Catholic denomination are supervised by the Catholic churches and parish committees. Some of them have been put into proper order. In the cemeteries of Lida, Porechye, Volkovysk valuable sculptural decorations have been installed carved out of stone or gray cement. As for the cemeteries of the Jewish faith, they are in a state of complete neglect, with communal departments of provincial and district councils paying no attention whatsoever. I believe that the Minister for the Communal Services of the BSSR should issue the maintainance department with a directive to start supervising the ownerless cemetery sites, and to allocate the necessary sums of money for putting the cemeteries about which I am reporting in proper order. Chizh CARC Representative for Grodno Province * * * I.V. Poliansky N.I. Gusarov P.K. Ponomarenko4 Confidential July 1, 1947 A number of petitions have been sent to the Council for the Affairs of Religious Cults at the BSSR Council of Ministers by believers who request that their religious communities be registered in Bobruisk, Orsha, Kalinkovichi , Pinsk. In addition, several petitions for registration sent by Judaic 3   Source: NARB, F. 952, Op. 1, D. 5, 139. 4   Source: GARF, F. 6991, Op. 3, D. 257, 194–95, 196, 197. i5.5 Smilovitsky 00 book.indb 266 2014.07.01. 15:09 267 Appendix 1: Documents believers are currently under consideration, among them from Zhlobin, Rechitsa, Gomel, Mogilev, Mozyr, Vitebsk, Polotsk, Radoshkovichi, Lida, and other places. Before the war, Jews had not shown a special ardor for religion, but recently they have made a sharp turn toward religious fanaticism, probably more so than any other ethnic group. While in 1946, when permission was granted to open the synagogue in Minsk, only 70 believers were registered, today they number thousands. The Jews of Minsk request larger premises for their synagogue. The old one, according to their claims, satisfies the needs of only 10 percent. To celebrate the fall holidays, they either request assistance in renting premises to accommodate 1,500–2,000 people, or permission to install loudspeakers in the synagogue yard… The...


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