Researchers Mir Residents  History  Business Book List Home Page
Mir Site Index Old Mir Photos Recent Photos Memorial site Mirer Societies Memoirs


1997 Visit to Mir

Sheldon Kneller and his son Mike spent a day in Mir, the shtetl where their ancestors Aharon Noah Popok and Zelda Basha Pogorelski had lived. Around 1900 four of the Popok children, Moshe, Maier, Hanna and Esser, went to the United States. Sheldon visited in mid-August 1977 and took photos and a video. He was kind enough to send photos of Mir and some information about the town.

Sheldon reports that Mir lies entirely on one side of a two lane highway. This is the countryside on the opposite side of the road from the town. Agriculture is the major occupation in the region. (See Map of Mir area)

Road into town, Castle in background

Here is Mike Kneller on a road approaching Mir. The famous castle is in the background on the left. (Since the grass is quite green in August, I would think that Mir gets adequate rain in the summer to grow crops without need of irrigation.)

This is the main street into the center of town. It may be the top of the of the road into Mir, as seen in the old photos.

Sheldon is standing in front of the entrance to the town square. Note a horse and cart in this picture, as well as in several other photos of the town.

Mir Square 5

This is one side of the town square. The tour bus was taking a group of Los Angeles Jews on a "Roots" trip. Sheldon and his son were not part of this tour. They had hired a 22 year old law student who spoke Russian and Polish, as well as broken English, as their driver.


The church is at one corner of the town square. It is the second largest building in town .(The castle is the largest building.) Sheldon said that the square is perhaps 100 by 100 feet. The third side is made up of open wooden table-stalls, where local peasants sell produce. The fourth side has a large hedge with a narrow path through it. Behind the hedge is the Mir Yeshiva. There is no more than 150 feet between the church and the

This is the only other street leading out of the square. About a quarter mile down this street, on the right, behind a group of old gray wooden houses, Sheldon and Mike found the remains of the Jewish cemetery.


Mir Jewish Cemetery 1997


Mir Castle is being restored as a tourist attraction. The castle belonged to the Radziwill family, who controlled much of the area and several of the local towns for many centuries. The last private owners were the Sviatopolk-Mirski family. Mir Castle is now owned by the Belarusian Government.

Updated March 2005


Return to Top 

To Mir Site Index