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Death of the Jews of Szczuczyn

Translation from Yiddish, pages 223-225, of the Grajewo Yizkor Book*

Document of the Jewish Voyevodisher Historical Commission
Bialystok, August 11, 1946
L.B. -- 152/46


Transmitted through Bashe Kacper [Katzper], born in 1920 in Szczuczyn,
Lived during the occupation in the Szczuczyn Ghetto,
Hid after the liquidation in surrounding villages.
Now lives in Bialystok.


The shtetl Szczuczyn (numbering 3,000 Jews before the war) already felt the bestial hand of the Nazis in 1939, when they stayed there for two weeks. The shtetl had then lost 300 men, only a few of whom returned.

The Germans took Szczuczyn again on the 24th of June, 1941. The first days, the German local authority had not yet been installed, and the mischievous Polish youth and  hooligans bullied the Jews, among them Yakubtshak, Dembrowski the tanner, Sviaslowski the post‑authority, Yankaitis, director of the Shul, and various caretakers.

The 25th of June, 1941, Friday, in the middle of the night, when everyone was asleep, the Polacks made three slaughters: at Nei-Shtot [Niestaat (New Town), the predominantly Jewish part of Szczuczyn that starts at the corner of Lomza Street (the highway from Lomza and Stawiski) and the town square. The main street of Niestaat is Kilinskiego. The Synagogue was at the north end of the street as it became the highway to Grajewo.  Most of the families were killed in or in front of their homes.] at the market, and on Lomzher Street. At Nei-Shtot [Niestaat] were murdered Kaplan the photographer and his son-in-law [Izak Cyrlak, married to Zalman Kaplan's daughter Regina; Kaplan Studio was at #240 Kilinskiego, Niestaat], Esther Krigier and her daughter and grandchild, Romerowski the tailor, Petke Jasinski [Yashinski], Maizel the Rosh Yeshiva, and others. At the market were murdered Chana Rozental's children, Grishe Raduszkanski and his wife with a small nursing child, Beile Rochel Guzowska, Zeidke Berensztejn with Rochken and their grandchild, Tobiasz [Tuvieh] Szejnberg's children, Rabbi Slucki [Slutzki] and his family. At the Povelkes (a street outside the town) they killed Gabriel Farberowicz. Berensztejn and Leizer Sosnowski they killed in the slaughter house. All these murder victims totaling 300 persons the Polacks transported in carts outside the town, threw them in ditches and left .... [nit farshotenerheit in Yiddish].

The Jewish women ran to the Polish intelligentsia, seeking help to stop the pogroms, but they did not help. Then the German soldiers in the magistrate's office were bribed, and the second night the Jewish region was patrolled.

The same thing happened in Grajewo, Radzilow, Wasosz and Stawiski. In Radzilow they burned all the Jews in a barn. A week before designating the ghetto, the Polish caretakers drove out all the Jews, not allowing anyone in the house, ostensibly to tear grass. They drove them to the cemetery. They left out only women and a few men. On the second day, 100 men were found in a common grave. Among the murder victims were Yonah Lewinowicz's son, Panusz and his son Meir, Yeshaya Kokoszka, Malkiel Lipsztejn, and others. The Rabbi was murderously beaten and the synagogue was burned.

The 20th of July, 1941, a ghetto was designated which extended from Lopian's court to Wilamowski's court. The same day, the entire Jewish population was driven out into the street, young and old separated, and let them into a camp from which every night they took people out to kill. There were murdered: Zavel Zemel, Moshe Guzowski, Chaim Kolinski, Yankel Denemark, Chaim Kokoszka, Muki Farber, Dovid Rabinowicz, Moshe Leizerman, the Rabbi, the ritual slaughterers, the assistant Rabbi charged with deciding questions of ritual cleanliness, Kajman's brother‑in‑law, Berman the teacher, Itsche Tutelman, Skubelski and others. In the ghetto they let in only women and children, ten tailors, Ruzshe the clockmaker, Sholom Motl the mason, three smiths and those who stole their way in. Altogether, there were 300 Jews.

In the ghetto they appointed a Judenrat made up of 15 Jews and 4 policemen, a Jewish order‑service. [Prezzes in Yiddish] were Yonah Lewinowicz and the councilmen: Notke Rabinowicz, Yisroelke Goldfarb, Michael Krushbianski, Sawicki and Frydman. Lubiecki [Lubetzki], Leibl Dorf and two doctors were left in the hospital. The above mentioned persons with Dr. Wertman and Gertz were in Szczuczyn until the liquidation.

The Szczuczyn Ghetto was liquidated on November 2, 1942 and the residents were taken by cart to Bogusze (a camp outside of Grajewo). A few persons managed to escape from the camp to the villages, but they did not succeed. Among those who perished were Gordenberg, Lichtensztejn, and two brothers.

The witness worked in in a village in Grabowo until the liquidation of the ghetto. After the liquidation, hid in the fields by a Christian in Grabowo until the liberation, January 26, 1945.

Witness ‑
Protocolant ‑
Chairman of the Jewish Voyev. Historical Commission
Mgr. M. Turek


*The Grayewo Memorial Book
Published by the United Grayever Relief Committee, New York, N.Y. 1950.
Pages 223-225, in Yiddish.

Editor's notes or definitions are entered in [brackets].
(Parentheses) in the translation appear here as they appeared in the original text.
Translated from Yiddish by: Helen Lewis. Edited by: Jose Gutstein.
Translation Copyright 2002 by Jose Gutstein.
Note: A few names and phrases have been deliberately inserted throughout the text, which are not in the original,
but which do not alter the context, to easily detect unauthorized use and publication of this material, on the internet or elsewhere.

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