A tribute to its former Jewish community


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In This Site


Y An Interview with Rabbi Dov Kam

Y From the 1887 Slownik Geograficzny   

Y The Great Fire of Porozow

Y From the 1929 Ksiega Adresowa Polski

Y Porozow Jewish Community Officers, 1838

Y Owners of Registered Enterprises, 1915

Y Porozow in Pinkas HaKehillot Polin

Y Victims of the Porozow Ghetto

Y Porozow Synagogue


Y Rabbi Moshe Avigdor Amiel (1883-1946)

Y Ester-Ruchel Kaminska (1870-1925)

Y Michel and Malka Chmielnitzki (?-?)


Y Wolkowysker Yizkor Book

Y The Incidents in Porozow (English)

Y The Incidents in Porozow - (Original Yiddish)

Y The Story of a Jewish-Zionist Community

Y Jewish Colonial Trust Assets

Y Nazi Crimes Commission

Y Porozow Records at Yad Vashem

Y The Priest of Porozow

Y Miscellaneous Holocaust Records


Y Porozow Jewish Cemetery

Y 1897 Census: Grodno Jewish Records

Y Other Sources

Y Jewish Ellis Island Arrivals from Porozow

Y Jewish Porozow Arrivals at Other Ports

Y Hamburg Jewish Emigrants from Porozow

Y 1912 Grodno Gubernia Voters from Porozow

Y Porozovans Abroad

Y Porozover Benevolent Association

Y Mt. Zion Cemetery Interments


Y Houses of Worship

Y Buildings and Townspeople

Y Jewish Cemetery

Y Houses, Yards and Roads

Y 1937 Images With Porozow Markings


Y Grodno Gubernia, 1834

Y Belarus, 1882

Y Grodno Gubernia, ca. 1901

Y Russia's Polish Provinces, 1902

Y Grodno Gubernia, Early Twentieth Century

Y Porozow, Early Twentieth Century

Y Poland Before 1939

Y Modern Belarus

Gussie Rudbart's Story

On the Trail of Uncle Herschel, the Jewish Gaucho


Y On Porozow

Y On Belarus

Y On Grodno Gubernia

Y On Neighboring Towns


About Porozow and its Jewish Community


Porozow, also known by the spellings Porozovo, Porosovo, Porasow and Porzwye, among others, is a small town located at 52° 56' north latitude, 24° 22' east longitude in modern-day Belarus. It is located 17 miles SSW of Wolkowysk (Volkovysk), a city in West Belarus. Porozow's location can be seen on a modern-day map by clicking here.


The town of Wolkowysk was first mentioned in a manuscript written in 1005. By the 14th century the region became part of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, which by the 16th century merged with Poland. The various partitions of Poland in the late 18th century resulted in control of Belarus, including the Grodno area where both Wolkowysk and Porozow are located, shifting to the Russian Empire. It was overrun during Napoleon’s invasion in 1812 and again saw battle in World War I.


After the war, Belarus briefly became an independent republic, but was soon occupied by the red army and proclaimed a soviet republic. Ceded to Poland in 1921, it was again seized by the Soviets in 1939, and  in 1941 was occupied forcibly by the Nazis.


It returned to Soviet rule after World War II, and on the Soviet Union's collapse became an independent republic and member of the Commonwealth of Independent States.


Although the end of the Jewish presence in Porozow can be pinpointed, the exact time of the arrival of Jews in the town is not known. What is known is that Jews settled in Belarus in the 14th century, when it was under Lithuanian rule. The first reference to Jews in Wolkowysk, according to the Wolkowysker Yizkor Book, came in a poll tax law in the year 1557. By 1766, Wolkowysk Jews numbered 1,282; By 1847, there were 5,946 Jews in the region, 397 of whom lived in Porozow.


In 1878, Porozow was a town of 300 households, consisting of 699 men and 755 women. Included in those numbers were 556 Jews. People of three faiths lived in the town; there were also Russian Orthodox and Catholics, and each group had its own house of worship. The gentiles in Porozow were involved mainly in pottery production; the Jews favored trade.


The beginning of the end of the Jews of Porozow came with the Nazi invasion of Belarus in 1941. Control of Porozow and the surrounding area passed back and forth between the Russian and German armies, but eventually the Germans prevailed. In 1942 a ghetto was created, and by November of that year the entire Jewish population of the town was marched to Wolkowysk, though a small group was shot in the forest. Between November 10 - December 15, 1942, most were transported by train to Treblinka, where they perished.


This website is lovingly dedicated to the memory of my grandmother

Gussie Rudbart Seligman

who came to America from Porozow in 1907,

and to the hundreds of her fellow townspeople

not as fortunate as she

who died in the Holocaust thirty-five years later.

Click here to read Gussie's story.

This site was created by Scott D. Seligman, except where the work of others is explicitly identified. The documents and images used are reproduced either with permission of those who own the rights, or believed to be in the public domain. Please send an e-mail to report any issues or problems, contribute additional material or provide feedback on the site.
© 2004-2020  Scott D. Seligman