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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 Jiddisch – Janowa) in the 17th century. In 1719 the Jews in Janów were granted permission by the bishop of Vilnius, Konstanty Brzozowski to build a synagogue. Several decades later there were more Jews than Poles in Janów. In 1775 the population numbered 214 Christians and 221 Jews. At the beginning of the 20th century a lot of Jews emigrated to the North America for financial reasons.

After the outbreak of the World War II numerous Jews came to the town running from the Nazis. In June 1941 a ghetto was established in Janów. Several Jews were deported to Suchowola. The ghetto was shut down on 2 November 1942. The inhabitants were transported to a camp in Kiełbasin near Grodno. Later they found death in the extermination camps.



Local history

Natalia Michałek /

The village of Janów, which was a town in the past, has nowadays 832 inhabitants. The town got its name in the 18th century after the proprietor of the Sapiehas estate, Jan. Until the 13th century the area of Janów was inhabited by Yotvingians. Remains of their presence in the neighbourhood are numerous settlements and barrows (e.g. the barrow in Jasionowa Dolina dating back to the 5th century or the barrow in Teolin from the 4th century)

The village was probably set up in 1703 by the sword-bearer of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, Kazimierz Sannicki. The settlement which was called Przybudek at the beginning was established at the area inhabited by the lumberjacks who had colonised the old Lithuanian forests. Janów got the town character in years 1709-1712. People who contributed to the development of Janów and to obtaining the city rights in the middle of 18th century were Jerzy Stanisław Sapieha and his wife, Teodora. Sapiehas determined where the market, the church and the synagogue for significant numer of Jewish inhabitants should be erected. Jerzy Sapieha founded the first wooden church of St. George in Janów. Nowadays the church is at the cemetery because it was moved in 1904 when a new brick neo-Gothic church was built.

The urban structure which is preserved till now was designed by the Vice-Chancellor of the Lithuania, Antoni Tyzenhaus. It was his merit that the town was developing dynamically. In the second halfth of the 18th century Janów was the capital of one of the six provinces in the region of Grodno. In 1791 the earlier city rights of Janów were confirmed. The town lost them after the decision of the Tsar administration at the turn of the 19th and 20th century.

In 1795 1013 people lived in Janów. There were 5 streets, 174 houses, 18 breweries, 15 distilleries and several looms in the town. At the end of the 19th century the population of the town numbered over 2.000 people, the halfth of it being Jewish.

Milling and founding industry were growing. After the Third Partition of Poland the town was shortly (till 1807) under the Prussian rule again. The arms of Janów dates back to these times.


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