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Virtual Jewish World: Grajewo, Poland

GRAJEWO, small town in Bialystok province, Poland. Jews settled there at the beginning of the 18th century. According to the 1765 census, there were 83 Jews aged over one year (17 families), of whom six families resided in their own houses and eleven in leased dwellings; 336 Jews were living in 38 villages in the vicinity. They leased taverns or were occupied as small traders or artisans (tailors, tinsmiths). Until 1862 Grajewo was included in the towns of the Russian-German border zone, where Jewish residence was subjected to various restrictions. Jews organized a community in the late 18th century. They operated a number of factories and many owned stores. In the 19th century many Jews in Grajewo exported agricultural produce to Eastern Prussia. The community numbered 197 (39% of the total population) in 1808, 727 (57%) in 1827, 1,457 (76%) in 1857, 4,336 in 1897 and 2,834 (39% of a total 7,346) in 1921. There were anti-Jewish outbreaks in 1933. Under the Soviet occupation (September 1939–June 1941) Jewish businesses were nationalized.

The Germans captured the town on June 22, 1941, and instituted a reign of terror. In August 1941, 1,600–2,000 Jews were confined to a ghetto. In December 1942 most of the Jews in Grajewo were deported to Treblinka and the rest in January 1943 to Auschwitz.


Sources:R. Mahler, Yidn in Amolikn Poyln in Likht fun Tsifern (1958), index; B. Wasiutyński, Ludność Żydowska w Polsce… (1930), 37

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