Memoir of 1994 Trip to Motol by Shevi Karlinsky Geldman

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Motol Street - 1994
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Motol Street 2 - 1994
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Motol Street with geese - 1994
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On the way to Motol - 1994
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River by Motol - 1994
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Shevi Geldman at Motol Sign - 1994
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A collective of Motol - 1994

"I made a trip to Russia in 1994, and took a side trip to Belarus, specifically to visit Motol, Chomsk and Bereza. The Belarus authorities would only give me a 3 day visa which wasn't enough time to research anything. I took a train from Moscow to Minsk. Spent what amounted to a half day and overnight in Minsk. Day 2 my driver took me down to Brest, which is the closest city to the shtetels. It was a long drive, but I did get to see Bereza which is much larger than Motol or Chomsk.

Bereza is where the official records are for that area. (In fact my mother and her family did also live in Bereza for more than several years. She was born in Chomsk but the family moved to Bereza when she was 8 years old.)

Day 3 is when my driver and I set out to find the two shtetls. The roads are almost non-existent - only muddy paths with major pot-holes. The only road signs we found were (a) "Khomsk" which was outside the town, and (b) "Motol" which was also outside the town. Otherwise there are no signs to tell a traveler where they are or where they are going.

When I visited the two towns of Chomsk and Motol, it was quite obvious that Motol is a more well-to-do town than Chomsk.  The homes are in good condition, larger and more neat appearing than those in Chomsk.  The Motol collective may be more prosperous because it deals with cows while the Chomsk collective handles pigs.  In my parentsí time, there must have been close connections between the two towns because Chomsk was a center where rabbis would come together for meetings and discussions.  My great-great grandfather had a large home in Chomsk and would host visiting rabbis.  The towns are on the same direct road, only 5 miles apart.

Day 4 I had to leave Belarus, which I did by train to Warsaw."

Contributed by Shevi Karlinsky Geldman

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