Everyone Had Their Own Jew (Kazdy mial swojego Zyda) is a story how Poles, who live in Suchowola today remember or want to remember their Jewish neighbors.
Suchowola – was a small shtetl located between Bialystok and Grodno. Before World War II the population of Suchowola consisted of 3,000 people out of whom 1,500 were Jews.
Jews were mostly engaged in commerce and trade. Many were self employed shoemakers, carpenters, tailors and saddlers. The Jewish traders would supply grain, fruit and vegetables to Bialystok and Grodno by railway or by the horse wagons.
This film shows the relationships between Poles and Jews in Suchowola seen by several Polish elders who live in Suchowola today. They talk about their life before the War: “Every Polish family had a Jewish family they were friends with … when a Jew had two daughters then one of them dated a Pole.”
In 1938 Suchowola witnessed a violent boycott against the Jewish commerce organized by some Polish nationalists. Later our witnesses describe what happened to the Jews first after Russians and later Germans entered and occupied the town during the War. They remember when ghetto was constructed in town, killings and a total destruction of the Suchowola Jews. Jews were thrown from the bridge to the river, imprisoned in the burning house and shot at the Jewish cemetery. “We built the ghetto, they ordered us Poles to come with so many workers with axes and sews. It was a better life with them than it is with Poles today. They didn’t hurt anyone.” Till today the Jewish gravestones pave some segments of the road leading to Grodno.
Duration: 35 minutes
Available on DVD and Blu-ray in English/Yiddish version and in all the regions.