culture tours

One-day Jewish Heritage tour

updated on 27/10/2016

0725 train arrives in Minsk

0730-0800 breakfast in Vasilki restaurant by the KGB building. Discussing basic issues, general questions.

0800-1000 Minsk city tour, accent on the Jewish sights and history. The tour starts in Independence Square which perfectly reflects the evolution of the city skyline over the last century. Old dwelling buildings and Soviet architecture (one of the leading architects of the prewar Minsk was Jewish) make a perfect city introduction followed by Victory Square where we will talk war.

Maly Trostenets Camp Memorial, 2016

Maly Trostenets Camp Memorial, 2016

Before the Nazi invasion, Minsk like many other cities in Belarus was half Jewish and the ghetto of enormous population though small in size in our city made the USSR’s second largest ghetto. We will be walking through the former ghetto streets to see the memorials commemorating its prisoners. Many Jews were deported to Minsk from the cities in Western Europe whose administration and residents recently installed a few monuments in the Old Jewish cemetery. After visiting the key site of the Shoah in Minsk – the Pit Memorial, we will proceed to Maly Trostenets memorial.

1030-1100 Maly Trostenets new memorial was built to mark 75th Anniversary of the Victory in the Great Patriotic War. It is a very strong site dedicated to the victims of a death camp that by some estimates was the fourth largest one in Europe.

1100-1400 Khatyn Village Memorial

The Khatyn Village Memorial open in 1969 is dedicated to the war victims who could not stand for themselves. Belarus lost every fourth person of different nationalities during the war and most of these people were prisoners of war or civilians. Every part of the memorial is a most sharp reminder where extreme right or extreme left ideas might lead a politician.

The Pit Memorial in Minsk

At the Pit Memorial, Minsk, 2016

1400-1500 Lunch in a canteen of a Soviet-era hotel. The best selection of local meals, very low prices and authentic atmosphere of a Soviet self-service café will help us with the rest of the program.

1500 Patriotic War Museum

The museum open in 2014 offers a great perspective over the Nazi occupation period of Belarus. It is divided into a number of halls dedicated to the invasion of Belarus, occupation, partisan movement and the liberation of the country.

1630 Stalin Line Museum

This museum is an open-air complex 34 km away from Minsk featuring prewar gun emplacements from the Soviet fortification line at the western border. Along with these, the museum has several exhibition areas with wartime and post-war guns, vehicles and equipment. Aircraft lovers will particularly appreciate the local collection of jets and helicopters.

1800 Transfer to Zaslavl

Time to trace ancestry! In Zaslavl we see the main city sights which are not numerous. Sightseeing is followed by a walk along the old streets of the town to take in the atmosphere of the place. The old Jewish cemetery is neglected and overgrown, only a dozen macevas at the bottom of a ravine are an unmistakable evidence that help to pinpoint the site!

2100 transfer to Minsk Central Railway Station, seeing the guests off by train

The daily rate here includes the guiding and transportation fees and is confirmed upon request.


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