“In Trzcianne, Tadeusz recalled the Germans reaching his town: “Many of them showed up. It was a very hot day. They immediately set Jewish houses on fire.The synagogues also were burnt down. There were Jews running about, trying to escape”.
During this 17-day investigation, Yahad completed its 8th research trip to Poland, where our team interviewed 46 witnesses and identified 24 execution sites.
Region of Bilaystok
Investigated towns/villages: Tykocin, Jeżewo, Zawady, Hermany, Nieciece, Sierki, Łopuchowo, Rząśnik Lubotynski, Szumowo, Mężenin, Kołaki, Pniewo. Podgórze, Łomża, Mały Płock, Jedwabne, Wizna, Sławiec, Śniadowo, Truszki- Sapki, Olszewo, Zubole, Trzcianne, Stare Krajewo, Kossaki Borowe, Krosno, Słomianka, Jasionówka, Knyszyn, Narewka, Białowieża, Piliki, Sielachowszie, Grabówka, Broniszewo Kolonia, Kapice Stare, Stelmachowo, Kolonia Tykocin, Głebacz, Kaczynek, Turobin Brzozowa, Gielczyn, Rowy, Podgorze, Biełka, Mściwuje, Zambrów, Sadziwoje, Młoda Jakoć, Kolonia Stoczek, Kamionka, Michałowo, Kopce, Pieńki, Majdan, Krynica, Waliły Stacja, Rajsk, Bielsk Podlaski, Praniewicze, Augustowo, Struki, Grabowiec, Brańsk, Brzeznica.
Our research focused on the west and southeastern areas of the Bialystok region. Approximately 150,000 Jews lived in the voivodia of Podlaskia when WWII broke out. This was the first time Yahad-in Unum investigated a Polish territory that had previously been overseen by the Soviets since September 1939, before it was taken over by the Germans in the first stage of the Barbarossa Operation.
With the help of local collaborators, the Nazis carried out numerous mass shootings of Jews in the region. Some Jews were also deported to the extermination camps of Treblinka and Auschwitz. Several large ghettos were created, to gather all the Jews of the neighboring villages. A number of forced labor camps for Jews must be noted as well: Zambrow, Bielsk Podlaski, Choroszcz. A major transit camp was opened south of the town of Bialystok. It was used to gather the region’s Jews before they were sent to the extermination camps.