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Coat of arms of Gmina Boćki Alternate names: Boćki [Pol], Bodki [Yid], Bochki [Rus], Bozki, Boczki, Russian: Бодки. בוצקי- Hebrew. 52°39' N, 23°03' E, 34 miles S of Białystok, 10 miles SW of Bielsk Podlaski. 1900 Jewish population: 1,409. Słownik Geograficzny Królestwa Polskiego (1880-1902), I, p. 270: "Boćki". Gmina Boćki is a rural gmina (Polish:gmina wiejska) in Bielsk County, Podlaskie Voivodeship in NE Poland, seat of the following village: Andryjanki, Boćki, Bodaczki, Bodaki, Bystre, Chranibory Drugie, Chranibory Pierwsze, Dubno, Dziecinne, Hawryłki, Jakubowskie, Krasna Wieś, Młynisk, Mołoczki, Nurzec, Olszewo, Pasieka, Piotrowo-Krzywokoły, Piotrowo-Trojany, Przy Ostaszach, Sasiny, Siedlece, Siekluki, Sielc, Skalimowo, Solniki, Starowieś, Szeszyły, Szumki, Śnieżki, Torule, Wandalin, Wandalinek, Wiercień, Wojtki, Wygonowo, Wylan, Żołoćki. Survivor story. [April 2009]

CEMETERY: Part of concrete wall and possibly one gravestone base remain.  Directions: From Bialystok, take highway 19 south through Bielsk Podlaski for 64 km to Bocki. In the town, beside the white church on the left (east) is a fragment of the masonry wall of the old Jewish cemetery (Images 2-4). Continue on highway 19. Just before you cross the Nurzec River, to the right and adjacent to the river are the remains of a mikvah (Image 1). Passing through town, the first road to the right on the road to Jakubowskie should be the remnants of the old Jewish cemetery (wall and one matzevah). The new Jewish cemetery could not be located in May 2007." New and old cemetery descriptions, directions, and photos. [April 2009]

[UPDATE] Description of what remains of new cemetery site [July 2017]

BOCKI: I   US Commission No. POCE000138

Cemetery: old cemetery near the Catholic church. 1991 population: 1,000 to 5,000.

  • Town: Urzad Gminy Bocki, ulica 3 Maja 6, Wojt 131-60.
  • Regional: Wojewodzki Konserwator Zabytkow, Bialystok, Dojlidy Fabryczne 23, tel. 41-23-32.
  • Interested: Stanislawa Jablonska, Bocki, ulica Dubienska 17. Jan Tyszkiewicz, Bocki, ulica Swietojanska and Zygmunt Ustymowicz, Bialystok, ulica Czysta 26, tel. 31-571.

The Jewish community dates from 1577. In 1750, they received permission from the Bishop of Luck to build the new synagogue. In 1921, the Jewish population was 723 (Orthodox and Conservative). Rabin Zelig Ruben Bengis lived in the town. The cemetery was established in 1648 with the last known burial in the late 19th century. Jews from Bransk, Bielsk Podlaski, Milejczyce, Kleszczele (19th century), all less than 20 km away, used this cemetery. This isolated, urban flat land has no sign or marker. Reached by turning off a public road, a broken masonry wall with no gate surrounds the 0.2 hectares, reduced from pre-World War II size of 1.6 hectares. Between 1 and 20 19th century, rough slate gravestones, with less than 25% toppled or broken, have Hebrew inscriptions. The oldest known gravestone dates from 1870. The municipality owns the site adjacent to the Catholic parish church and uses it for lime storage and waste dump. The cemetery is completely destroyed by the pollution of lime storage and an adjacent factory. The last stones were stolen. Private visitors rarely visit the completely destroyed cemetery. There are no structures.

Tomasz Wisniewski, Bialystok, ulica Bema 95/99, tel. 212-96 visited site five times between 1984 and 1991 and completed survey Aug. 9, 1991. He interviewed Jan Tyskiewicz.

BOCKI: II   US Commission No. POCE000139

This site is the "new" cemetery on the road to Dolbowo. The Orthodox and Conservative cemetery was established in the late 19th or 20th century with the last known burial in 1944. This isolated, suburban hillside has no sign, marker, fence, wall, or gate and is reached by turning directly off a public road. The cemetery was 1.0 ha before WWII; the size is now 0.2 hectares. Between 1 and 20 gravestones in original locations with less than 25% of these toppled or broken date from around 1890 to 20th century. The rough slate and concrete (cement) tombstones have Hebrew inscriptions. The municipality currently uses the site for agriculture (crops or animal grazing.) Adjacent property is agricultural. Rarely, private visitors stop. There is no care. The cemetery is completely destroyed. For survey information, see Bocki I.

NOTE: Wisniewski's book, Jewish Bialystok contradicts some of his survey information above. On page 66, he notes the community's earliest existence as 1576 and cites a Jewrejska Enciklopedia report of gravestones that dated from 1648. The 1897 Jewish population was 1,409 out of 2,636 that deceased to 750 Jews on the brink of WWII. "The village's last rabbis were Zelig Ruben Bengis and Joachen Mirshi. The Nazis burned the 19th-century brick synagogue ...a wall gragment from the old Jewish cemetery (where only one mazeva survived) can be found next to a baroque church. The remains of the other cemetery--which comprised concrete tombstones without inscriptions--can be found in the southern part of town behind the river on the Jakubowskie road." [ESR-September 2000]

Last Updated on Monday, 17 July 2017 16:43
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