Anastasiya Hrytskevich | Novogrudok Museum of History and Regional Studies



Anastasiya is Chief Researcher at Novogrudok Museum of History and Regional Studies. Born in Novogrudok. Since 2020 is actively working on researching the local history of Novogrudok Region. During 2020 took part in joint project with Radio Culture (Belarus) "Legends and Stories of Navahradak Region", project "Women in History of Navahradak"  that was prepared in cooperation with local TV "NOVA-TV".


See Anastasiya's land-art installation created in the Naliboki forest during our first on-site meeting in Belarus (8-14 August 2021): VIDEO

 


The Museum of Jewish Resistance



The Museum of Jewish Resistance in Novogrudok is a unique place in the project “Shtetl Routes. Vestiges of Jewish Cultural Heritage in Cross-Border Tourism”.

The memorial exhibition "Museum of Jewish Resistance in Novogrudok" was opened on July 24, 2007 in the building of a former residential barrack on the territory of one of the two ghettos in Novogrudok. It is situated on the territory of the Novogrudok Agricultural Lyceum at the address: Novogrudok, Minskaya str., 68 \ 5.

The museum exhibition is dedicated to two unique stories of resistance in Novogrudok during the Holocaust: 1) the story of the escape of the ghetto prisoners through the tunnel and 2) the story of the Jewish partisan detachment organized by the Bielski brothers, which became widely known thanks to the Hollywood movie "Defiance" with Daniel Craig starring as Tuvia Bielski, the detachment leader.



The interior of the ghetto was reconstructed in three rooms of the former residential barrack with the names of the prisoners on the bunks and the entrance into the tunnel. Artifacts found during archeological excavations in the residential barracks and in the area adjacent to the tunnel make the history of the tunnel construction and escape tangible.



Photos, names, and the plan of Forest Jerusalem - the camp of the Bielski detachment in the Naliboki Forest (Nalibokskaya Pushcha) present partisan life.

The exhibition was created with the ITF grant (International Organization for Cooperation in Education, Preservation of Memory and Research in the Field of the Holocaust, now IHRA), as well as with the financial support of Jack Kagan, a former prisoner of the Novogrudok ghetto and an Honorary Citizen of Novogrudok, who lived in London.

 



The open-air exhibition along the tunnel path includes a memorial sign to the Wish to Live, the Garden of Justice and Compassion, dedicated to Belarusians and Poles who rescued Jews at the risk to their lives and the lives of their loved ones, an open-air exhibition "The story of the tunnel and of the escape as told by its participants", preservation of a fragment of the tunnel and the Memorial Wall bearing the names of all the tunnel escapees.

 


Novogrudok Museum of History and Regional Studies



The Museum exhibition has been in operation since September 12, 1992. It presents the history and culture of the Novogrudok region from the origins of the town until the middle of the 20th century. The entire Museum exhibition focuses on the multicultural and multi-confessional nature of the region, where Tatars, Poles and Jews lived next to Belarusians where Christianity, Islam and Judaism coexisted without conflicts for centuries.

A great part of the exhibition is dedicated to the origins of the town, construction of the fortress on the Castle Hill, coronation of Mindouh – the first and the only King on the Belarusian land who laid the foundation of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania (the Lithuanian Commonwealth) in the middle of the XIII c.

The significance of medieval Novogrudok (Novohorodok, Navahradak, Navardok, Nowogródek) is proved by archeological excavations carried out in in the second half of the XX c. by archaeologists from Leningrad (now St.-Petersburg) supervised by Frida Gurevich, and by the Institute of History of the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus under Tatiana Bubenko in the late XX – early XXI c.



The exhibition presents Novogrudok as a regional center (województwo –Pol., voivodeship – Eng.) during the first and the second Republic of Poland (Rzeczpospolita), a venue of Seims and sessions of the Great Lithuanian Tribunal— Supreme Court of Appeal of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, a city which had a right for self-governing, the so called Magdeburg right.

Being de jure a significant administrative center in the Polish-Lithuanian and later in the Polish state, Novogrudok was a typical shtetl where the majority of the population was Jewish.

A significant part of the exhibition is dedicated to WWII with a focus on the events in the town and the region during the occupation by the Nazi Germany from July 4, 1941 until the liberation on July 8, 1944 when Novogradok was the center of the Gebietskommissariat within the General Commissariat of Belarus. Several topics, such as «Forced Labor under the Nazi Occupation», «History and Destruction of the Navahradak Jewish Community», «Resistance», «Liberation of Navahradak» arepaid special attention.



The ethnographic collection of the museum shows agricultural character of the region and of a Belarusian village.

All in all, the Museum is a platform for various programs and projects that allow dialogue in society. Museum collections — are not just a treasure trove ​​which is the basis for studying the history and culture of the region, they also serve to develop contacts and strengthen ties between generations and cultures.