Belarus / Polish Border


Slonim Synagogue. Photo by Ihar Strakha – Wikipedia

In the nineteenth century, more than 70% of Slonim’s population was Jewish. The ratio was 53% before the war.

The ghetto was burned down between 29 June and 15 July 1942. At the city’s edge, at the site of the former cemetery, a monument commemorates the city’s 35000 Jews exterminated during the war.

In the city center, set back in the relation to the marketplace, the ruins of a magnificent Baroque synagogue can be seen. Built in 1642, it is still standing, but in deplorable shape inside, though certain bas-reliefs (two lions presenting the Ark of the Law) and frescoes depicting musical instruments and biblical landscapes have been preserved -a unique event in Belarus. The market is located around the synagogue. Urinals, moreover, have been installed right up against the walls of this historical monument.

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