Telephone numbers in 1942

Amtliches Fernsprechbuch fur das Generalgouvernement May 1942 Deutsche Post Osten

Telephone numbers in 1941

Amtliches Fernsprechbuch fur das Generalgouvernement May 1941 Deutsche Post Osten

Jubilee Book (II)

Jubilee Book


About Sokolow in "Słownik geograficzny Królestwa Polskiego i innych krajów słowiańskich" (in Polish):

The School of Talmud and Torah

The article from "U nas na Podlasiu" (in Polish):

Map of the ghetto

Map of the ghetto by Moshe Zając:

Ernst Gramss

Born December 17, 1899 in Augsburg (Bavaria)

Declared dead on June 19, 1956 by the court (Amtsgericht) Goslar, as he is missing since July 1946

Protestant High School

June 24, 1918 til February 17, 1919 Army, than again High School

Worked afterwards for five years in different agricultural farms

Was an acitve member in the "Freiland-Freigeld-Bund" (Freeland-Freemoney-Society) of Gottfried Feder (one of the founders of the NSDAP)

1923 member of the NSDAP

Took part in the Hitler-revolt of November 9, 1923

From fall 1923 (winter-semester) studying at Agricultural High School Freising-Weihenstephan (today faculty for agriculture, technical university of Munich)

Finished 1926/1927 with Diploma (MA)

1925 one of the founders of NSStB (national-socialistic student federation)


The answer to the Holocaust

Aaron Elster and Edward Weinstein are two survivors of Holocaust, whom hand in medals ‘Righteous among World Nations’ to siblings of their saviours.

Aaron came to Sokolow on the 30th of June just before noon. We arranged in advance that we will go for a walk around town to see how much town changed during those years that he’s been away. We started at cemetery at Chopin Street, where Aaron put flowers on Franciszka and Hipolit Gorski’s grave. They were hiding him at the attic during the war. –Because one person took the risk, I could live, have family, children and grandchildren- he said- I am also able to be here. I owe them so much.

Another place that we visited was house at number 13 Kosciuszko Street. This is where Gorski family used to live.

- Quiet, they’re not strangers! - said current owner to his barking dog. He showed us rooms where Germans were staying during the war. They allowed Gorski family stay at the house, because Franciszka promised to do their laundry. Thanks to that she could hide little Aaron at the attic for 2 years. His sister Irena lived with Gorski family. Elster wanted to visit attic again. – When I was a child it seemed much bigger- he said- during the summer it was very sultry and hot, during winter- quite opposite. I was watching backyard through hole in the roof. I saw there a girl eating strawberries and playing.

Humane reasons only

The Righteous among the Nations title has been awarded by Yad Vashem Institute in Israel since 1960s. Among people honoured with this title there are few citizens of Sokołów Podlaski and people strongly connected with the town.
Kazimierz Miłobędzki

Being recognized as “Righteous among the Nations” is a special award given only to the exceptional people. This most prestigious civil prize in Israel is distributed to those who managed to rescue others during the World War II putting their own life at high risk.
The first Sokołów’s inhabitant awarded with this title was Kazimierz Miłobędzki (1919-2007). He spent the beginning of War in Warsaw where he worked as a trainee in the Magistrate Court. – In the first days of September Chief Scout gave the mobilization order to all the scouts over 16 years old – he recalled. – That meant me as well.

A group of scouts was supposed to reach Włodawa to be on auxiliary duty there. On their way they quartered in Chełm Lubelski.– After a few days a courier arrived with the message that Chełm would not defend. Some scouts returned to Warsaw, others headed for Hungary and Romania.

Kazimierz Miłobędzki appeared in Sokołów on the 12th of October. –After the Germans had announced that everybody had to report to their place of work, I arrived at the Magistrate Court, but being the youngest employee I wasn’t hired. I was only given a certificate stating I worked as a clerk in the court. I lived at my aunt’s house. It was difficult for us to make ends meet as I wasn’t earning any money. One day I met an acquainted professor who helped me, I got an odd job selling flour and groats.

Address Book

Business Address Book from 1928:

The list (I)

The list of people who were taking food from Judenrat's kitchen in Sokolow Podlaski:

More pictures

More old/new pictures from my project "Missing" you can find here
Other sets of my photos are here

The humiliation of the victims

The year is 1941. The Sokolow Ghetto has not yet been closed. German soldiers torment three Jewish citizens. On the right is Shachne Rubinstein, in the middle - unknown, on the left - Brish Rubinstein, the son of Shachne. Shachne was born in 1854 in Radzyń. His wife, Matle Friedman, was from Sokolow Podlaski. Brish was born in 1880 in Sokolow. They died in the Ghetto. Shachne had 8 children.

Pictures such as this, which display the power of the Nazis and the humiliation of their victims, were taken often in Polish towns and cities by the occupying forces as mementos. The strong unite against the weak. The smiles and laughter on the faces of soldiers suggest they are proud of themselves. The victims display fear. They know they are powerless to stop the humiliation. They know they can be killed at any moment.

Courtesy of Shraga Katz

The last grave

The site of a mass grave in Sokolow. This monument’s inscription, “Ofiarom faszyzmu (to the victims of fascism) does tell the story of what occurred here. In 1943, after the ghetto was liquidated, 200 young Jews, between the ages 15 and 25, were kept behind to clean the ghetto after liquidation, and also for labour in the surrounding villages and farms. Later they were shot into the mass grave on this site. However, in early 1944, as Soviet troops pushed across the Polish border, the Germans began to destroy the evidence of their terror. According to witnesses, the bodies were exhumed and placed upon logs, on which they were burned. For two weeks, bones and decomposed flesh were turned into ash. This was the last tomb, the last grave.
2011.The monument in now in the garden of a  private house. There isn't information about victims, except in the memories of the town’s elderly.

The old cemetery after the war

Late 1940s. The old cemetery. It is unclear what these are doing, but perhaps they are cleaning the area and reburying the bones after they were dug up looters.
2011. The Polish Red Cross Park.

Ghetto wall

Winter 1940 An entrance to the Sokolow Ghetto by town’s main street. This picture tells its own story. In the summer of 1941, the ghetto was closed, and a wall was erected around it, with barbed wire on top. The Ghetto was guarded and sealed from the outside by Polish Gendarmerie. We can see two of these gendarmerie guarding the entrance. Their fur coats suggests winter, but before the ghetto was closed off. The ghetto was liquidated in the autumn 1942.
2009. This place can be easily recognized today.


Sometime during the First World War. Prussian troops pose for this picture with Sokolow residents.
1925. Unveiling of the Brzoska monument with same buildings in the background.
1940s. Next to the monument are the graves of several people. The significant war-damage can be seen here.
2010. The view from the Brzoska park of Dluga Street.

The house of Rebbe

1940s. This was the house of the Sokolover Rebbe, Yitzchak Zelig Morgenstern (1867-1939), one of the best-known Tzadiks in all of Europe. Tzadik is a title generally given to personalities in Judaism considered saintly. A descendant of the tzaddikim dynasty from Kock, he served as Sokolow rabbi from 1899 until his death in 1939. He founded a large Yeshiva in the town - Beth Isreal (House of Israel). Was also a trained medical doctor and he took an active part in the political life of the town. He was one of the founders of the Agudas Yisroel party, and was a powerful activist. He died of natural causes.
2009. The building is now a restaurant. This photo was taken before it opened.

Old mikva

1940s. The old mikva, or Jewish bathhouse. After Sokolow ghetto’s liquidation, the building was taken into Polish hands and demolished in 1949.
2009. Today, is home to the PSS, a community-owned cooperative grocery.

Beit Midrash

Late 1940s. This was the beit midrash, where the Torah and Talmud were studied by the town’s religious Jewish population and Jewish community office. It was built in the late 19th century.
2009. This former religious-study hall is now occupied by shops. After 1945 the building was used for warehouses and offices.