Korma village: Unsuccessful uprising against Soviet power


Korma village: Unsuccessful uprising against Soviet power

Korma [in Belarusian: Karma village] is located in the Gomel region.  Formerly, it was part of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. At present, it is located in the Republic of Belarus.

There are a lot of settlements in Belarus called Korma. As for the name of the settlement, people living in the Gomel region say “korma” referring to a creek. And this creek comes from the Sozh river near the village.

A lot of ancient burial mounds and sites of the settlements survived on the banks of the river.

Korma was founded by Radimichi, a Slavic tribe that lived on the banks of the Sozh.

The village was first mentioned in the chronicles on June 16, 1565. This year Grand Duke and King Sigismund II Augustus gave Korma to the nobleman Bykovsky for his merit to the Fatherland. Korma belonged to the family until the early 20th century.

After the first partition of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, Korma became  part of the Russian Empire.

Bykovsky’s daughter married Dory-Dernolovich, who built a palace on the Korma outskirts. This palace is well-preserved today.

In 1830, the building of a stone Uniate Church was begun on one of the highest places in the village. But in 1831, a gentry uprising broke out on the territory of present-day Belarus.

After the uprising, it was decided to prohibit the construction of the Uniate Church, which is why the church design changed in line with Orthodox traditions. It was consecrated in honor of St. Nicholas.

When Bolsheviks came to power, they closed the church, turned it into a club, and later a bakery. In 1960, a fire damaged the bakery. The building wasn’t restored after this fire.

Remains of the church

When those terrible times passed, the locals got together and decided to restore the church, they even asked the Gomel diocese for help, but their offer was rejected. They were told that the church had initially been built as a Uniate one, so the diocese would not restore it.

Only the remains of this church survive here. These remains are included in the list of cultural values and their damage is punishable by law.

During the war with Napoleon, there was a battle between the retreating Russian troops and the advancing French forces.

By the end of the 18th century, a watermill and a brick factory were built near the river Kormyanka. At that time Korma had 24 Christian and 54 Jewish homes. A lot of Jews once lived there. There were one church and tree synagogues, a Jewish school and a shopping arcade.

Mainly merchants and craftsmen lived in Korma. They were not rich. The only rich family, Jews, had a two-storied house in the village. By 1910, that was the highest building in the town. The house still survives here, too.

In 1919, Soviet power was established in Korma. Bolsheviks began to go from village to village and expropriate grain, cattle, everything excessive, from their point of view. Peasants tried to rebel against the new authorities but the uprising was suppressed.

In 1904, Todor Kurbatsky, the Belarusian poet, was born in Korma. He was a teacher of Ivan Melezh, another outstanding writer.

Todor died during WWII. Before the war, he wrote poetry that appeared in Belarusian magazines and newspapers.