Mill in the village of Vidzy

Vidzy is a village located in Braslav district, Vitebsk region of the Republic of Belarus. There are many historical treasures and architectural monuments on the territory of the village. The mill, which was erected in the village in 1930, is worth paying attention to. It was built on the money of Gershka Guzman, a well-known local businessman of Jewish blood.

Originally there were three mills in the village of Vidzy, which operated around the clock. It is worth noting that it was quite a lucrative business at that time, because it could get profit virtually out of thin air. However, only one of them has preserved to our time, it was in the possession of Gershka Guzman.

In fact, the mill was an unusual multi-factory, because its facilities enabled to make flour necessary for bakery products and flour of the first grade. Along with that conventional grinding was also practiced in the mill to produce goal feed. In addition, barley and wheat cereals were grinded there as well.

The equipment for so-called neighboring industries was also located in the building of the mill. It was used to paint linen and woolen fabrics, for felt production, and for wool manufacturing.

The mill in the village of Vidzy functioned round the clock and therefore there were about 15 people working at it. The second floor was converted into living rooms, where the owner Gershka lived with his family.

The mill operated on the wood. There was a boiler and a steam generator located in a fairly large room, a whole brigade of firemen provided their functioning. A huge amount of water was used in the production, and this fact explains the proximity of the building to the stream.

Gershka Guzman was quite a complicated person and, one may say so, a Jew to the core. During the great Patriotic war, when all the Jews were rounded up in the ghetto, Gershka managed to escape on a nearby farm. He spent all the years of war there. He returned to Vidzy at the end of the war and intended to revive the work of the mill. However, the Soviet authorities were not so friendly to an enterprising Jew, they overlaid Gershka with such taxes that he was never able to rise again and had to leave his native village.

The mill in the village of Vidzy was converted into a power plant in the years of the Second World War and a gas generator was put it in. Besides, during the reign of Soviet power, at first there was a hotel, and after that a reading room upstairs.

In the early 1990-ies the mill was purchased by a local businessman Vladislav Sajkowski. The monument was reopened thanks to his efforts.

Today the mill is one of the jewels of Vidzy, and it is rightly included in many tourist routes through the village.