Brest-Litovsk Jewish Cemetery
Every salvaged headstone has now been read
Brest has historically had many names: Brzesc nad Bugiem (Brisk on the Bug), Brisk, Brisk-de-Lita (Brisk of Lithuania), today Brest, Belarus. It was the birthplace of Menachem Begin (16th August 1913), and home to some of the most prominent figures in the Rabbinical world including Shelomoh Luria (Maharshal) in the sixteenth century; Yo’el Sirkes (Baḥ) in the seventeenth century; Avraham Katzenellenbogen in the eighteenth century; and they were followed in the nineteenth century by a veritable galaxy of outstanding scholars, including Aryeh Leib Katzenellenbogen, Ya‘akov Me’ir Padua (1840–1856), Yehoshu‘a Leib Diskin (1874–1877), Yosef Ber Soloveichik (1878–1892), Ḥayim Soloveichik (1892–1918), and Yitsḥak Ze’ev Soloveichik (1918–1941). [See Soloveichik Family.]
Brest is widely known for its significant history as being the place where the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk (also known as the Treaty of Brest in Russia) was signed on March 3, 1918, between the new Bolshevik government of Russia and the Central Powers (German Empire, Austria-Hungary, Bulgaria, and the Ottoman Empire). It was the peace treaty that ended Russia’s participation in World War I.