Jewish Heritage Report
Vol. I, No. 2 / Summer 1997
New Monuments in Bialystok
NEW MONUMENTS IN BIALYSTOK
Photo: Piaskower Beth Midrash, Bialystok, before rebuilding. © Samuel Gruber/WMF 1997.
The 1890 Piaskower Beth Midrash on Piekna Street, one of the few surviving synagogue buildings in Bialystok, was recently renovated. According to Tomasz Wisniewski and Eleonara Bergman, the structure was a seat of the Jewish Social-Cultural Society of Poland probably from 1956 to 1968; then abandoned and finally "modernized" in 1973. During that process almost all traces of the former arrangement were removed. In the late 1970s and 1980s the building was used as a cultural center. In 1989, it burnt and was rebuilt in 1995 to house the Ludwik Zamenhof Foundation and commercial offices. There is a plaque on the building stating its history as a synagogue. Elsewhere in Bialystok, close to Suraska Street, a new monument commemorating the Jews killed in the burning of the Great Synagogue in 1941 (estimates range from 700 to 3000 people), was dedicated on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the end of World War II.
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