MICHALOWO: Podlaskie Print

Alternate names: Michałowo [Pol], Michalova, מיכאלובה [Yid], Mikhalovo, Михалово [Rus], Mikhalovah [Heb], Nezbodka, Michałowo-Niezbudka. 53°02' N, 23°36' E, 20 miles ESE of Białystok. 1900 Jewish population: 1,033. Yizkor: Ayarati Mikhalovah: pirke havai be-haye ayarah Yehudit (Tel Aviv, 1975). Słownik Geograficzny Królestwa Polskiego (1880-1902), VI, p. 309: "Michałowo". This town in Białystok powiat, Podlaskie Voivodeship in NE Poland close to the border with Belarus is the seat of the administrative district called Gmina Michałowo, 31 km (19 mi) E of the regional capital Białystok. From 1975 to 1998 it was part of Białystok Voivodeship. With a population of 3,343, Michałowo received its town rights on 1 January 2009. 732 Jews lived there before WWII, the majority of the population. [June 2009]

CEMETERY: Located about 1.5 km toward Bialystok in the depths of the forest, the cemetery is difficult to locate. Its blurred boundaries make it difficult to determine the area of the cemetery. Gravestones, mostly of stone or concrete, some of them damaged, but some intact are visible. photos. [June 2009]

2007 description, directions, and photos from ShtetLink. In Mandan settlement, "53°02'N 23°36'E. Size: c. 1 acre of matzevoth on c. 3 acre area. Number of matzevoth: <30 (25 counted in situ). Bagnowka.com: Michalowo Gallery (photographed in 1991,1992, 2006)....a Polish sign indicating the eastern boundary of the cemetery (Image 4). Another sign will be found on the northern boundary. (If you've entered ... Majdan and quickly ended up in the field past this grouping of houses, back up. You've missed the forest road). Walk up into the forest. The majority of remaining matzevoth will be located in a grouping at the western edge, at the edge of a bluff overlooking the Knyszyn forest (Image 5).  The dense pine trees and smaller brush of the Knyszyn Forest and the difficulty of reaching this cemetery have created a natural protection. The matzevoth that do remain are generally legible and of varied style (Images 6-8). The only threats are natural erosion and vegetation. Occasional debris was noted." as of May 2007. Mark Halpern's story and photos about finding the cemetery: "... a beautiful hilltop forest were a good number of headstones, many of them worn and falling over." Restoration of the cemetery August 18 to September 2, 2007: "The Jewish cementery, 2,5 km away from Michalowo, has been cleaned. Gravestones have been restored, brushwood and some trees have been cleared, a map of the cementery has been drawn, and all the grave insciptions have been written down. However, information tables are not ready yet, they will be placed in Michalowo as soon as January 2008. Volunteers from Bialystok are going to take care of this, and they are going to take new photos of the stones for documentation as well. The grave insciptions are beeing translated at the moment at the University of Heidelberg. This translations will be available to everyone at the local library as well as at our website." Information: Pawel Kosicki [April 2009]

MICHALOWO:     US Commission No. POCE000119

Alternate name: Niezbudka (Russian). Michalowo is located in Bialystok, 53º02 23º36, 38 km from Bialystok, 10 km S of Grodek . The cemetery is located in W part of town by the road to Zednie. Present population is 1,000-5,000 without Jews.

  • Town: Urzad Gminy, Bialostocka 11, Michalowo, Tel. 18-90-76.
  • Regional: Wojewodzki Konserwator Zabytkow, ul. Dojlidy Fabryczne 23, Bialystok, Tel. 41-23-32.

The earliest known Jewish community was beginning of the 19th century. 1937 Jewish population (census) was 732. The Orthodox, Conservative, and Progressive/Reform Jewish cemetery was established at the beginning of the 19th century with last known Jewish burial in 1941. Living here were Rabbi Natan Nate Kamchi and Rabbi Saul Margolis. Surrounding villages up to 15 kms away also used this cemetery. The isolated wooded flat land near fields has no sign or marker. Reached by crossing private property, access to the cemetery is open to all without wall or gate. The approximate size of the cemetery before WWII was 0.50 hectares and now is 0.10 hectares. The decrease results from agriculture. Less 20 gravestones, with fewer than 25% toppled or broken, date from 19th century. The sandstone and slate rough stones or boulders have Hebrew inscriptions. The cemetery contains no mass graves. The municipality owns property used for agriculture and waste dump. Properties adjacent are agricultural. Rarely, local residents stop. The cemetery was vandalized during World War II and occasionally thereafter. No maintenance. Security, weather erosion, and vegetation are moderate threats to the cemetery.

Tomasz Wisniewski, ul. Bema 95/99, Bialystok completed survey on 08/09/1991. He visited the site in 1989.

NOTE: Wisniewski notes in his book A Guide to Jewish Bialystok that intermarriage was common among the Jewish and German Christians. He also states that the cemetery is off Zednia road about 1.5 km from town, At the Majdan sign, turn right and go into the forest. The road stops before reaching the cemetery. The 50 remaining gravestones are among pine trees of Knyszyn Forest. He also states that Dr. Leszek Nos at 2 Szkolna Street is the local historian with more information about the Jewish population. [2000]

Last Updated on Monday, 15 June 2009 19:57