Volume 1-1

JULY 2001


The information that PURS gathers relates specifically to the towns of Pruzhany Uyzed and is of three types:


a)      Lists of names of people from Pruzhany

b)      Reflections of the human, social and political environment as told in Yzkor books, personal memories, and other stories

c)      Images or pictures.


PEOPLE OF PRUZHANY: We are not sure if it is well known that many archival documents have not still been found, including the registers of births, marriages and deaths of Pruzaners.  We understand that they have disappeared in successive fires or willful destruction, particularly during WWII. It is not anecdotal that in Pruzhany’s archive files during the year 2001 there still existed vital statistical records in the archives of Christian and of Russian Orthodox people from the beginning of XX century, but not those of Jews.  For that reason there was no alternative for us than to look to other sources to identify and obtain certain vital statistical information that we have presented in our web site, according to two views:  


Ř      In consolidated alphabetical order by last names for all data found, that includes, where available, town, date/year, business or work connection, etc as secondary references.  Linking family names in this manner allows members to locate ancestors who appear in different localities, etc.  


Ř      By town, for those that are interested exclusively in certain towns, this view also permits us to make comparisons through different files and different years in a single town.


A digest of the record groups contained in our exhibits is as follows:


Main records - Here one sees register groups of two types:


Ř      Those that our researchers have been able to hand copy from the Grodno Archives.  In the coming months more and more of this kind of information will be added to our web site.


Ř      Those that some survivors of the Shoa have been able to recall and those that have been copied from Yzkor (memorial) Books. Included here are more than 3500 people by last name from all towns of Pruzhany Uyezd.


Business directories - Since Jews worked mainly in trades and in crafts, we were able to extract and reproduce data from Business Directories


Voting Lists – For those available years, our researchers have copied various kinds of voter records.  Here there are over 3000 names.  In future months we hope to be able to add other years to this section.



People Murdered to Honor His Name – This is a painful memory of those murdered in the Shoa. Included are Symbolic Memorial Stones listed in the 1958 Pruzhany Yzkor Book, a partial list of Pruzhany Ghetto Residents sent to Auschwitz and personal memoirs of Survivors.  More lists of people will soon be added.


Survivors of the Holocaust - Life continued for Pruzaners in the post Holocaust days as survivors migrated primarily to the USA, Israel and Argentina. Names of both the organizers and the members of Landsmanshaften that were founded in New York are included here. Additional entries are being developed and we hope to add their names to our exhibits in future months.


People in Other Documents - Diverse sources, mostly small documents, have been gathered and are displayed by type of document.  Included are Pruzaners’ names recorded in Argentina health funds, donors to Rabbinical Seminars & Yavneh School systems, telephone books in Pruzhany, and other documents evidencing the movement of survivors towards New York and towards Argentina.


People by Shtetl – While the above lists of names tend to be consolidated and shtetls are not the primary key, in this group you will find these names displayed by shtetl.  This will allow a cross reference in ancestral study. 


Images – A limited start has begun towards adding to our web site a selection of images, pictures, etc.  Included here will be current scenes in Pruzhany Uyzed and scenes of olden days.  As time goes by our significant inventory of images will be posted.


In this, our initial issue of the PURS newsletter, we have presented a more or less concise overview of our accomplishments in our startup period.  We hope you will find it interesting, informative and of value from both a historical and a scholastic standpoint.  We invite your comments. In addition, we hope that any information that you privately possess you would consider donating to PURS.  This could be letters, pictures or other correspondence that would potentially fill some missing links in the genealogical pursuit of our members.


In our next Newsletter we will feature the holdings we have and will have as regards Yzkor Books and of pictures. This is the beginning, and it is an account of the investment of the funds of our members, of special donors, and of the time of numerous volunteers.


Finally, we encourage all members to keep checking our web site to access new and important additions.


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