“We’re going to Poland to beat up the  Jews”

This was the slogan and antisemitic graffiti painted on German troop trains when the war between Germany and the Soviet Union broke out in 1941.  A few days later Germans captured Nesvizh from the Russians.  Looting and anti-Jewish incidents began.

The Germans established a Jewish council called a Judenrat as an intermediary between the Germans and Jews and to identify those who were Jews.



Ordinances were issued forbidding Jews from walking on pavement, traveling beyond town limits, conversing with Christians and going into their homes, doing business with them,and buying necessities from farmers.  All were Verboten.  Each Jew was required to wear a white ribbon and yellow badge and to remove his hat before every German.

My Uncle Pesah’s son, Pini, was out-of-town studying to become an accountant and when he returned this is what he found, according to a letter I received from his friend, Moishe Ajzenbud, now living in Australia.  “ The town was in chaos.  In Pini’s home lived a Russian official who told us he was leaving and if we wanted to escape it had to be now. Later would be too difficult. The only transport we had were our bicycles and the only way out was to go to Minsk. I was ready to go and Pini wanted to go with me.  Unfortunately his mother Chava talked him out of it. He could have lived out the war in Russia as he had enough money.”