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Janów (woj. podlaskie)

Polska / podlaskie

Synagogues, prayer houses and others Cemeteries Sites of martyrdom Judaica in museums Andere


Province:podlaskie / białostockie (before 1939)
County:sokólski / sokólski (before 1939)
Community:Janów / Janów (before 1939)
Other names:Янув [j.rosyjski]
יאנוב סוקולסקי[j.hebrajski]
53.4678° N / 23.2327° E
53°28'04" N / 23°13'57" E


Natalia Michałek /

The municipality Janów is located on the peripheries of the Knyszyn Forest, in the north-eartern part of the Podlaskie voivodeship, in the district Sokółka. The village lies 40 kilometres away from the eastern border. Kumiałka, a tributary of the Biebrza river, flows through the municipality of Janów.



Natalia Michałek /

Jews started to settle down in Janów near Sokółka in the 17th century or at the beginning of the 18th century. In 1719, Konstanty Brzozowski, the Bishop of Vilnius, allowed for the local Jews to build a synagogue, which was eventually erected in 1740. In 1739, Jews bought most of the shops and market stalls located at the market square. At the end of the 18th century, the village had more Jewish than Polish inhabitants. In 1775, for example, Janów was inhabited by 214 Christians and 221 Jews. This ratio remained unchanged until the beginning of the 20th century, when many Jews migrated to the USA due to financial reasons.

The Jews of Janów owned several prayer houses and a cemetery established in the 19th century. They earned their living through trade and crafts. Jewish people sold wood and grain and ran a number of mills. In 1870, Israel Davidson, an eminent historian writing about Jews in the Middle Ages, was born in Janów. In 1897, there were 1,797 Jews living in the town (the total population was 2,296). WWI cause a major decrease in the number of residents. According to the 1921 Census, Janów had only 1,027 inhabitants.

After the outbreak of WWII, numerous Jews escaped to the town from the Nazi-controlled Central Poland. In June 1941, when the north-eastern parts of Poland, previously controlled by Soviets, came under the German rule, Janów became a labour camp. In August 1941, a ghetto was established in the town; all Jews who could not be placed there due to lack of space were sent to Suchowola. The ghetto was liquidated on 2 November 1942. Its inhabitants were transported to a transit camp in Kiełbasin (Rus. Kolbasino) near Grodno and later sent to Nazi death camps in Treblinka and Auschwitz.


  • Janow Sokolski, [in] The Encyclopedia of Jewish Life Before and During the Holocaust, ed. S. Spector, G. Wigoder, vol. 1, New York 2001, p. 562.

  • T. Wiśniewski, Bóżnice Białostocczyzny. Heartland of the Jewish Life. Synagogues and Jewish Communities in Bialystok Region, Białystok 1992, pp. 156–158.




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