More about Bialystok

Like most cities in Poland, Bialystok has a painful past and had its share of heartache during the Second World War. Jewish presence in Bialystok can be traced to the 18th century and was largely due to the flourishing textile industry established there. The Jewish community in Bialystok thrived and grew to be the majority populace of the town. In 1941, the Germans attacked Bialystok, burning, shooting and torturing Jews on what is recorded in history as "Red Friday".

More than 50,000 Jews were sent to the ghetto in Bialystok, where they were made to work in the ghetto industries. In fact the ghetto, in an organized movement, staged an uprising on the eve of what was its final liquidation. In a mass deportation, Jew from here were sent to concentration camps across Treblinka, Majdanek, the Poniatowa or Blizyn labour camps, or Aushwitz. When Bialystok was finally liberated by the Russians in August 1944, all that survived of the Jewish community was 200 camp inmates, 60 partisans and several dozen Jews who were in hiding.