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Alternate names: Kuźnica [Pol], Kuzhnitze, קוזשניצא [Yid], Kuznitza, Кузница [Rus], Kuzhnitza, Kuzhnitsa, Kuzhnets, Kuźnica Białostocka. 53°31' N, 23°39' E, 10 miles NE of Sokółka, 14 miles SSW of Grodno, on the modern Belarus border. 50 localities in Poland are named 'Kuźnica'. 1900 Jewish population: 780. Słownik Geograficzny Królestwa Polskiego (1880-1902), V, p. 13: "Kuźnica". Kuźnica is a village in Sokółka County, Podlaskie Voivodeship in NE Poland, close to the Belarus border and the seat of the administrative district called Gmina Kuźnica, 54 km (34 mi) NE of the regional capital Białystok. A new major border checkpoint crossing into Belarus is located near the village was funded by the European Union to be upgraded to EU standards as this became a Schengen external border entry point when Poland became part of the Schengen Area on December 21, 2007. The Belarus side of the crossing is called Bruzgi. The village population is 1,740. [June 2009]

ShtetLink: "53°31'N 23°39'E. cemetery size: 1 acre. Number of matzevoth: >10 (7 with inscriptions counted). Bagnowka.com: Kuznica Gallery (photographed in 1988; 1994). ... The cemetery is surrounded by an exquisite black wrought-iron fence, each panel of which preserves a menorah... The cemetery is located on a hillside. The western side drops off steeply to a small farm; the northern side drops off to a school (Images 2,3). The entrance faces the highway. The entire cemetery is surrounded by a wrought-iron fence with a gate, whose lock is now rusted open (Image 1). Long, concrete steps set in the grassy hill (now overgrown) lead up to a large, white blank matzevah-shaped monument (Image 4). As of May 2007 a swastika was spray painted on the back. The area is generally grassy, covered with gentle grassy mounds (Image 5). Seven matzevoth were counted, three of which are grotto-styled (Images 6-8). The greatest threats are from vegetation, natural erosion to inscriptions and some litter (and vandalism).Caution: stinging nettles are in this field, especially near the remaining matzevoth." As of May 2007. Photos. [May 2009]

The Jewish settlement in Bialystok Kuźnicy dates from at least the beginning of 17th century. In 1623, the Jews were subordinate to the Jewish community in Grodno. Throughout history, the size of the Jewish community changed, but over the years, Jews constituted a significant proportion of the population. In 1897, 780 Jews (58%) lived in the town, but the population decreased around 1900 due to immigration to America. In September 1939, about 1,000 Jews remained. The Nazis deported them to concentration camps and murdered some on the spot. Today, no Jews live there. The 18th-19th century synagogue did not survive WWII. The 18th century cemetery on ul. Podlipskiej on a hill above the river Żwegrą remains. Among the grasses are traces of the graves. description, directions, photos: "The cemetery is surrounded by an exquisite black wrought-iron fence, each panel of which preserves a menorah (Image 1). The cemetery is located on a hillside. The western side drops off steeply to a small farm; the northern side drops off to a school (Images 2,3). The entrance faces the highway. The entire cemetery is surrounded by a wrought-iron fence with a gate, whose lock is now rusted open (Image 1). Long, concrete steps set in the grassy hill (now overgrown) lead up to a large, white blank matzevah-shaped monument (Image 4). As of May 2007 a swastika was spray painted on the back. The area is generally grassy, covered with gentle grassy mounds (Image 5). Seven matzevoth were counted, three of which are grotto-styled (Images 6-8). The greatest threats are from vegetation, natural erosion to inscriptions and some litter (and vandalism).Caution: stinging nettles are in this field, especially near the remaining matzevot."  [April 2009]

US Commission No. POCE000118    Map

Alternate name: Kuznic (Yiddish). Kuznica, is located 55km from Bialystok at 53°31' 23°39'. Cemetery: on the hill called "Osse" over the north bank of the river Zwegry, by the road to Nowodziel. 1991 town population: 1,000-5,000 with no Jews.

  • Town: Urzad Gminy, 1000-Lecia Pawstwa, Polskiego 1, Kuznica, Tel. 52 (Naczelnik).
  • Regional: Wojewodzki Konserwator Zabytkow, ul. Dojlidy Fabryczne 23, Bialystok, Tel. 41-23-32.

Earliest known Jewish community was 1623. 1935 Jewish population was 556. Two noteworthy individuals who lived in this Jewish community were Rabbi Icyk Lejb Stolar and Rodzina Fajnost i Epsztein. The Progressive/Reform, Conservative, and Orthodox cemetery was established in the 18th century with last known Jewish burial in 1941. Surrounding villages up to 15 km away also used the unlandmarked cemetery. The isolated rural flat land and crown of a hill adjacent to water has no sign or marker. Reached by turning directly off a public road, access is open to all with no wall, fence, or gate. The cemetery has been reduced from its prewar size of 1.50 hectares to 1.00 hectares because of farming and erosion. Fewer than 20 gravestones, wotj less than 25% toppled or broken, date from the 1880's-20th century. Water drainage is a constant problem. The granite, slate, and concrete rough stones or boulders, flat shaped stones, or finely smoothed and inscribed stones have Hebrew inscriptions. There are no structures or known mass graves. Municipality owns property used for farming, storage, recreation, storage, and waste dumping. Adjacent properties are agricultural and residential. The cemetery was vandalized during World War II and frequently since. There is no care or maintenance. Significant threats include erosion, grazing animal damage, sports field and storage site damage, and the theft of stones.

Tomasz Wisniewski, ul. Bema 95/99, Bialystok, Tel. 212-46 completed survey on 19/08/1991. He visited the site in 1989.

http://ettc.uwb.edu.pl/strony/bialystok/unia/kuznica.html [October 2000]

NOTE: In his book A Guide to Jewish Bialystok, Wisniewski states on page 88 that the cemetery is located "close to Podlipska Street on a hill above the Zwegra River." [October 2000]

Kuzniczka village, 400 tombstones; a set of about 100 made from cast iron. The oldest 1763. [source?]

Last Updated on Thursday, 11 June 2009 17:03
 
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