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75th anniversary of the „Black Friday” in Białystok

By Jewish Historical Institute

27th of June, 2016, marked 75th anniversary of the massacre of Jews in Białystok done by Germans. The scale of the tragedy of Jewish inhabitants of this city made these events known as „Black Friday”.

In the book „Walka i zagłada białostockiego getta” [The Fight and Extermination of the Białystok Ghetto] which was published for the first time in 1946, Szymon Datner reports on the events that took place on this day: 

„Incidents which followed one after another in Białystok after the outbreak of II WW were to local Jews as a hit of the club in the head. Germans enter on the 27th of June (Friday) and „make their debut” by burning 800–1000 Jews, men and boys, alive in the Great Synagogue, burning Szulhojf (neighborhood surrounding the Great Synagogue) and killing another thousand in mass executions on the streets

On this ill-fated Friday morning quite big motorized unit concentrated on Sienna Rynek (at Mazowiecka Street) and Germans having rolled up their sleeves began soaking alcohol and be deployed in Szulhojf few minutes later. 

The bloodbath began at 8 o’clock in the morning. Germans, divided into small units, armed with submachine guns and hand grenades, started hunting for Jews in narrow and winding streets around the Great Synagogue. 

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