History Of Nur

The urban community Nur is locates on the right side of the Bug River, between Ciechanowiec and Czyzewo. Its population is very ancient and had a glorious past. It started as a fortress to protect the passage on the Bug River.  Nur got its civil rights from the prince Mazovia Boleslaw before the year 1425. In 1564 the city got the privileges to ship merchandise by rafts, especially grain, to Gdansk (without customs). In that year there were 263 houses in Nur, a very respectable number in those days. The city's residents were considered wealthy. In the 16-18 centuries, conventions took place in Nur by the aristocracy (saimiks) and at the same time a season of the law court was opened. At that time Nur was then the main city of that district. The wars against the Swedish at the 17th century and at the beginning of the 18th-century impoverished the city and its population decreased.
Ever since then Nur never regained its previous status. From the beginning of the 19th-century we know only of 74 houses and residues of paved streets. Nur lost its status as a city. In Poland State of between the two world wars Nur was considered as an urban but in the administrative respect it was a village.

It is possible that some Jewish families had lived in Nur before the city had lost its importance during the 17th and 18th centuries. Nur had three bazaars a year, and the aristocracy's conventions too, all were a good reason for the Jews to settle there, temporary or permanently. There is no evidence of legal restrictions on living of Jews in Nur.  Since there is no information of Jews living in Nur except from the 19th-century and on, we can assume that a Jewish community was established in Nur at the beginning of that century.

In the middle of the 19th-century the Jewish community in Nur was already organized with community institutions. The occupation of the local Jews was small trade and peddling in the villages. Some were craftsmen and some families were farmers. There is no information on the life of the Jews in Nur between the two world wars but the service of Rabbi Yaakov Markovich as a "rabbi damta" (he was serving during 1924, in 1937 he still kept his position as the rabbi of the city. After WWII he lived in Bnei-brak, Israel.). According to some information from 1935, robbers murdered two Jewish merchants.

In September 13, 1939 German army units entered Nur and stayed there for about two weeks. According to the Ribbentrop - Molotov agreement between the Soviet Union and Germany, Nur was added to the occupied Soviet territory. The Soviet soldiers entered Nur in September 28 and stayed there until June 22, 1941.

Nur became a transit station to Jewish refugees from the German occupied territory, looking for a shelter in the Soviet territory. The local Jews helped hundreds of refugees as much as they could (to steal the border, to feed them and to find a place to sleep).

In April 1940 the soviet authorities decided to evacuate Nur of its residents. They were most interested in evacuating the local Jews and the refugees (probably because of the short distance to the border and the large amount of smugglers). The main idea was to transfer them to Ciechanowiec, which is as far as 12 km from Nur and about 7 km from the border. The evacuation took about two weeks. The people were allowed to take their property (even woods for building). In the new place most of them were lodged in Hochimeska Street.

The German army occupied Ciechanowiec in the morning of the first day of the invasion to the Soviet Union. The fate of the Jews of Nur was the same as the rest of Ciechanowiec Jews. Only very few of Nur Jews survived the holocaust.

Nur Timeline

(translated from the Polish and summarized by Jeremiah Jaskolka from the Nur
section of "Communities in the Ostrow Mazowiecka District")


1777    63 buildings and 378 inhabitants

1794    Nur participates in the unsuccessful Kosciuszko insurrection.

1795    Nur and its area joined to East Prussia.

1796    72 buildings and 432 inhabitants; a poor area with small and unprofitable agriculture and small trade.

1808    607 inhabitants.

Napoleon’s campaign. His army positioned in Nur and in its surrounding areas. They requisitioned horses, cattle and food. Many people are leaving Nur looking for work. Jews are leaving Nur following retired Prussian authorities.

1810    435 inhabitants.

Napoleon’s Army is defeated in Russia and retreats. In the following period of peacetime, Nur is growing again.

1827    75 buildings and 514 inhabitants.

The main occupation is a small agriculture and a small trade
(mainly Jews.)

1831    Some battles of what was called the November Insurrection against Russia took place in Nur, Ciechanowiec and their surroundings.

The economic state in Nur didn’t change in he coming period; Nur was still far away from the main roads, from industry and trade centers. Some people are working on road work and in forestry.

1863       Nur participates in the so-called January Insurrection against Russian occupation.

1866       Nur was officially declared a settlement and, together with some surrounding hamlets, received the rights of a village.

1869       80 buildings, 813 inhabitants (299 Jews).

In Nur are municipality (offices); primary school, post point, two windmills, fairs three times yearly.

The gradual development of economic life in the Polish Kingdom in the second half of the 19th century had influence on the situation in Nur, too. The building of new highways between Malkinia-Ostrow and Brok-Ostrow,
as well as new railroads from Malkinia-Ostroleka and
Malkinia-Siedlce caused an increasing demand for a labor force.

1900       116 buildings and 1,300 inhabitants.

Primary school, local government office, four shops and pharmacy. Post office in Ciechanowiec.

1905-07  Nur participates in revolutionary actions against the Russian regime Polish language in schools was allowed again. The first, modest, public library was established in the village.

1909        About 120 buildings and 1,431 inhabitants (486 Jews). Traditional agriculture and trade (Jews).

1914        In the operations of World War I, a part of Nur was burnt away.  The bridge across the River Bug was destroyed, too.

1915        The German Army occupies Nur, making requisitions for corn, horses, cattle and pigs.

1918       Poland gains independence.

1920    The successful Polish military action against Russia came to an end. The economic situation was very difficult.

1921    1363 inhabitants (400 Jews).

There was an economic crisis all over the country.  Farming,
handicraft and trade in Nur continued to be the main
occupation of the people. Some were working at felling trees, on rafting and on road and railway works. Some emigrated.

During the next 18 years nothing essential changed in Nur.  The typical agrarian character of the place permitted the running only of small businesses, which were destined mainly for local needs. There were in that period three windmills, a water-mill, two oil-mills, a carding manufactory, a cooperative dairy, a slaughterhouse, a pork shop, three
bakeries, a brick kiln and a small cement works.

In spite of the nearness of the River Bug, fishing wasn’t used for trade because of the small demand for it. Some workshops and several small retail shops (mainly run by Jews) supplied the population of Nur and its surroundings with all the basis necessities.

There was a doctor, a paramedic, a midwife and a pharmacy.

Public buildings and institutions were a primary school, the Local Authority, a post office, a loan bank, a Consumers Cooperative, a Farmers Club, a fire brigade and others.

About two kilometers of roads were paved with cobblestones and bricks; many sidewalks were paved as well and the state of others improved.

1939    About 1,500 inhabitants.

              On September 1, the Second World War broke out. On the Same day, German bombers destroyed the bridge across the Bug. Seven days later, on September 8, the German Army broke through.  Under the agreement between Germany and Russia, Nur and the whole were included in the Russian lands and the Germans left the village.

1941    On June 22, the war broke out between Germany and Russia. Nur and the area around it came into German hands again and were joined to the province "Ostland" (East land).

               A couple of days later special detachments of SS and Wehrmacht  threw all Jews out of their homes and took them to the Ghetto of Ciechanowiec. Later on, they were transported together with other Jews of the Ghetto to concentration camp where they met their doom.

After the war, not one Jew returned to their native village.