Oshmiany is a town in Grodno region of Belarus. An ancient settlement, Oshmiany is an unique connection between old historical buildings and modern convenient infrastructures. Its numerous places of interest, dating back to the 18-19th century, are the reason that Oshmiany is a prominent touristic destination.
Oshmiany got its name from the Oshmianka river, that flows through the town.
At the end of the 19th century Oshmiany, that was an important trading point at its heyday, remained a provincial town with a plenty of ethnic and religious communities, including a Jewish one as well.
Despite the growing intolerance from fellow communities, the Jewish community of Oshmiany enjoyed a rich and developed lifestyle within itself. So, in the 19th century, majority of the town's Jews were part of local bourgeois class. Jews held local industry factories. There were numerous Jewish venues active in Oshmiany, including heders, school etc. A synagogue was established in 1912.
Sadly, the Soviet politics of nationalization took away the community's sites in the 1930s, as well as all of social venues and privileges. Many Jews were exiled from the town.
In the wake of WWII, a ghetto was established, where thousands of innocent Jews had been executed.
Jews that managed to survive the Holocaust, did not return to Oshmiany, settling in bigger cities, such as Minsk and Vilnius. As a result, there isn't any active Jewish community in Oshmiany nowadays.
• Yaakov Sapir (1822-1885), a writer and traveler
• Yudel Solodukho, a Soviet historian, writer
• Arie Tzenziper, a historian, Zionist activist
Places of interest:
• A 1912 synagogue building, remained until our days in excellent condition
• Remains of a Jewish cemetery