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Shalom Eilat
3 month ago we were in email contact .
A few days ago I recieved the results from the Riga archives. According to it , a few of my ancestors came from Vidzi.

I saw that u have web site at


I 'm searching data about Scherman family from Vidzi or New-Alexandrovsk,

as well as data about Zivian family from Dvinsk.

During the last 5 month I have got the names of about 400 peoples whose surnames is Zivian . Unfortunately , even the archives can't succeeded to find data about our maternal grandfather Moshe Zivian & his father Hirsh Zivian from Dvinsk.

I'm familiar very well with the data of the Yad Vashem web site .

Do u have any other source of info about Scherman family from Vidzi?

Thank in advance

Dr. Zvi Harzion/Isarel

Ziwjan and Scherman families


The records of the archival fond State Statistic Board – the census for 1935 of Rezekne, the birth records of the Jewish community in Dvinsk (before 1893 – Dinaburg, since 1919 – Daugavpils) for 1903, 1905 contain the following information:

Mowscha, son of Hirsch Ziwjan (the birth date is unknown) belonged to the Jewish community in Dvinsk.

His wife Scheina-Dweira, daughter of Hirsch-Leiba, née Scherman was born in 1883 in Dinaburg (now Daugavpils) (this date and place of birth was stated in the census for 1935, unfortunately, the birth records of the Jewish community in Dvinsk for 1880–1886 have not survived). The marriage records of the Jewish community in Dvinsk for 1895–1903 have not survived, therefore we cannot find information on the marriage registration of Mowscha Ziwjan and Scheina-Dweira Scherman. According to the census for 1935 she was a widow, she knew Yiddish.

Their children:

* daughter Hanna Ziwjan, born on July 7 (Julian calendar) of 1903 in Dvinsk (see Appendix No.1), she knew Yiddish and Russian languages.
* son Hirsch Ziwjan, born in 1904 in Dvinsk (unfortunately, the birth records of the Jewish community in Dvinsk for 1904 have not survived), he knew Yiddish, Russian and German languages. His occupation – a watch-maker, according to the census for 1935 Hirsch worked at the watchmaker's shop of Levin in Rezekne at 15. Maija Street. The census for 1941 of Rezekne contains information that a watch-maker Hirsch Ziwjan, born in 1904, was still alive on September 23 of 1941 (during Nazi occupation), when he was registered as living in Rezekne at Tirgus Street 4 with other 22 persons – Jews – handicraftsmen (see Appendix No.2).
* daughter Gnesia Ziwjan, born on November 12 of 1906 in Dvinsk, she knew Yiddish, Russian and German language.
* daughter Gesa Ziwjan, born in 1913 in Rezekne, she knew Yiddish and Russian languages.
* daughter Riva Ziwjan, born in 1914 (unfortunately, we did not manage to find any information about her).

According to the census for 1935 the family of Scheina-Dweira lived in Rezekne at Plekš?u Street 30, apt. 1 (see Appendix No.3), unfortunately, the house register has not survived.

Unfortunately, we did not manage to find any concrete information about Mowscha Ziwjan. There were several families Ziwjan belonging to Dvinsk and we could not establish how they were related to Mowscha Ziwjan. In case we will find any additional information we would inform you immediately.

The lists of the Jewish families belonging to Dvinsk, set up in 1875 (only males are registered in this list) contain many families with the surname „Ziwjan", four of them contain information about Hirsch Ziwjan:

* Hirsch, son of Itzik Ziwjan, aged 58 (so born in ca 1817),
* his sons:
* Mowscha, aged 35 (so born in ca 1840),
* Awsey, aged 34, so born in ca 1841),
* Simon, aged 29 (so born in ca 1866),
* Haim, aged 13 (so born in ca 1862).

* Jankel, son of Hirsch Ziwjan, aged 54 (so born in ca 1821),
* his sons:
* Hirsch, aged 37 (so born in ca 1838),
* Mones, aged 21 (so born in ca 1854).

* Mowscha, son of Nochim Ziwjan, aged 26 (so born in ca 1849),
* his brother Hirsch, son of Nochum Ziwjan, aged 22 (so born in ca 1853).

* Hirsch Ziwjan, aged 37 (so born in ca 1838),
* his son Leiba, aged 3 (so born in ca 1872).

Unfortunately, without any concrete information about Mowscha, son of Hirsch Ziwjan we are complicated to assert who of mentioned Hirsch Ziwjan was Mowscha Ziwjan's father.

We suppose that Scheina-Dweira had at least two brothers:

Vidzi petty bourgeois Michel-Abel, son of Hirsch-Leiba Scherman was born in 1863 in Novo-Alexandrovsk (now Zarasai), Lithuania (this date and place of birth was stated in the census for 1935, according to the 1st All Russian census for 1897 he was 30 years old). His occupation – a tailor.

His wife Rasa (Rascha-Elka), daughter of Mowscha, née Maron, born in ca 1869/1870 in Novo-Alexandrovsk.

They had children:

* daughter Hana-Rochel (Roche) Scherman, born on July 7 of 1894 (Julian calendar) in Dvinsk,
* daughter Mascha Scherman, born on December 24 of 1896 in Dvinsk,
* daughter Scheina Scherman, born on June 11 of 1899 (Julian calendar) in Dvinsk,
* daughter Fogel Scherman, born on August 24 of 1903 (Julian calendar) in Dvinsk,
* daughter Sara Scherman, born on February 7 of 1904 in Dvinsk.

According to the 1st All Russian census for 1897 they lived in Dvinsk at Zhitomirskaya Street 94, apt. 5 (see Appendix No.4). Leiba (Leibe), son of Owschey Maron, aged 21, born in Novo-Alexandrovsk, place of registration – Novo-Alexandrovsk, occupation – a shoemaker, lived together with them.

According to the census for 1935 the family of Michel Scherman lived in Daugavpils at Rezeknes Street 20, apt. 4 (Rascha-Elka was not registered in the census for 1935). During the Second World War they all fled to Uzbekistan.

Vidzi petty bourgeois Wulf, son of Hirsch Scherman and his wife Selda, daughter of Leiba, née Stein (she died before 1929), had children:

* son Lev Scherman, born on November 10 of 1899 (Julian calendar) in Dvinsk. In 1926 Lev Scherman lived in Rezekne at Atbrivosanas aleja 46, previous address –Daugavpils (see his photo for 1926). His occupation – a tailor. Since February till May of 1929 and since March till April of 1930 he was registered as living in Rezekne at 15.Maija Street 61. He was struck off the house register on April 10 of 1930 as moved to Daugavpils.
* twins: son Solomon Scherman, born on August 5 of 1903 (Julian calendar) in Dvinsk,
* daughter Ida-Lea Scherman, born on August 5 of 1903 (Julian calendar) in Dvinsk (see her photo from the Latvian passport for 1926). On September 2 of 1926 in Daugavpils she married to a shoemaker Haim, son of Schlioma-Selik Dunawetzky, born on February 20 of 1902 in Dvinsk (see his photo from the Latvian passport for 1925). They lived in Daugavpils at Zala Street 43a.

They had at least two children:

o daughter Hana Dunawetzky, born on December 1 of 1926 in Daugavpils,
o daughter Selda Dunawetzky, born on August 25 of 1929 in Riga.

Haim Dunawetzky lived in Riga at Katolu Street 2, apt. 18. Since June 13 of 1941 he lived in Riga at Jekaba Street 26/28, apt. 9. Haim was struck off the house register on June 27 of 1941, not stated where.

Since March of 1937 Ida-Lea Dunawetzky, née Scherman and her daughters lived in Riga at Jekaba Street 26/28, apt. 9. Since September 19 of 1941 they were registered as living at Katolu Street 2, apt. 35 (territory of Riga ghetto during Nazi occupation).

* son Isaak (Isak) Scherman, born on July 4 (Julian calendar, July 17 – Gregorian calendar) of 1905 in Dvinsk (see his photos from Nansen passport for 1924, 1929). He was a tailor. On December 7 of 1930 in Riga Isak married to Duscha Ziss, daughter of Jankel Ziss and Pera, née Hanarin, born on April 22 of 1903 in Dvinsk (see her photos from the Latvian passport for 1927, 1930).

They had at least three children:

o daughter Selda Scherman, born on July 20 of 1931 in Riga,
o twins: sons Jacob Scherman, born in 1939 in Riga,
o son Ruben Scherman, born in 1939 in Riga.

Before the Second World War they lived in Riga at Katolu Street 2, apt. 12. There are no information in the house register that they left. During Nazi occupation Katolu Street 2 was a territory of Riga ghetto. According to the Central database of Shoah's Victims Names of Yad Vashem they all were killed in 1941 in Riga.

For the better clearness the composition of the family is prepared also in the form of a genealogical table.

In a case only age of a person for a concrete year is indicated in the documents, his/her date of birth is given in square brackets. All dates are stated according to the Julian calendar. The place of birth (marriage, death) is given only in a case if it is specified in the document. Unfortunately the birth, marriage and death records of the Jewish community in Dvinsk have survived not completely, therefore our table might be not hundred per-cent accurate. In a case we will find any additional information, the table can be corrected and supplemented.

REFERENCE: fond 4359, inventory 2, file 6,

fond 4936, Inventory 1, file 26,

fond 2706, inventory 59, page 378.

fond 2110, inventory 12, file 1114,

fond 1308, inventory 15, file 3488, page 122,

fond 2942, inventory 1, files 5707, 5708, 6661,

fond 2996, inventory 4, files 16036, 16037,

inventory 17, files 12221, 12222, 12161,

fond 1371, inventory 4, file 1802, page 110.

Enclosure: genealogical table – 1 sheet, copies of the documents – 12 sheets.

Director N. Ri?ovs

Head of Department I. Veinberga

 have just distributed to the qualified donors of the Panevezys
Internal Passport Project another 401 records. This makes a total
of 7,025 records distributed to the donors thus far. More records
remain to be translated. If you are not already a donor to the
Panevezys I.P. Project, you can receive all of the translated
records merely by making a $100 contribution, specified for the
Panevezys Internal Passport Project. Go to
http://www.jewishgen.org/JewishGen-erosity/ You can use your credit
card as the site is secure. To see a full description of Internal
Passports, and to view images of original records, go to

Just because your ancestors left Lithuania before 1915, it does not
mean these 1919-1940 records hold no interest for you. Your immediate
family may have left but, in most case, other family members and
relatives remained there. In 1915, the majority of the Jews in
Lithuania were forced to go deep into the Eastern part of Russia.
After 1919, most of those Jews returned to Lithuania and had to
apply for an Internal Passport. Many researchers have had great
success with the Internal Passport records.

Every time I receive another group of translated Internal Passport
records, it never ceases to amaze me about the outstanding information
presented. Several examples from this group of Panevezys records will
illustrate my point.

(1) Leib NEMAS / [NEMM], son of Yankel. Born 1877 in Baisogola. Applied
for his Internal Passport on 14 December, 1921. (This is an indication of
the date he returned to Panevezys from Russia because he had to apply
within 30 days of his arrival back in Lithuania). He lived at Ramygalos
st. 60 in Panevezys and was a Merchant. He was married. He died 18 July
1927. His Military Service Certificate Nr. 5151, issued in Siauliai in
1899 and his Internal Passport are in the file. His wife was Hinda
FARBERAITE / [FARBER] born in 1883, daughter of Yovel. They had three
children - Yosel - Born 1908, Tauba - Born 1909, and Rakhel - Born 1914.
(Baisogola, Panevezys, Siauliai - you can see the possibilities this
opens up to find more records. Also, his Military Service Certificate
may offer the information needed to find his Russian military records).

(2) Basia MILSTEINAITE / [MILSHTEIN], daughter of Abraham and Rebecca.
Born 1903 in Vilnius. She was single when she applied for her Internal
Passport 28 August 1920. (Upon reaching the age of 17 she had to apply
for her own Internal Passport). She lived with her parents at Kranto st.
10 in Panevezys. Her mother's maiden name was BIGELYTE / [BIGGEL] and
she was born in 1869 in Vidzai, Ezerenai Uyezd. Her father was born in
1868 in Vidzai, Ezerenai Uyezd. He was a carrier. The German passports
for Basia and her father were issued 29 May 1916 in Vilnius and her
mother's German passport was issied in Panevezys 19 May 1917. All three
German passports are in the file. Basia got married to Hirsh DOLBERGAS /
[DOLBERG] on 8 August 1926 in Kaunas. In addition to Basia, Abraham and
Rebecca had three sons. Alter - born 1908, Shimon - born 1911, Jacob -
born 1913. (Again, the records not only provide a wealth of information
but also present an opportunity to do further research in the records for
Vidzai, Vilnius, Panevezys, and Kaunas).

Howard Margol
Coordinator, Internal Passport Project 1919-1940


In the 1887 Belarus and Lithuanian Census and Family Lists my family
was located in Salakas, Zarasai, Kaunas but my grandfather was
"registered in Vidzy volostj". There are no similar notations for other
family members on the list. Can I assume that my grandfather was born
in Vidzy?

Thank you in advance for any suggestions.

Paulette Bronstein

GAMBURG - Salakas, Vidzy, Ekaterinoslav, Brooklyn
GAMUS - Disna, Vilna, Brooklyn
ROSENZWAIG - Lodz, Hadera, Kfar Saba
BRONSTEIN - Ostrug, Hadera, Kfar Saba


I am a Rabbi in Chicago. I was just told by my uncle that my grandfather (my name sake) came from Vidzy.

My great garndfather was named Yakov Katczerginski and passes away in 1935. His wife , Chana Gitel and family were murdered by the Nazis.

Thank you for all you have done to preserve the history of Vidzy!

Do you know of any other source of info? Was the memorial book ever published? Is it available?

I'm also intrigued ny the gact that the famous Rabbi of Ponovich, Yosef Kahaneman was Rabbi of Vidzy for a period of time and I'm fascinated by the possibility that my great grandfather knew him!

Any further source of info would be much appreciated.

All the best,
Yes, there is a memorial book for Vidzy.


My name is Joseph Toltz. I have been trying without success to trace my great-grandfather's family.

My great-grandfather Yitzhak Isaac Toltz migrated from a town apparently called "Vitz" ( Vidzy?) to England, presumably to escape conscription into the Czarist army. He married (either before or in England), and my grandfather Maurice was born in London before the family relocated to Australia. He had two more children, Louis and Abraham by his first wife Rachel Leah (nee Mushnitzky) and Shirley by his second wife Rose (nee Amster).

I have the names of Yitzhak Isaac's siblings: Smuel, Joseph (changed his surname to Joffe when arriving in South Africa), Sorrel, Slomo and Sholem. I have their photographs too. Other than Joseph's family (who migrated to South Africa in the 1920s), we cannot trace any of these people, and I have presumed until now that they were all murdered in Europe. Have you heard of our family name from this Shtetl (perhaps in another variant spelling - Tolc, Tolz, Tolzan etc)?

I'm currently a post-doctoral fellow at the US Holocaust Memorial Museum, so if you could point me to any useful resources for the Shtetl, including listed names from Yizker-bikhen etc, I would be very grateful. The Museum has a great service for researching families. (I'm an ethnomusicologist - researching musical aspects of the USHMM collection)

Best wishes,


Joseph Toltz
(currently in the US on a 6 month Fellowship)

cell: (+1) 415 889-0648
skype: josephtoltz

Wow, in more that 20 years, this is the first time I've found MATZKIN
(as MATSKIN here) in a VIDZY record! (Various American records show
that my great-grandmother, grandfather and great aunt were from Vidzy,
which is now in Belarus.)
There are three Matskin households but not with the forenames that I
know. There are also 2 Gurber-Matskin households. (The Matzkins of
whom I know are a generation or two later.) These records are from
the Zarasai-Vidzy Revision Lists of 1816 and 1818.
I asked coordinator Dorothy Leivers whether there may be other records
to flesh this information out. It seems that the Zarasai District
Research Group has 12 sets of Vidzy records between 1844 and 1907 yet
to be translated.
I certainly plan to contribute to Litvak SIG to help get these
translated. If you have any interest in this area, please contribute
as well.
A chink in the brick wall! May we all find them.
Batya Matzkin Olsen, Concord, Massachusetts USA
Researching: EISENSHMID/AJZENSHMIDT [any spelling] (Tsikhovolya
& Svisloch, BY), KAYOTSKY (Vidzy, BY), KELMAN (DE), KLONER
(Postavy/Smorgon, BY), MANFELD (Smorgon), MANFIELD (Sterling,
Ill., US), RUNKIN, MATZKIN (Vidzy & anywhere), ROSENBLUM (Postavy),
The database
Eilat Gordin Levitan
I have good news for people researching the shtetl Widze (also known as Vidzy) in Belarus.

I finally succeeded in getting the Widze Yizkor book - Sefer Vidz: ayarah behayeha uve-khilayonah
(by Gershon Winer and Yizhak Alperovitz, Tel Aviv, 1998) onto the web available for everyone to view.
This is thanks to Amanda Seigel of the Dorot Jewish Division in the New York Public Library.

The 1998 Widze book can be found in the following link:
click on Widze (1998) pdf available and wait several minutes (you need to click on PDF and not Widze).

The New York Public Library/Dorot Jewish Division has a Yizkor (Holocaust Memorial) Books project whose home page is at
With help from the National Yiddish Book Center, the NYPL has made the digitized version of hundreds of Yizkor books, memorials to lost communities, available on the library’s website. The 1998 Widze book was just uploaded now after several year of efforts on my part. Since it was added to the library site with a different software, it takes several minutes to access the book. But the book is there in its entirety, along with the short English section at the end of the book.

Please make this info available to Widze researchers.

If any question arise, I can be contacted at harriste@bezeqint.net

Thank you for all your work in helping us all remember what once was.

Eudice Winer-Harris

From: Harold & Yvonne Berman <harvon59@pivit.net.au>

I have read with great interest your website dedicated to Litvakland.

I am trying to trace any information on the family of my maternal Great
grandfather who according
to family lore was an eminent Rabbi and Rosh Yeshiva in Vidzy.

Unfortunately I don't know when this was. I have found an article in the
Vidzy Yiskor book on
page 142 in Yiddish [ which I had translated] referring to a Reb Dovid'l of
Vidz, I have no idea
if this refers to my great-grandfather or some other Rabbi with the same
first name.

My ggrandfather was referred to by the family as H'rav Dovid of VITZER. My
grandfather Meier Leibe
LIFSHITS [LIPSIC] who was a student at the Yeshiva, married one of Rav
Dovid's daughters PAJE SUDANSKY.
My grandmother was born +/- 1865. I don't know when or where they got
married, but I have found an entry
for taxpayers in Dusetos dated 1889 listing my grandfather, after that no
mention of the family at all.
My grandmother had a sister NACHAMA who married a Mr. RACHELSON and made
aliyah at the beginning of
the 1900's. There was also a brother HIRSCHEL who also made aliyah in the
early 1930's.

My grandparents with 3 of their youngest offspring immigrated to South
Africa in March 1922, the other 5
offspring made their way independently to South Africa in the intervening

As a member of Jewishgen and Litvaksig I have put similar enquires through
their discussion groups as
well as the Rabbincsig and Belarus groups, unfortunately I have had no

Any help or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Many thanks,

Harold Berman [Researcher 157703]
Sydney, Australia

Researching: BERMAN in Ribeni, South Africa, Zeimys,
FREED in Linkuva, Joniskelis,Pakruojis, South Africa, Vabalninkas,
Daugavpils[Dvinsk], Kamajal, Leeds,
Mazeikial, Panevezys, Siaulial, Smorgon, South Africa, Vilna, Vidzy


-Berko GORDON resided in Vidzi in the 1860s, and at least two of his
sons were born there: Abram Josel, and Morduch.
In the 1870s the family resided in Daugavpils (Dvinsk).
Khatzkel GORDON was born in Daugavpils, 1878. He married Miriam
Gurevitch from Dusetos, and they resided in Kraziai. There, they had
three daughters, born between 1909-1918:
* Chana, who married Jakob MAGIDZON
* Chaia Raiza, who married Benjamin KROM, and
* Riva.

Any information about the descendants of the above will be
greatly appreciated.

Many thanks

Orit Lavi
Tsukey Yam, Israel


I am trying to trace the family of my maternal great grandfather Reb Dovid
He according to family lore was the Rabbi and Rosh Yeshiva of a yeshiva in
I estimate that he must have been there in the period +/- 1820 onwards.

I have found an article in the Vidzy Yiskor book on page 142 in Yiddish [
which I had translated] referring to a Reb Dovid'l of Vidzy, I have no idea
if this refers to my great-grandfather or some other Rabbi with the same
first name, as I can't establish the exact period when this incident took

I have searched through the various Jewishgen databases without any success.

Any suggestions or advice how to proceed further would be greatly

Many thanks,

Harold Berman [researcher 157703]
Sydney, Australia

Researching: BERMAN in Ribeni, South Africa, Zeimys,
FREED-FRID in Linkuva, Joniskelis, Pakruojis, South Africa, Vabalninkas,
Daugavpils[Dvinsk], Kamajal, Leeds, Mazeikial, Panevezys, Siaulial, Smorgon,
South Africa, Vilna, Vidzy


From: Yehoshua Sivan <ysivan@il.com>

Your site as a whole is fascinating.  
I refer to http://www.eilatgordinlevitan.com/vidzy/vidzy.html with a couple of comments.

Maybe you should add this one…Vidzy

Is this photo the main synagogue? Vidzy

There is no caption.  I have searched for any photos of the Vidzy synangogues, with no luck.
Maybe this book has information, or the authors could help: 

Yehoshua Sivan (Grandfather's name: Avraham Swirsky)


am trying to trace the family of my maternal great grandfather Reb Dovid
He according to family lore was the Rabbi and Rosh Yeshiva of the yeshiva in
possibly in the mid 1800's.

On page 142 in the Yiskor book of Vidzy there is mention of a Reb Dovid'l
of Widze,
I am presuming that this refers to my great grandfather. I am also trying to
find out
if it actually was my ggfather, and the approximate time frame that this
event took place.

I  have been in contact with Eudice Harris  who edited the Yiskor book, but
she couldn't
unfortunately offer any information on the matter.

The only other family facts that I am aware of is that my grandmother Paya
was born in
1864, and that she had three other sisters, one of whom Nachama made Aliyah
in the
early 1900's. Of the other two sisters I have no information at all. There
was also a brother
Hershel [TZVI] who made Aliyah in the early 1930's. I have found mention of
a TZVI Sudansky
who passed away in Israel during this period, but I found that there is no
connection to our

Again according to family lore, HERMANN JADLOWKER the chazzan and opera
singer was a cousin.

Any suggestions or assistance would be gratefully appreciated.

Many thanks,

Harold Bermanvid
Sydney, Australia