I. Introduction
II. Documentation on Grodno in USSR Archives
III-IV. Documentation in Grodno Gathered By The Jewish Underground Movement During the Nazi Occupation
V. A. Jewish Community in Pre-War Grodno

B. German Documents in Grodno Archives ("GAGO")

C. Testimonies Concerning Grodno Gathered by Jewish underground and Recovered After the War

D. Testimonies Gathered in Years 1944 - 1946

E. Testimonies Gathered in Israel Around 1957 in Archives Oof Yad Va-Shem and Moreshet
Abbreviations and Acronyms

- I -


     To escape the Nazis, Felix Zandman a young boy from Grodno has spent 17 sulfating months in a hole dug in the ground under the house of the Puchalski family in Lososna near Grodno.
     After the war, back to freedman, he swore himself to remain faithful to the memory of his and almost all other Jewish families of Grodno slaughtered by the Nazis.
     With the publication five years ago of a collection of ''Documents concerning the destruction of the Jews of Grodno 1941-1944" Felix Zandman reached the first step of a process that few survivors of the Shoe were willing or able to accomplish. For a long time to German archives remained closed and for even a longer time the Soviet archives remained out of reach. Nevertheless Felix Zandman refused to admit that the history of the destruction of the Jews of Grodno should stay buried endlessly in the basements of history - thus, due to his strong will and obstinacy, he succeeded to have it reappear to the open air.
     After endless difficulties finally we have opened the way by obtaining the access to the investigations of trials in Germany concerning Grodno and Bialystok - thus, five volumes of testimonies and documents, mostly in German have been published by us. An English volume followed enabling the reader to find his way in the preceding volumes.
     Now a new volume is published due to the contacts of Dr. Felix Zandman and do to the researches of Dr. Illia Marash in the archives of Grodno, due also to the documents of the Yad Vashern gathered by Bronia Klibanski who has lived herself this story as a Jewish resistant.
     Other volumes shall fallow hopefully as archives yet unknown will be progressively brought to light.
     It is imperious that the history of the Shoa be written precisely trying not to let anything stand in the shadow of the forgetfulness.

Serge Klarsfeld


- II -


     The majority of Archival documents in th e former USSR concerning the holocaust had been kept secret. It was due to the state's approach and treatment of the "Jewish problem". The science of history was subordinated to the state policy which reflected its anti-Semitic and anti-Israeli nature.
     In 1989/1990 some of the archival materials became available to the researchers. As a result I managed to find a great number of documents revealing the Nazi crimes against the Jews of Grodno and surroundings.
     First I would like to mention the fund "Grodno region komissar of the civil administration in Bialystok district, 1941-1944". Here one can find the correspondence between Gestapo, labor exchange in Grodno and the administration of the Bialystok distrinct, (it comprised Grodno), as well as the names of German officials in Grodno and surroundingd. All of these documents refet to the period when the 2 Ghettos were established for the Jews. There is a lot material on the conditions of the life in the Ghetos, how Jews were exploited and how they were dispatched to the extermination camps. It deals also with the changes in the city's economy after deportations of Jews as well as the fate of property left by deported.
     The data of the commission of investigating the crimes of the Nazis and the damage done by them are of great interest and importance. These documents were included into "Gago fund no. 1029". Unfortunately, the nationality of the majority of victims has not been mentioned in the reports of the commission. However, it is known that they were mainly Jews, shot between 1941/1943.
     The testimonies concerning the destruction of Jews in Grodno and its surroundings are included in the present publication. All these documents are kept in the archives of Grodno (Belorus) and Bialystok (Poland).
     The list of contributions to the coffers of the Jewish community in Grodno in 1937, published in the first part of this volume, was found also in "Gago" (acronym, in Russian, for "state archives of the Grodno district"). They reveal the number of Jews in pre-war Grodno, the number of people who paid taxes, the social structure of the Jewish population, the professions of Jews, property etc..
     Thus the published material from "gago" tells us about the life Jews in the ghetto, their fight for freedom and the genocide by Germans. However a large number of documents in "Gago" was not yet investigated.
     To conclude, I would like to express here my thanks to Dr. F. Zandman whose help made possible the publication of available documents.

Dr. I. Marash.


- III -


     The Nazis destroyed, together with the Jewish population, material from the archives and very little was preserved. Their aim was to leave no memory of the Jewish inhabitants and of the Nazi crimes.
     This adds a special importance to the writings on Grodno in the underground archives of Mordecal Tenenbaun - Tamaroff in the Bialystok ghetto.
     Tamaroff, the leader of the uprising in August 1943 in Bialystok was one the outstanding figures of the Holocaust era. He promoted the idea of armed resistance of the Jewish youth in the ghettos to Vilna, Grodno, Warsaw and Bialystok, and he had two aims: to fight for the honor of the Jewish people and to gather documentation on the holocaust of his people and on its desperate fight against the German murderers. In the Warsaw ghetto he hid (before the great expulsion of July 1942) the documents from the archives of the "Dror" movement, newspapers of the undeground, and poems by Izchak Katzenelson - and saved these writings from fire, for the future generations.
     While preparing for the uprising in the Bialystok ghetto, he founded an underground archive and gathered minutes of meetings and announcements of Judddenrat, leaflets, memos and minutes of the underground movement, and letter, memoirs, testimonies and other documentation concerning the ghettos of Warsaw, Vilna, Bialystok and its districts, as well as Ponary and the Trebilinka camp, and important documentation on the Grodno ghetto.
     Unlike many others, he often spoke out on his views, thoughts and feelings, and wrote them down. Materials he left in the archives show him as a man, a fighter and a leader.
     He showed special interest in the Grodno ghetto. He went there a few times to tell about mass killings of Vilna Jews in Ponary and to organize the underground movement in the ghetto. At a later stage he sent messengers from Bialystok Ghetto to instruct in the underground activities and in preparation of false identity cards.
     Tamarof did not submit to the Nazi rules and heroically risked his life by visiting different Ghettos, including the ghetto of Grodno. He traveled by train with a false indentity of a Karaite.
     I first met him during his firt visit to the Grodno Ghetto and this meeting determined my destiny. In sprint 1942 I went Bialystok to a seminar of the "Dror" movement. At the end of 1942 (after Tamarof came from Warsaw ghetto) he gave me the job of liaison between the underground in the getto and the "Arian side" of Bialystok. One of my jobs was to find a hiding place, outside of the ghetto, for the archives of the underground which were initiated by Tamaroff. The documents were packed in three metal containers, hermetically sealed and buried in the yard of a Pole name Filipowski, on Piasta street, Bialystok

- IV -

     After the war the documents were found and are not located in the "archives of Yad Vashem, Jerusalem. They represent an important source of study of the Holocaust and of the resistance of Polish Jews.
     The material of the Grodno ghetto was written in Yiddish and Polish from the testimonies of refugees who arrived between January and March 1943. Due to security considerations not always the names of authors were marked. The personal documents (part C, par. 7) played a role which is not self evident: they were found by Jewish workers in Bialystok who sorted out clothes arriving by train from Trebilinka into rags for the textile industry. They identified the original owners of these documents as Jews deported from Grodno. Documents were transmitted to the archives as a proof of genocide in Treblinks.
     Mordecai Tenenbaum-Tamaroff also wrote about a document which was not recovered after the war: a monograph, by the lawyer Wincenty Firstenberg, about the Grodno ghetto - it was given for safekeeping to a Pole by the name of Niemcenowicz, and efforts to find it were not, as yet, successful.

B. Klibanski

- V -


I - IV

(From archives in grind, written in Polish) List of names of 2970 cont|btltors (out of a Jewish population ff 25.000) from the community in 1937.  For list of 1937 contributors  based on this volume click here

1 - 97

1. F-1 , O-1, E-15, L2: 14/10/1941 : Leaflet from ''Kreiskomissar" of Grodno: farmers can sell their productsin the market only: Jews must turn in their bycicles within two days. 99
2. F-1, O-1, E.54, L8 1Q; 19/1/1942: Correspondence on ''Events concerning the Jewish intelligenzia|'' 100
3. F-1, O-1, E-54, L26-30, 23, 24; Jan.-Feb. 42: Confiscation of typewriters, bicycles and binoculars from Jews 101-105A
4. F-1, O-1 . D-54, L6. 11/3/1942: "Kreiskomissar" to the chief of police: stop illegal entry ff food into Grodno ghetto 106
5. F-2S, O-1 , E-4, L1-46, 17/11/1941: Town administration to labor office.
List of names of jewish craftsman needing passis to work in the town
6. F-2, S/R-2, O-1, D73, L13, 14, 41 and F-2, 0-1 , E-70, L2,85: Jun-Nov. 1942. Pay sheets of Jews-construction workers 141-145
7. F-12C, O-1. E-5, L1, 3, 9, 10, 11, 17, 20: Jan.-Feb. 1942: Report on activities of "Reserve-polizei battalion 91", Grodno

8. F-1, O-1, E-355, L23, List of 12 ghettos in the Grodno district 153
9. F.11 S/R-1 , O-1 E.141, L2, 11/7/1942: Report on killing a Jew who tried to leave the ghetto in Lunna 154
10. F-2, O-1, E-26, L1-16, 18-27, Jun-Nov. 1942: Letters from the town administration lo the Judenrat requesting supply of material and services 155-167
11. F-1, O-1, E-54, L35, 33, 37, 38, 42, 7: Jul..Aug. 1942: Request to transport Jews in Blalystok district from and to Grodno 168-171
12. F-1, O-1 , E-59, L2-21, Nov-Dec. 1942: Reports on evacuation of Jews from getto in Marcinkance on 2/11/1942 172-102
13. F-1, 0-1, E-277, L34, 11/4/1943: Report on killing of two Germans by "bandits''. Proposed retaliation - shooting of 500 Jews 193

F-1, O-1, F-335. L1-93; E-271, L8; E-54. L36-41, Jan.-Aug. 1943: Instructions and reports concerning property seized from deported or executed Jews

15. F-2. O-1, E-26, L28-46, Jan.-Nov., 1943: Correspondence concerning distribution of ''Inherited" Jewish property 211-230
16. F-2, O-1, E-164, L17, 31/3/44: List of names of Polish workers who bought clothes and linen taken from the ghetto 213
17. F-1, O-1, E-180, L1-21, Nov.-Dec. 1942: Instructions on replacements of deported Jewish skilled workers by training non-Jews. Assessment of Influence of deportations on production in factories in Grodno 232-246
18. F-1, O-1, E-271, L21, 30/4/1943: Request from command in Bialystok (Altenloh) to gather and send over documentation left by Jews 247

- VI -

1. YVA M11/19. Report describing Treblinka, by an escapee. P,249-259
2. YVA M11/30. Report by Jews arriving from Grodno to the ghetto in Bialystok P,260-286
3. YVA N1 1/33. 16 Days in hiding after liquidation of Jews P,287-288
4. YVA M11/35. Clean up action in Grodno Y,289-300
5. YVA M11/54 Life of the last 1000 Jews in Grodno Y,301-309
6. YVA M11/58 ''Dairy of Jewish sorrow" - accounts of liquidation of ghettos. Y,310-335
7. YVA M11/60. Personal documents recovered from victim's clothes sent from Trebilinka to Bialystok for reprocessing G,336-343
8. Ring./I Nr. 805; YVA E16-1-33. Report about Grodno. P,344-346
9. Ring. 1/1253, YVA E/320. Description of life in Grodno P,347-349

1. YVA M11/B15. 22/5/1945. A Kantorowski - Kielbasin camp. Y,351-353
2. YVA M11/B285. 27/12/1946/ E. Famin: Grodno ghetto: escaped from a train and went to Bialystok: in Auschwitz. Y,354-357
3. YVA M11/B288 31/12/1946. E. Famin: The Grodno ghetto Y,358
4. YVA, M11/B37. 15/7/1945. M. Gierszuni: obliteration of mass graves P,359-362
5. Gago, F-1029, O-1, E-60, L14, 14a. 7/8/1944. List of Nazi criminals in Grodno R,363-364
6.    "    " O-1, E-X60, L7. P. Pawlowski - killing by Germans. R,365
7.    "    " O-1, E-X60, L9. G. Woroszylski and H. Blumsztein. R,366
8.    "    " O-1, E-X60, L13. M.Szapiro, 30/7/1944/ killing by gestapo of about 1000 Jews in Grodno. R,367
9. Gago, F-1029, O-1, E-60, L14, 14a. 7/ 8/1944. Tortures in offices of Gestapo R,368-369

Gago, F-1029, O-1, E-60, L19, 19a. 30/ 9/1944. L Reizer. Killings by Gestapo

11. Gago, F-1029, O-1, E-60, L5, 5a. 1/8/1944. A. Wladikin: Investigation of mass graves. R,372-373
12. Gago, F-1029, O-1, E-60, L34, 35. Trop-Krynski: list of killed Jewish doctors, pharmacists, bacteriologists, dentins-120 people (rewritten by Dr. I. Marash, due to poor quality of the copy). R,373A-373B
13. YVA-From files of Grodno NKVD; report hearing witnesses living near Kielbasin about killing in this camp:

5/3/45. B .Keda, R,374,375

3/45. A. Keda, R,376-378

4/3/45. B. Diurbeiko: R,379-381

1. E/299. 13/11/1957. J. Freilichman: ghetto No. 2; Auschwitz H,383-387
2. E/298. 13/11/1957. B. Yarii-Chazan: Treveilling with forged papers to Grodno H,388-389
3. E/290. 13/11/1959. H. Bielicka: in an underground movement, with forged papers, in Grodno and Bialystok. H,390-392
4. E/307. 27/2/1959 27/2/1959. A. Zur (Sztein): Jewish life in after-war Grodno H,393-394
5. E/304. 4/7/1957. F. Broide-Hamer: Travel from Slonin to Grodno H,395-396
6. E/305. L.Seinkewicz: Helping persecuted Jews, chasing Nazi collaborators after the war. H,397-398
7. E/311. 24.4.1957. A. Tarlowski: In ghetto; 17 months in hiding H,399-401
8. E/313. B. Neubauer: Left Grodno with forged papers H,402-403
9. E/289.12/21/1958 Z. Lifszyc: In Grodno ghetto, to Wilno, with partisans H,404-408
10. E/314. J. Gliksman-Pidowski: in Grodno ghetto; in Auschwitz H,409-412
11. E/315. Z Loshowits-Pidowski: in Grodno ghetto; in Auschwitz H,413-414
12. E/303. 5/7/1958. H. Broide: In ghetto; Jumped from train; in hiding H,415-428
13. E/315. L.Rikind-Epsztein; In ghetto, escape to Wilno H,429-432
14. E/317. Y. Kaminski; In ghetto; with partisans H,433-435
15. E/302. 11/8/59.G. Kotler-Nakdimon; In ghetto, in Kielbasin, in hiding H,436-440
16. E/310 M. Notes ghetto Grodno, Auschwitz, cases of resistance H,441-443
17. YVA 03/1645 4/1960 E. Yofe (partial) Ghetto Grodno, Auschwitz H,444-447
18. YVA 03/1332 7/1959. M Suchowlanski-Pintsuk; Ghetto Grodno, Auschwitz H,448-451
L Reizer; Flight from Grodno and return to ghetto; Escape with wife and daughter. Joining the partisans.

Introduction (by the daughter, Nov. 1992). E,451A-451B

L. Reizer's story Y,452-591
20. E-763 F. Broide: "Frania tells her story". In the Grodno ghetto and in hiding Y,592-622
21. MOR.A-282E. Jezierski: Escape, with a group, to Wilno and to partisans. H,623-629
21. MOR.A-9A.Tarlowski; "What it is Kielbasin". Y,630-633
23. MOR.A-711 1978H. Borenstein-Bielicka. a recording of a commemorative gathering. H,634-670

Letters used as reference to the system of numbering in the Grodno archives: F-FOND; O-OPIS; D-DYELO, E-YEDINITSA KHRANYENYA; L-LIST