Horse Square and the borough council in the Jewish borough Yanovichi, where Blyuma Perlstein lived

This is the Horse Square and the borough council in the Jewish borough Yanovichi. The drawing is from the year 1929.

The Yanovichi settlement, where I was born, was located 30 kilometers from Vitebsk. It was a very cultural place, since literate and intelligent Jews and Russians lived there. Before and after the Revolution all children, both Jewish and Russian, went to school together and I never heard the word ‘anti-Semitism,’ because we all lived in friendship. Only the Kolonitsky family stood out. It was a Russian family of intellectuals and three people from this family were our teachers: two women and one man, Alexey Yakovlevich, thanks to whom we have the possibility to remember Yanovichi, looking at pictures made from his drawings.

Alexey Yakovlevich also taught me drawing, history, mathematics and physics. He lived the last years of his life in Moscow. My brother Aron also lived there and they kept in touch with each other. Alexey Yakovlevich gave all the pictures made from drawings, which he drew in Yanovichi, to my brother. My brother Aron died in 1977 and I inherited all these pictures.

There was a big open square for horses near the school, it was called the Horse Square, and was situated close to the central market square. A big building near the school was the borough council. There was an office in the council building, where the council employees based their borough administration. There was a drugstore in a small corner house to the left, at the beginning of Lyaznyanskaya Street. 

Photos from this interviewee