Memorial Book of Suwalk

(Suwałki, Poland)

Translation of
Yisker Bukh Suvalk

Published by the Yizkor Books in Print Project
part of Yizkor Books Project of JewishGen, Inc.

Original Yizkor Book Published by
The Suvalk and Vicinity Relief Committee of New York, 1961
Editor: Berl Kagan, New York
Layout: Jonathan Wind
Cover Design: Rachel Kolokoff Hopper
Name Indexing: Jonathan Wind
Hard Cover, 11” by 8.5”, 880 pages with all original illustrations and photographs.



The editors of the Suwalki Memorial Book write: “In our memorial book we give expression to the last breath and cry of pain of our holy martyrs, our parents, our brothers and sisters, our dearest and most beloved, who were thrown into the gas chambers, into the deep pits, burned, shot, smothered, their last prayers and screams cut off and silenced by the Nazi executioners. We want this memorial book to perpetuate their unfinished prayers. Their lives were cut short by the murderers before they could complete their calls: Hear Oh Israel. All of us will say the kaddish by means of this memorial book. However, the Suwalk memorial book is not only a monument for our murdered parents, brothers and sisters, it is also a holy obligation to perpetuate all that distinguished Suwalk and all of the vanished Jewish towns: vibrant Jewishness, faith, creativity, lifestyle, and language.”

On the front cover of the Suwalki Memorial Book, Rabbi Yosef Yoselevitsh, one of the leading rabbinic personalities in Poland, looks at us from the front cover, his bright face shining through the darkness. A reminder of what Suwalki and its Jewish community were: “vibrant Jewishness, faith, creativity, lifestyle, and language.”

The back cover is a list of names. Names of those lost in the Holocaust, long and seemingly endless, difficult to look at, difficult to read, a list of names that strikes at our hearts and evokes sadness, loss and longing.

Stalks of dried grass layered with the names of the lost, reminds us of the forests and fields that surrounded Suwalki, of the every day life there, of the living soul of the place. The forest, which still stands today, where the town once thrived.

The front and back covers together as a whole are meant to represent both intentions of the editors: the intent to express the vibrant Jewish life that was Suwalki, and the intent to express the pain at the incomprehensible loss of Suwalki.

Suwalki, Poland. Let us never forget.


Alternate names: Suwałki [Pol], Suvalk [Yid], Suvalki [Rus], Suvalkai [Lith], Suwalken [Ger], Sudauen [Ger, 1941-44]


Located at 54°06' N 22°56' E; 45 miles NW of Grodno, 67 miles N of Białystok and 151 miles NNE of Warszawa


Nearby Jewish Communities:

    Jeleniewo 7 miles N
    Kaletnik 8 miles NE
    Raczki 10 miles SW
    Krasnopol 11 miles E
    Bakałarzewo 11 miles W
    Filipów 14 miles WNW
    Puńsk 14 miles NE
    Przerośl 15 miles NW
    Sejny 17 miles E
    Augustów 17 miles S
    Wiżajny 19 miles N
    Liubavas, Lithuania 19 miles NNE
    Berżniki 22 miles E
    Kalvarija, Lithuania 24 miles NNE
    Rudamina, Lithuania 24 miles NE
    Lazdijai, Lithuania 25 miles ENE
    Vištytis, Lithuania 26 miles NNW
    Rajgród 27 miles SSW
    Bartininkai, Lithuania 28 miles N
    Gołdap 29 miles WNW
    Sztabin 30 miles SSE
    Kapčiamiestis, Lithuania 30 miles ESE
    Ełk 30 miles SW


List price: $75.95, available from JewishGen for $41


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Updated 13 Jun 2020 by LA