My Visit To

October 7, 1999: Suwalki to Warsaw

Headstone Wall in Suwalki
Today we're going to visit Suwalki and Lomza, the two largest cities in this part of Poland. A hundred years ago, "Suwalki" and "Lomza" were also the names of the two north-easternmost gubernias (provinces) of The Kingdom of Poland, a political entity formed in the aftermath of the Napoleonic wars and ruled by Russia. (The cities of Suwalki and Lomza were, of course, the "capital" cities in the gubernias of the same names.) Although much of the territory of the historical Suwalki and Lomza gubernias remains within the borders of present-day Poland, portions of the Suwalki gubernia are now part of Lithuania.

Prior to World War II, the Suwalki-Lomza area had a very strong Jewish presence. Accordingly, there is a great deal of interest in this area among genealogists researching Jewish roots in Poland. The Suwalk-Lomza Interest Group (note that the Yiddish name for Suwalki omits the final vowel) publishes a quarterly journal called Landsmen, an invaluable tool and an incredibly rich source of information for those of you who may be researching your roots in the area.

But although I'm certainly interested in seeing Suwalki and Lomza, I'm really excited about visiting Przerosl (pronounced something like pshe-ROH-shle), the town where my Myszkowski ancestors lived before migrating to Grajewo. I've read that the old Jewish cemetery in Przerosl is still more-or-less intact, although moderately overgrown – perhaps I'll be able to find the graves of some of my relatives. George has conducted tours all through this area, but he's never been to Przerosl (a small town with a Jewish population of less than 200 before the war), so he doesn't know in what kind of condition we'll find the cemetery – which means that it'll be a surprise for both of us.

Next Next

[ Suwalki | Wodzilki | Przerosl ]
[ Bogusze | Szczuczyn | Lomza ]

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