NAREW: Grodno Print

Alternate names: Narew [Pol], Narev [Yid, Rus]. Нарев [Rus], נאראו [Yid]. 52°55' N, 23°31' E, 17 miles NE of Bielsk Podlaski, 21 miles SE of Białystok. 1900 Jewish population: 601. Gmina Narew is a rural administrative district in Hajnówka powiat, Podlaskie Voivodeship in NE Poland with its seat in the village of Narew, 21 km (13 mi) N of Hajnówka and 33 km (21 mi) SE of the regional capital Białystok. The gmina 2006 total population was 4,138. Normal 0 Jewish Cemetery is located approximately one kilometer from the village on the edge of the forest. Occupying an area 0.4 hectare now and before WWII, 1 hectare, it was established at the end of the 19th century. The oldest gravestones date from then also. Today, only a dozen stone graves are visible in the unfenced and extremely negligent site. Traces of the destroyed fence remain. After the war, the gravestones paved part of the market, but then were moved back to the cemetery. In April 2006, at the initiative of Artur Cyruka, work began at the cemetery by sentenced prisoners in custody for nearby Hajnowka. They cleaned and cleared vegetation. photos. video.  [June 2009]

2007 ShtetLink: directions, description and photos: "GPS: 52°55'N 23°32'E, Size: c. 1 acre,Number of matzevoth: <20 Bagnowka.com: Narew Gallery (photographed in 1989; 1991)...The cemetery is bounded on three sides by pine forest; at left will be an open farmer's field. The cemetery is well-protected by the natural shield of pine forest on three sides. Evidence of some fence/wall structure is indicated by concrete posts that surround the cemetery (posts are not identical). The cemetery is about an acre in size. On entering, nine matzevoth lay together (having been returned to the cemetery - Image 1). One matzevah is in situ at the front of the cemetery (Image 7). Twelve supports are extant toward the front; a few supports toward the back (Images 4-6). A total of 12 matzevoth with inscriptions were counted (examples in Images 7-10), some broken. A few stones are overturned and may preserve inscriptions. No threats to cemetery are evident, excluding the natural progression of the elements." [April 2009]

Cemetery photos [January 2006]

US Commission No. POCE000121

Alternate name: Nazva (Yiddish). Narew is located in Bialystok at 52º55 23.32, 55 km SE of Bialystok. The cemetery is located at the mysterious place [sic] called Gnilica, in S part of town. 1990 population: 1,000-5,000 with no Jews.

  • Town: Urzad Miasta i Gminy, ul. Bielska 9, Narew, Tel. 39.
  • Regional: Wojewodzki Konserwator Zabytkow, ul. Dojlidy Fabryczne 23, Bialystok, Tel. 41-23-32.
  • Local: Josef Ostaszewski, ul. 1. Maja 3, Narew, Tel. 134.
  • Interested: Michal Smoktunowicz, 17-210 Narew, Bielska 12.

The earliest known Jewish community dates to the mid-16th century. 1931 Jewish population (census) was 362. About 1580, Jews were expulled from Narva. Living here were Rabbi Ruven Kahan and Rabbi Lejzerowski. The Progressive/Reform, Conservative, and Orthodox cemetery was established in the 19th century with last known Jewish burial 1939. Surrounding villages up to 10 km away also used this cemetery. Between fields and woods, the isolated rural flat land has no sign or marker. Reached by turning directly off a public road, access is open to all with no wall or gate. The approximate size of before WWII was 1.00 hectares; it is now 0.40 hectares. The decrease results from agriculture and post-War devastation. 20-100 visible gravestones, gewer than 20 not in original positions, date of 1892. The sandstone, slate, and concrete rough stones or boulders, flat shaped stones, or finely smoothed and inscribed stones have Hebrew inscriptions. Some tombstones have traces of painting on their surfaces. The municipality owns the cemetery property used for agriculture, storage, and waste dumping. Properties adjacent are agricultural. Rarely, private visitors stop. The cemetery was vandalized during World War II and occasionally thereafter. There has been no maintenance.

Tomasz Wisniewski, ul. Bema 95/99, Bialystok, Tel. 212-46 completed survey on 11/09/1991. He visited the site in 1989.

NOTE: In his book Jewish Bialystok on page 92-3, Wisniewski adds that the Jewish community dating from 1560 was forced to leave in 1580 due to a blood libel. The community was reestablished in the early 19th century. The 1897 Jewish population was 601 out of 1,434. The pre-WWII Jewish population was about 300. The cemetery with 70 gravestones recovered from Piaski Street curbs by Jan Topolanski is in Glinica Forest near the village of Makowka. [October 2000]

Last Updated on Thursday, 18 June 2009 18:20