Other sites in Poland important to Jewish culture and history in Poland

Picturesque Poland can arrange side trips:

Small towns with Jewish centers of interest:

From Warsaw: Tykocin

Tykocin is located in the province of Bialystok, east of the former extermination camp of Treblinka. Tykocin used to be an important trade center and, at one time, the whole town was owned by King Zygmund August who acquired it from a noble Polish family in 1548.
The first ten families of Jews to settle in Tykocin were invited there in 1522 by the noble family that owned the town. By 1800 the population was 70% Jewish. Before World War II the village had 5000 inhabitants half of them were Jewish and the other half Catholic. In summer 1941 all the Jewish residents of Tykocin were taken to the nearby Lupochowo forest and shot by the Nazis.

From Krakow: Tarnow

Tarnow is a city about 40 miles east of Krakow.  Jews are first mentioned in the town in the 1400's.  The town was annexed to Austria after the first partition of Poland in 1772, at which time there were over 1,200 Jews in the town.  At the outbreak of World War II, there were about 25,000 Jews in Tarnow.  The German army entered the town on September 8, 1939, and a ghetto was established in March, 1941.  Deportations to Belzec and Plaszow began in June, 1942, and by December, 1943, the ghetto was completely liquidated.

Outside Lublin: Majdanek 

Located 4km from Lublin’s center, Majdanek was one of the Nazi’s largest death camps, and one of the easternmost camps purposely located in accord with the Nazi’s plans of easternward expansion and in a region populated by a sizeable Jewish population. The decision to make the Majdanek camp into a Museum was made in August 1944, a month after the liberation of the camp. According to a Museum booklet, the Majdanek Museum was set up in November 1944 and became the first such museum at a former concentration camp, long before any of the other Nazi camps were even liberated. Original infrastructure remains from the 1940’s, and some of the barracks contain exhibits. In front of the camp is a large monument to the more than 235,000 victims of Majdanek, while at the rear of the camp there is a domed mausoleum holding their ashes.

Outside Gdansk: Stutthof

Stutthof was the first camp built by the Nazis outside Germany, and the last camp to be liberated in 1945. Stutthof served mainly for extermination of the most aware and patriotic Poles, mainly from the educated circles from Danzig and Pomorze Region. Beginning in 1942 transports of Poles arrived and were directed by police units not only from Danzig-West Prussia, but also from other regions of the occupied country. At this time Stutthof became an international camp. In June 1944 it became part of the project "the final solution of the Jewish problem" - "Endloesung"