Tomasz Wisniewski

Tomek near what was his small house in the woods, photographed by Ada, October 1997

Message from Tomasz Wisniewski 11.7.2006:

Finally, why do we call ourselves "Bagnówka"? This is a district of Bialystok which contains the largest Jewish cemetery in north-east Poland. This cemetery is located next to the Catholic cemetery which in turns adjoins the Orthodox cemetery. These three cemeteries in Bagnówka that lie peacefully next to each are for us a potent symbol of what we are seeking to achieve - partnership and good-neighbourliness.

Dear Friends,                                                              Bialystok, September 16th, 2004


"In a search of Poland Society", based in Bialystok, is working on a great number of educational projects aimimg at the protection of the multicultural heritage of bygone Poland.


We have some exhibitions to share with you.


One of them is called "Snapshots of Genocide - What would Poland be like if Holocaust had not happened". It was launched on the 16th of August 2004 at the anniversary of the Bialystok Ghetto Uprising.


We would like to encourage you to display our exhibition in your center, in your town, in your museum... We are looking for people, organizations, societies with the goal of extending  our educational project as well  as the debate about Holocaust and what the lack of tolerance can result in.


The exibition “Snapshots of Genocide” consists of 25 charts, depicting unique, unpublished photographs of Polish Jews, taken by Wehrmacht soldiers. The exhibition is accompanied by a catalogue in both Polish and English.


As it would be extremely expensive to post these charts, we could send them to you as JPGs via email (using FTP system)  or on DVD. Some photographs from this exhibition can be viewed at our website:

The catalogues were printed in English and we could send them also. Catalogue in english can be found online here:

Kindly Regards

Tomek Wisniewski

(author of the tour guide JEWISH BIALYSTOK AND SURROUNDINGS), President of "In a Search of Poland Society" :



  IN  SEARCH  OF POLAND... "Szukamy Polski" (2004)

  BIALYSTOK New Web Site: a Memorial to the Jews of Bialystok March 2003

 SHOAH PHOTOGRAPHS Images (they were colourized using computer tools by Janusz Osial) are from the Tomy Wisniewski Collection (copyright). The article "Snapshots of Genocide" about these photos was published in the POLITYKA weekly. The animation of these photos was done by Ewa Krutul. ore about Tomek Another photo album tittled Polish Jews look into "Tomek Alphabet" - photos taken by Tomek Wisniewski.

 CEMETERIES: Jewish Cemeteries pre 1945 - Reconstruction of colors


Interactive Tourguide about  non-existing Bialystok:

About the Printer of Rare Postcards

Photographer of Old Matzevot of Jedwabne

Bialystok Guide Recalls a Center of Polish Jewry

Photos from LITHUANIA

Synagogues of the World Poland

  EMAIL: tomy "at" (replace "at" by @ to avoid spam).

 TELEPHONE: Bialystok: +48 85 6634694 mobile: 507 181 939

P.O.Box 351
Bialystok 1


A message in "Avotaynu" internet newsletter  "Nu" Vol. 3, Nr 25 24 December 2002

JPEG Images of Postcards Available at Avotaynu Site

For those who are recent subscribers to "Nu? What's New?", for about two years Avotaynu has been offering scanned images (JPEGs) of towns in Eastern Europe. Postcards of your ancestral town from the turn of the 20th century can be a wonderful addition to the photographic portion of your family history, but they are rare items and consequently very expensive.

Tomasz Wisniewski, a resident of Bialystok, Poland, has collected nearly 2,000 postcards and pictures of Jewish life in what was interwar Poland and today encompasses eastern Poland, western Belarus and Ukraine and portions of Lithuania. Avotaynu has convinced him to sell JPEG images of these cards, and they are now available for sale at

There are some 330 towns represented in more than 1,300 pictures. Many of the pictures are of synagogues since destroyed in the Holocaust, street scenes, and panoramic views.

Wisniewski is also the author of two books about Jewish life in the Bialystok area: "Synagogues and Jewish Communities in the Bialystok Region," published in 1992; and, more recently, "Jewish Bialystok and Surroundings in Eastern Poland," which is sold by Avotaynu (


"JEWISH BIALYSTOK" A new book by Tomasz Wisniewski

List of other books and Judaica Postcards sets

Tomek's new house in the village


Father Family.

The parents of my father were born near Wislica (in Krakow region). Its like the heart of Poland, one of the older city in Poland.

My grandfather Jozef and grandomother Zofia. Those names are probably more common Polish names and one of the oldest in Polish History.

My grandfather as first man in the village passed the school in Bochnia. His parents spent on this all money. In 1929 born my father Marian. He was born in XVII cent former Arian House! There wasn't a job my grandfather, so he moved with the family to Lachwa(today Belarussia). Lachwa was in the post office. My grandmother told me about Jews from Lachwa. Each Friday they gave to Grandma fresh fish, because they knew about post in Christian houses in this day. Other reason was also they were in quite good relations with my grandfather. In this time postman was very important figure!

Later my grandfather moved to Bresy (Brzesc also today in Belarussia) and1935 moved to Krynki (KRINIK), typically Jewish shtetl now in Poland. In this city my father attended to grammar school. My father remember that school was nearby Orthodox Church and half of the class were Jewish.

Shortly before the second war Wisniewski Family moved to Kielce region.
Since 1938 y. my grandfather started work as postman in Jedrzejow and in1939 in Pinczow. In 1950 the years he definitely resigned from the work (he had problems in Stalin time, because he was Polish Pre war Postman!) back to the village to his work as farmer.

He died in 1984. I remember him well. He could smoke cigarette and standing so, could start sleeping! Till his death he used razor which he bought in 1925 year... My grandmother died in 1995 year in 91 years old.

 Mother Family

My mother Teresa (maiden Raczycka) born in Ignalina (today Lithuanie, near Dokshitz, today there is huge Nuclear Atomic Station). My grandfather Boleslaw and grandmother Jadwiga from Frunska house (also typically old traditional Polish names) My Grandfather was also officer: policeman .

Mother attended to only one school in the city. It was Lithuanian.

During period of the ghetto my grandfather was arrested by Lithuanian Police. The allegation was: he helped to protect Jews. He was moved to the jail in Swieciany (Sventionis) and spend few month in special cellar with water. It was miracle he survived, only during help of one Lithaunian Policeman.

During Russian occupation shortly before German came, local NKVD Court decided to moved my family (as well many others) to Siberia. It was miracle they survived. The railway bridge was damaged by Polish partisans and before them repaired this came Germans. My mother remember that she put on the body ALL CLOTHES SHE HAD.

My Grandma died in Vilna in 1946. My mother back to Poland last transport with one cow and 2 goats. They left in Ignalina 2 big wooden houses. On different possession. Today in one of them is Pharmacy on second small school.

My grandfather settled near Rzeszow region. He worked also as a farmer. Hehad many problems after war from the reason he was pre war Policeman. He was very unique. I remember shortly before he died a day when he showed me his treasure. It was special iron box with many documents and photographs. On one at front of small group of policemen with my GF stood PolMarshal Josef Pilsudski.

Next he buried this box to the field and after a year forgot where it was...

My mother and father met in Olsztyn. Married. I was born in Olsztyn in 1958 year. Olsztyn before the war was Germany (Allenstein; East Prussia).


Published in the Internet newsletter of Avotaynu "Nu? What's New? Vol. 4, No. 9, May 25, 2003, Gary Mokotoff, Editor

Tomasz Wisniewski of Bialystok, Poland, has left the journalism business and is now devoting his full time to his real loves: tour guiding, photography and other genealogy-related pursuits. Contact him directly for more particulars about his various services.

Tomy, as he is known to his genealogy friends, concentrates primarily in the Bialystok/Lomza/Suwalki area, but can easily assist people in any part of Poland and is willing to discuss his abilities to take extended trips to Lithuania and Belarus.

All of the activities described below Tomy has performed in the past and can give references.

Tour Guide. If you are planning to visit the Bialystok/Lomza/Suwalki region of Poland for genealogical research and/or touring, Tomy has successfully performed these tasks for many other people. He has an entire list of happy clients on his web site at

He is quite capable of handling tours to other parts of Poland, even if your plans include additional trips to Lithuania or Belarus. He does not recommend using his services if you are going exclusively to those countries.

Place to rent. Staying in Bialystok for a while? Tomy can rent you a two-room apartment in the heart of Bialystok or a gorgeous small home in Kolodno just 20 km outside of the city. You can see pictures of the house at

Photo essay. Tomy is not a professional photographer, but his work is of professional quality. He will go into a town, locate sites of interest including Jewish sites, photograph them and prepare a photo report of what he found. Images can be provided on CD-ROM. He completed such a project for me for the town of Jalowka, Poland. Example of his photographic skills can be seen at Americans will find some remarkable pictures of the World Trade Center before 9-11 in the "USA Impressions" section.  

Postcards. Tomy claims he has the largest collection of old postcards of Eastern Europe in the hands of any private collector. They are Jewish, Christian and secular postcards. When I asked him for a list of towns represented, he stated it was too large--"in the thousands."

 He also has more than 500 old military maps of parts of Eastern Europe which can be useful to locate old cemeteries, synagogues and churches.

Genealogical search services. Not really his "thing," but he has done research for me and others at the Bialystok Regional State Archives and it was quality, comprehensive work. This was done before JRI-Poland indexed the Bialystok records. When I matched their index against what he had done for me a few years earlier, he had not missed a record.

His e-mail address is tomy at (replace "at" by @ to avoid spam)


BARDZO DZIEKUJE Tomasz Wisniewski!

Tomasz Wisniewski

Last update November 17th, 2006