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Visiting Info
Opening Hours:

Sunday to Thursday: ‬09:00-17:00

Fridays and Holiday eves: ‬09:00-14:00

Yad Vashem is closed on Saturdays and all Jewish Holidays.

Entrance to the Holocaust History Museum is not permitted for children under the age of 10. Babies in strollers or carriers will not be permitted to enter.

Drive to Yad Vashem:
For more Visiting Information click here

The History of the Nieśwież Jewish Community

The town of Nieśwież dates back to the 13th century. Jews started to settle there in the 16th century, and there was a Jewish community in Nieśwież for close to 200 years until the Holocaust period.

Between the two World Wars, Nieśwież was part of Poland, situated in the Nowogródek district in the East of the country, close to the border with the Soviet Union.

In September 1939, with the invasion of Poland by Germany and the Soviet Union, and further to the German-Soviet non-aggression  pact and the ensuing division of Poland between the two countries, Nieśwież was annexed to the Soviet Union.

In June 1941, Nieśwież was occupied when Germany invaded the Soviet Union.  By the end of the same year, the Germans had murdered most of the town’s Jews, and a ghetto was established.  By July 1942, the remaining Jews had been murdered, and the community of Nieśwież ceased to exist.

Today, Nieśwież forms part of independent Belarus.  To the best of our knowledge, there are no Jews living there.

Façade of the Nieśwież synagogue in the 1920s

The Jewish Community of Nieśwież before the Holocaust

Jews settled in Nieśwież at the beginning of the sixteenth century. They made a living from tenancies, trade and export to Russian cities. The local rulers protected them from Christians who wanted to control their economic activity. In the mid-seventeenth century, a Jewish community was established in the town, but it suffered during the 1648-1649 pogroms. By the end of the eighteenth century, the community had rehabilitated itself, and some thousand Jews lived there. The famous philosopher Shlomo Maimon lived in Nieśwież in the second half of the eighteenth century. In...
Municipality building in Nieśwież, in front of which thousands of Jews were gathered prior to their execution

The Community of Nieśwież in the early years of World War II

When World War II broke out, some 3,400 Jews lived in Nieśwież – close to half the local population.  Most made a living as traders and craftsmen.  Zionist political parties and youth movements were active in the town, as well as “Agudat Yisrael” and the Bund, and there were also Jews in the outlawed Polish Communist party.  There were two schools, a “Tarbut” school and a Yiddish school.
The Nieśwież Ghetto and the Jewish Uprising

The Nieśwież Ghetto and the Jewish Uprising

We are in Nieśwież, and we hear how, every day, they are killing those in the city, and now it’s our turn – today or tomorrow.  We are lying fully clothed with our children, so beloved and talented, and waiting to die.Excerpt from the last letter of Shalom Mordechai Hishin