Family History





Between the Wars

Memorial in Szczuczyn

"In this place, in the month of August 1942, Fascists brutally murdered six-hundred Jews.
In honor and remembrance.

During the first World War, in 1915, the town of Szczuczyn was captured by the German army. When the war ended, it then became part of the region of Grajewo. In 1936, Szczuczyn became an independent entity.

Between the two World Wars, many of the Szczuczyn residents worked as tailors, shoemakers and artisans, and there some light industry as well that were either owned by Jews or that employed Jews.

As suffered many in Europe during this difficult economic period between the wars, the Jews suffered greatly. Those who were Szczuczn's shopkeepers, retail merchants and the like, who depended on the peasantry who lived in and around Szczuczyn for their livelihood, now derived less income from their businesses. This problem was compounded when their businesses were boycotted by their potential customers because they were Jewish..

These conditions did not stop the Jewish populace of Szczuczyn from creating educational institutions, and many Jews formed and became part of various cultural, social and political organizations in town.

At the beginning of World War II, Szczuczyn was captured by the German army and held by them for two weeks. After the Ribbentrop-Molotov agreement was signed between the Germans and the Russians, Szczuczyn became a Russian territory. During these times, Jews were beaten and robbed and property was seized. Some were killed by knife and axe-wielding rioters. Some Jews fled, some returned; some were deported to Siberia.

Then in June of 1941, the Germans and Russians went to war against each other and the Jews of Szczuczyn felt the brunt of this conflict. Many Jews were murdered by the Germans and a ghetto was established. In November of 1942 when the ghetto was liquidated, the Jewish residents of the ghetto were sent, like so many others, to face their horrible fate at the concentration camps of Treblinka and Auschwitz.

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