Brańsk

Coordinates: 52°45′N 22°50′E / 52.750°N 22.833°E / 52.750; 22.833
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Brańsk
Church of the Assumption of Mary in Brańsk
Church of the Assumption of Mary in Brańsk
Coat of arms of Brańsk
Location within Bielsk County
Location within Bielsk County
Brańsk is located in Poland
Brańsk
Brańsk
Coordinates: 52°45′N 22°50′E / 52.750°N 22.833°E / 52.750; 22.833
Country Poland
VoivodeshipPodlaskie
CountyBielsk
GminaBrańsk (urban gmina)
Town rights18 January 1493
Government
 • MayorEugeniusz Tomasz Koczewski
Area
 • Total32.43 km2 (12.52 sq mi)
Population
 (30 June 2021[1])
 • Total3,667
 • Density110/km2 (290/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+1 (CET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+2 (CEST)
Postal code
17-120
Area code+48 085
Car platesBBI
National roads
Voivodeship roads
Websitehttp://www.bransk.podlaskie.pl

Brańsk [braɲsk] (Belarusian: Бранск, Lithuanian: Branskas) is a town in eastern Poland. It is situated within Podlaskie Voivodeship (province).

Etymology[edit]

The name of the town comes from the river Bronka, a nearby tributary of the Nurzec River.

Geography[edit]

Location[edit]

Brańsk is located in the geographical region of Europe known as the Wysoczyzny Podlasko–Białoruskie (English: Podlaskie and Belarus Plateau) and the mesoregion known as the Bielsk Plain (Polish: Równina Bielska). The Nurzec River, a tributary of the Bug River, passes through Brańsk. The town covers an area of 32.43 square kilometres (12.5 sq mi).

It is located approximately:

Climate[edit]

The region has a continental climate characterized by high temperatures during summer and long and frosty winters . The average amount of rainfall during the year exceeds 550 millimetres (21.7 in).

History[edit]

On 23–25 June 1264 the Battle of Brańsk was fought in the town's vicinity. Polish forced led by Duke Boleslaw V the Chaste defeated the forces of Yotvingia led by Komata (Kumata).

On 18 January 1493, Brańsk received a city charter based on Magdeburg rights from the Grand Duke of Lithuania, Alexander Jagiellon. It was the first city in Podlachia to receive such a charter.

Brańsk on a map from 1804

Brańsk was a royal town of Poland, administratively located in the Podlaskie Voivodeship in the Lesser Poland Province of the Polish Crown. In 1795, as a result of the Third Partition of Poland, Brańsk was annexed to the Kingdom of Prussia and administered as a part of the newly formed Białystok Department. In 1807, as a result of the Treaties of Tilsit, Brańsk was annexed to the Russian Empire and administered at first as a part of Belostok Oblast and from 1842 on as a part of Grodno Governorate. The town was reintegrated with Poland, after the country regained independence following World War I in 1918.

World War II[edit]

On September 1, 1939, Germany attacked Poland and started World War II. Within days of the war's beginning, Brańsk suffered German bombardment. On September 17, 1939, the Soviet Union attacked Poland from the east, and in partnership with Nazi Germany, partitioned Poland under the terms of the Nazi-Soviet Non-Aggression Pact of August 23. Brańsk along with all areas of Poland east of the Bug River was then occupied by the Soviet Union. All Polish and Jewish businesses of substance were confiscated by the Communist State. Several Poles from Brańsk were murdered by the Russians in the large Katyn massacre in 1940.[2] The Soviets remained in control of Brańsk until June 1941 when the Germans invaded their erstwhile Soviet allies.

The German Army occupied the town and ordered the Jewish community to build a ghetto surrounded by barbed wire, to which the Jewish population (some 65% of the town) was confined. On November 8, 1942, the Jews of Brańsk were ordered to report to the town center, forced to march to the nearby town of Bielsk, and then transported by train to Treblinka. Within weeks, the vast majority were murdered by gassing at the Treblinka extermination camp.[3][4] Several local Jews were hidden and rescued by Poles (including the local parish priest) in Brańsk and nearby villages.[5] Some hiding places in nearby villages were discovered by the Germans, who then murdered captured Jews.[6] Their Polish rescuers were either also murdered or managed to hide from the Germans until the end of the German occupation.[6]

On August 1, 1944, the town was captured by Soviet forces. On August 4, 1944, the Russians arrested 12 officers of the Polish underground Home Army in Brańsk, after they were deceitfully gathered for a supposed formal meeting with the command of the Soviet 65th Army.[7] The town was soon restored to Poland.

Demographics[edit]

Population[edit]

According to the 1921 census, the village was inhabited by 3,739 people, among whom 1,474 were Roman Catholic, 100 Orthodox, and 2,165 Mosaic.[clarification needed] At the same time, 1,530 inhabitants declared Polish nationality, 32 Belarusian, 2,165 Jewish and 12 Russian. There were 493 residential buildings in the village.[8]

Detailed data as of 30 June 2021:[1]

  Total Women Men
Unit Number % Number % Number %
Population 3,667 100 1,808 49.3 1,859 50.7
Population Density
(persons/km²)
113.1 55.8 57.3

Municipal government[edit]

It is the seat of Gmina Brańsk, but is not part of Gmina Brańsk.

Executive branch[edit]

The chief executive of the government is the Mayor (Polish: Burmistrz).

Legislative branch[edit]

The legislative portion of the government is the Council (Polish: Rada) composed of the President (Polish: Przewodniczšcy), the Vice President (Polish: Wiceprzewodniczšcy) and thirteen councilors.

Neighbouring political subdivisions[edit]

Brańsk is bordered by Gminy Rudka and Brańsk.

Transport[edit]

Roads and highways[edit]

Brańsk is at the intersection of a National Road and a Voivodeship Road:

Streets[edit]

The major streets (Polish: Ulica) in Brańsk are:

  • Rynek
  • Armii Krajowej (National Road DK 66)
  • Bielska
  • Binduga
  • Boćkowska
  • Błonie
  • Jagiellońska
  • Jana Pawła II (Voivodeship Road DW 681)
  • Kapicy Milewskiego
  • Kasztanowa
  • Klonowa
  • Konopnickiej
  • Kościelna
  • Kościuszki (Voivodeship Road DW 681)
  • Mickiewicza
  • Piłsudskiego
  • Poniatowskiego
  • Senatorska
  • Sienkiewicza
  • Skłodowskiej-Curie
  • Szkolna
  • Słowackiego
  • Witosa
  • Wyszyńskiego
  • Ściegiennego

Public transport[edit]

Bus service[edit]

Regular bus service is provided by Państwowa Komunikacja Samochodowa (State Car Communication, PKS) via PKS Bielsk Podlaskie, PKS Białystok and PKS Siemiatycze

Rail service[edit]

The closest passenger train service is provided by Polskie Koleje Państwowe (Polish State Railways, PKP) SA from the following stations:

Economy[edit]

The land-use is as follows:[9]

  • Agricultural use: 66%
  • Forest land: 27%
  • City: 2.34%

Major business[edit]

Local attractions[edit]

Places of worship[edit]

Churches, chapels and shrines in Brańsk (examples)
Church of the Assumption
Saint Simeon church
Blessed Virgin Mary shrine
Saint Scholastica cemetery chapel

Nearby attractions[edit]

Notable people[edit]

Miscellanea[edit]

External links[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Local Data Bank". Statistics Poland. Retrieved 2022-06-02. Data for territorial unit 2003021.
  2. ^ Janusz Bakunowicz. "Drzewka dla tych, co zginęli w Katyniu". Kurier Poranny (in Polish). Retrieved 7 November 2021.
  3. ^ Eva Hoffman. Shtetl: The Life and Death of a Small Town and the World of Polish Jews. Houghton Mifflin, 1997.
  4. ^ Zbigniew Romaniuk. The Story of Two Shtetls: Brańsk and Ejszyszki, Part One. The Polish Educational Foundation in North America, 1998.
  5. ^ Datner, Szymon (1968). Las sprawiedliwych (in Polish). Warszawa: Książka i Wiedza. pp. 55, 58–59, 62.
  6. ^ a b Rejestr faktów represji na obywatelach polskich za pomoc ludności żydowskiej w okresie II wojny światowej (in Polish). Warszawa: IPN. 2014. pp. 363, 370–371, 378.
  7. ^ Zwolski, Marcin (2005). "Deportacje internowanych Polakow z wojewodztwa białostockiego 1944–1945". Pamięć i Sprawiedliwość (in Polish). No. 2 (8). IPN. pp. 91–92. ISSN 1427-7476.
  8. ^ Skorowidz miejscowości Rzeczypospolitej Polskiej: opracowany na podstawie wyników pierwszego powszechnego spisu ludności z dn. 30 września 1921 r. i innych źródeł urzędowych., t. T. 5, województwo białostockie, 1924, s. 14.
  9. ^ "Strona Urzędu Miasta Brańsk - Brańsk Government Website" (in Polish). 2008-06-25. Archived from the original on 2018-11-06. Retrieved 2007-11-30.
  10. ^ "Parafia Wniebowzięcia Nmp w Brańsku" (in Polish). 2008-08-16. Archived from the original on October 22, 2006.
  11. ^ "Dekanat Bielsk Podlaski" (in Polish). 2008-08-16. Archived from the original on 2002-10-28.
  12. ^ "Another Pole added to Righteous among the Nations - Polskie Radio". 2008-06-23.