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WEGROW: Masowieckie [Vengrov, Vengerov, Bengrova, Vengrove, Begrov, Wegrow Podlaski] PDF Print E-mail

Coat of arms of Węgrów Alternate names: Węgrów [Pol], Vengrov [Yid, Rus], Венгрув [Rus], ונגרוב [Yid], Vengerov, Vengrova, Vengrove, Vegrov, Węgrów Podlaski. 52°24' N, 22°01' E, 44 miles ENE of Warszawa, 20 miles NW of Siedlce (Shedlits). 1900 Jewish population: 5,150.

Yizkors: Kehilat Wegrow; sefer zikaron (Tel Aviv, 1961) and The last Jew from Wegrow: The memoirs of a survivor of the step-by-step genocide in Poland (New York, 1991).


This town in eastern Poland with 12,561 inhabitants in 2003 in the Masovian Voivodeship and the capital of Węgrów County. A Jewish community was in residence since at least the 16th century and numbered about 6,000 in 1939. The first documentation of Jews is the mid-17th century. By 1897, Jews represented 62% of the population; and by 1921, 5,148 Jews lived in the town. [July 2009]


Located within the current streets Bohaterów Warszawy, Przemysłowej oraz, and Berka Joselewicza, Jews from Warsaw used this cemetery until the establishment of Jewish cemetery in Warsaw Brodni. This large cemetery with diverse gravestones from simple, rough stones to sandstone with typical Jewish art symbols and an ohel of a local rabbi was destroyed during WWII. Mass graves of 2,000 from Nazi executions done before the Poles' eyes, even children, also are here. In 1944, a labor camp called "Little Treblinka" with a crematorium made Jews under guard excavate the mass graves and incinerate the remain at the camp. This lasted several weeks. Apparently, many believe that there would be the search for mass graves. In the 1960s, the cemetery still had gravestones, but later the National Center for Engineering and Vocational Schools was built here. In 1981 the Węgrowie Social Protection of Cemeteries built a lapidarium designed by architect Eng. Wiesława Ratajski. The lapidarium has a central monument in the shape of a double gravestone with an English and Hebrew inscription. Around that stone are few hundred surviving gravestones from the Jewish cemetery, the oldest from 1789. Photos: [July 2009]

Burial list [Jan 2015]

US Commission No. POCE00585

Alternate Yiddish names: Vengrov and Vengrova. Wegrow is located in Siedlechie province at 52º24 22º01, 83 km from Warsaw and 35 km from Siedlce. Cemetery: Berka Joselewicza Street. Present town population is 5,000- 25,000 with fewer than 10 Jews.

  • Town: Urzad Miasta, Rynek 16, tel. 23-74; 23-26.
  • Regional: Wojwodzki Konserwator Zabytkow Siedlce, ul. Zbrojna 3, tel. No. 394-58.
  • Interested: 1) Slawomir Kosinski, ul. Mowa 4, Wegrow, tel. 22-93; 2) Biblioteka Puliczna, Rynek, tel. 24-74; 3) Marian Jakubik, ul. Zeromskiego 3, Wegrow, tel. 26-31; 4) Sieslaw Ratajski, ul. Zeromskiego 12, Wegrow, tel. 22-22; 5) Mariusz Leszczynski, ul. Gdanska 92, Wegrow, tel. 22-58; 6) Kosinzki Slavomir, ul. Nova 4, Wegrow, tel. 22-93.

The cemetery is open with no caretaker. 1921 Jewish population was 5148. The earliest known Jewish community was mid-17th century. In 1665, Kazimierz Krasinski, the town owner, issued privileges to Jews. Pochovany rabbi, whose son or grandson survive in USA, is buried there. Mr. Wieslaw Ratajski in Wegrow knows his name. The last known burial was during WWII. Korytnica, about 10 km away, also used this cemetery. Not landmarked but the concern of the Conservator of Monuments. The isolated urban flat land has a plaque in Polish. Reached by turning directly off a public road, access is open to all. The cemetery is separated from the industrial plant with a framed wire-net fence and no gate. The size today is 0.15 hectare and before WWII was 3.0 hectares. The area is smaller due to industrial development. 500-5000 stones, none in original position with fewer than 25% toppled or broken, date from the 19th century. The granite and sandstone rough stones/boulders or finely smoothed and inscribed stones have Yiddish inscriptions. The cemetery contains special memorial monuments to Holocaust victims but known mass graves. The municipality owns property used for Jewish cemetery as a lapidarium and for industrial purposes. Adjacent properties are industrial. The cemetery was vandalized during WWII but not in the last ten years. Frequently, organized tours and private individuals, foreign and local, visit. Regional/national authorities did 1981-2 maintenance. Current care is occasional clearing or cleaning by authorities. No structures. Weather erosion is a slight threat. Pollution and nearby existing incompatible development are moderate threats.

Cezary Ostas, Siedlce, ul. Pomorska 1/68, tel. 290-95 completed survey on 20 Oct 1992 using the urban-historical study by PKZ Lublin, now in the conservator's office in Siedlce. He interviewed Marion Jakubik, Wegrow and Sieslav Ratajski, Wegrow on 20 Oct 1992.

Last Updated on Sunday, 04 January 2015 01:44
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