Druya is a small agricultural town in the Miory district, Vitebsk region, located on the border with Latvia. Before the outbreak of World War II, more than 3000 Jews lived here, which accounted for about 70% of the total population. Therefore, it is absolutely not surprising that at that time in Druya ​​there was great synagogue (maybe not the only one).

View of the old Druya

The main synagogue of the village was burned down July 16, 1942. The SS chose this day to liquidate the ghetto in Druya.

Druya ​​Synagogue

There are 2 main versions of arson. According to the first, German soldiers did it in order to kill the Jews hiding inside. Another suggests that the arson was committed by young members of the Jewish community in order to distract the occupiers and organize an escape.

Where was the synagogue in Druya

According to rumors, in the synagogue under the bimah (pulpit) there was a secret underground passage leading across the river. If this passage really existed, then perhaps it was thanks to him that some residents were able to escape.

What the synagogue in Druya ​​looked like

After the war was over, the locals dismantled the ruins of the synagogue into bricks for their construction. According to the memoirs of old-timers, burnt bones were found among the ruins of the foundation for many years.

Lost heritage of Belarus, Druya

The mass grave was located not far from the walls of the synagogue. In 2001, thanks to the initiative of people from the agricultural town of Druya, a monument was erected in this place in honor of the executed Jews.

If you're in the area, be sure to visit Trinity Church. In the historical center you can also see ruins of an 18th century bell tower.


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