Monday, August 17, 2009
Map of Belarus
This United Nations map of Belarus reflects national boundaries established in 1945. The area that is now western Belarus was for centuries home to an ethnic mix of Poles, Lithuanians, Belarusians, Jews, and Tartars. During the partitions of Poland, this area fell within the boundaries of the Russian Empire's Wilno gubernia (province). All my grandparents identified themselves as coming "from Wilno." My paternal grandparents, Julian Prokopowicz and Anna Blaszko, came from villages northwest of Lida. My maternal grandparents, Aleksandr Prokopowicz and Stefania Ruscik, grew up in villages located midway between Lida and Grodno (today called Hrodna). Lida is about 60 miles from Vilnius, Lithuania (Wilno) to the north and Hrodna (Grodno) to the west.