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Radzilow in Hebrew

Typical Street

The Faces of Radzilow

General Information

Please contact me if you have connections to Radzilow, and I don't already know about you.
I have a lot more material and information about Radzilow families that is not online.
If your family was from Radzilow or you had branches in this town, I will surely have additional data and actual records for many of your ancestors and relatives.
I also have information on a new book about Radzilow which came out on June 28, 2004,
as well as on a two-hour documentary which featured Radzilow.

Location: In the former Lomza Gubernia, near the northeastern border of Poland
Distance from important shtetls in the area:
5.7 miles SW of Klimaszewnica; 8.8 miles SSE of Wasosz;
9 miles NNE of Jedwabne; 10.5 miles ENE of Stawiski;
12.2 miles SSE of Szczuczyn; 12.5 miles WNW of Trzcianne;
13.8 miles N of Wizna; 15.5 miles WSW of Goniadz;
17.4 miles S of Grajewo;  19.2 miles E of Kolno;
19.9 miles NE of Lomza
Coordinates: 53° 24'N / 22° 24'E
Latitude: 53.4000 Longitude: 22.4000
Altitude: 406 feet (123 meters)
Currently in Podlaskie Province, Grajewski District (which includes 5 counties: Grajewo, Radzilow, Rajgrod, Szczuczyn, Wasosz)
Radzilow is just to the West of the Biebrzanski National Park,
a large, protected nature refuge that surrounds the Biebrza River
throughout Northeast Poland.
Other Information:
The town had a population of 671 Jewish residents in 1921.
Some residents estimated the Jewish population at about 1,000.
Spellings include: Radzilowo (Yiddish), Radzilova (Yiddish), Radzhilov
Other spellings: Radzilowie, Radzilowa, Radzilowe, Radzilowo, Radzilov, Radzilova, Radzilovo
Spelling in Polish (using Polish letters): Radziłów
Pronounced in Yiddish as: Rad-ZHI-wo, with the accent on the 2nd syllable
Some information from: Where Once We Walked. A Guide to the Destroyed Communities of the Holocaust, by Gary Mokotoff and Sallyann Amdur Sack. Published by Avotaynu, Inc., Teaneck, New Jersey, 1991.

View of Radzilow from afar shows how
small and isolated the town still is
[Large version available upon request]


New section: Joel Guthwert, Finland
New section: Berl/Dov Wasersztejn Holocaust Testimony
New section: Chana Finkielsztejn Holocaust testimony, given when she was only 11 years old
New photos: Radzilow landsmen in Israel at Holon Memorial 2012
New section: Radzilow videos
Book about the tragic events of the Holocaust in Radzilow and the neighboring town of Jedwabne, originally in Polish, due out in English in 2012 Read Excerpt
New Section: Article about the murders in Bzury (2 miles from Szczuczyn); Article mentions Radzilow
New section: Brajna Kowalska
New section: Abraham Kielczewski
New section: Beatrice Field's Video about her trip to Radzilow in 1935

Radzilow Population Statistics (Compilation of Data From Many Sources):
Assuming the general population grew steadily from 1857 to 1921, and taking into account that Jews started to emigrate in much larger numbers during the early 1900's (there was a huge drop in their percentage of the population after WWI, from 55% to 34%, and therefore, they accounted for a large drop in the overall population as well), one can extrapolate that, at its high point, from 1905-1914, there were over 2,000 persons living in Radzilow, with Jews making up over 1,000 of those. Take note that these figures do not include surrounding farms and villages right outside of the town itself (see note for 1885).
Additional notes:
- Invading Swedish armies sacked the town in the 1650's. In 1708 Poland became the scene of a war between Russia and Sweden. Swedish armies, commanded by King Charles XII, occupied the Radzilow area and built a fort to command the Biebrza crossings, about 15 km. upstream from Radzilow.
- In 1885, the parish of Radzilow, belonging to the dekanate [deanery of the Catholic Church] of Szczuczyn, numbered 2,435 "souls" [believers]. The community of Radzilow, including the town and nearby villages, numbered 4,497 inhabitants.
Radzilow Population Statistics (Compilation)
Year 1564 After Swedish Invasion 1779 1808 1827 1857 1858 1880 1890 1893 1905 1906 1908 1914 1921
Houses 309 40 85 --- 101 --- 124 163 --- --- --- --- --- --- 259
Total Population 1,827 100 435 532 780 1,495 1,539 1,859 --- --- --- --- --- --- 1,983
Number of Jews --- --- --- 51 225 639 658 --- --- --- over 1,000 over 1,000 over 1,000 over 1,000 671
Percent Jews --- --- --- 10% 29% 43% 43% --- 38% 41% 51% 54% 51% 55% 34%
Radzilow Jews in the Diaspora:
Countries Where Descendants of Radzilow Jews
Are Currently Known to Live
Argentina Finland Norway Sweden
Australia France Poland Switzerland
Brazil Germany Puerto Rico Ukraine
Canada Israel Russia United States
Chile Italy Scotland Uruguay
Costa Rica Mexico South Africa Venezuela
Cuba New Zealand Spain Zimbabwe
Photo of the Radzilow Jewish Cemetery, 1939
The only photo ever uncovered of the cemetery
Located on Piekna Street. The year of its foundation is unknown, covering a surface of .56 hectares, it's not enclosed, it's desolate, and there are no tombstones; local authorities had used it as (or converted it to) a garbage dump.
Translated from: Remembrances & Monuments of Jewish Culture in Poland.
Assembled, compiled and introduced by Przemyslaw Burchard. Warsaw, 1990.
The Synagogue, made of wood in the 17th century, stood until the Holocaust.
From: Pinkas Hakehilot: Poland - Vol. IV, Warszawa and its Region; Yad Vashem
Current Statistics About the Radzilow District:
Population: 5,801
Area: 199 square kilometers
Population Density: 30 people per square kilometer
Percentage of Urban Population: 0%
Percentage of Rural Population: 100%
Budget (in PLN): 6300000
Investment Expenditures (in % of budget): 30.1%
Current Chief Councillor: Kazimierz Gwiazdowski
Current Council Chairman: Zbigniew Mordasiewicz
Contact me for addresses and phone numbers
Economic and Political Statistics - 1996
Visit the Homepage of a School in Radzilow:
Szkoly w Radzilowie
Web page about the primary school and gymnasium (high school) in Radzilow
and about events occurring in the school and about town. It is in Polish.
Other Sources of Information About Radzilow:
AMG (American Gathering/Federation of Jewish Holocaust Survivors)
COH (Chamber of the Holocaust)
GUM3, GUM4 (Guide to Unpublished Materials of the Holocaust Period)
HSL (Hebrew Subscription Lists)
LDS (Latter-day Saints Family History Library Locality Catalog)
LYV (Landsmanshaftn Societies on File at Yad Vashem)
PHP4 (Pinkas Hakehilot: Poland - Vol. IV, Warszawa and its Region)
SF (Shtetl Finder)
From: Where Once We Walked. A Guide to the Destroyed Communities of the Holocaust, by Gary Mokotoff and Sallyann Amdur Sack. Published by Avotaynu, Inc., Teaneck, New Jersey, 1991.
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Take note that this method only finds exact spellings. Many surnames are mentioned throughout the web page with many different spellings, from the original Polish spellings, to Yiddish variants, to transliterated English versions. Surnames in pages like the Ellis Island records can be completely off. While most town name references are standardized to the current Polish spellings, in certain cases some towns can be found using different spellings, depending on the context.

If you enter a certain spelling for a given surname and don't find anything, that doesn't mean it can't be found under alternate spellings. Not to mention the fact that less than a quarter of my material is online, and I don't put a single vital record (birth/death/marriage) on the web page. So, if you believe your family came from Radzilow or any nearby town in Lomza gubernia, please contact me and I will be glad to help you.

Important Note: It doesn't matter if the search result comes up empty because of alternate spellings or because it's not on the web page itself. If your family came from Radzilow or nearby, I almost certainly have more information, so please contact me regardless.

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Last updated: May 21, 2024

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