Nowogródek Voivodeship (1919-1939)


Nowogródek Voivodeship (1919-1939)

Nowogródek Voivodeship ( _pl. województwo nowogródzkie, _be. Навагрудзкае вайводзтва) was a unit of administrative division of the Second Polish Republic between 1919 and 1939, with the capital in the town of Nowogrodek (now Navahrudak, Belarus). It ceased to exist in September 1939, following German and Soviet aggression on Poland (see: Invasion of Poland).

Population

In the years 1919-1939 it consisted of 8 powiats (counties), 8 towns and only 89 villages. In 1921 was inhabited by 800 761 people, and the population density was only 35.3 persons per sq. km. In 1931 population rose to 1 057 000. Around 54% of population was Polish, 38% - Belarusians, Jews (mainly in towns) - made around 7%.

Location and area

Voivodeship’s area was 22 966 square kilometers. It was located in north-eastern part of the country, bordering Soviet Union to the east, Białystok Voivodeship (1919-1939) to the west, Polesie Voivodeship to the south and Wilno Voivodeship to the north. Landscape was flat, forested, with the Neman as main river.

Cities and counties

The historical town of Nowogrodek was the smallest of all voivodeship’s capitals in Poland, with population of almost 10 000 (as for 1939). Area’s biggest town was a key railroad junction of Baranowicze, which was in the 1930s quickly growing, reaching in 1931 the population of almost 23 000. Other important centers of the voivodeship were: Lida (in 1931 pop. 20 000), Slonim (pop. 16 000), and Nieswiez (pop. 8 000).

Counties:

* "Baranowicze county" (area 3298 km², pop. in 1931 - 161,100),

* "Lida county" (area 4258 km², pop in 1931 - 183,500),

* "Nieswiez county" (area 1968 km², pop. in 1931 - 114,500),

* "Nowogrodek county" (area 2930 km², pop. in 1931 - 149,500),

* "Slonim county" (area 3069 km², pop. in 1931 - 126,500),

* "Stolpce county" (area 2371 km², pop. in 1931 - 99,400),

* "Szczuczyn county" (area 2273 km², pop. in 1931 - 107,200),

* "Wolozyn county" (area 2799 km², pop. in 1931 - 115,500),

Railroads and industry

Nowogrodek Voivodeship was located in the so-called Poland “B”, which meant that it was underdeveloped, with non-existing industry and it should be more accurate to call it Poland “C”. Large part of population was poor, with high level of illiteracy and low level of agricultural production. Railroad network was scarce (total length was only 713 kilometers, or 3.1 per 100 km²), with only two junctions - at Baranowicze and Lida. Nowogrodek itself was not located on any main rail connections, it was reachable only by slow, narrow-gauge track.

Voivodes

*Czesław Krupski June 1921 – 17 October 1921 (acting)
*Władysław Raczkiewicz 17 October 1921 – 29 August 1924
*Marian Żegota-Januszajtis 29 August 1924 – 24 August 1926
*Vacant 24 Aug 1926 - 24 Sep 1926
*Zygmunt Beczkowicz 24 September 1926 – 20 June 1931
*Wacław Kostek-Biernacki 1 July 1931 – 8 September 1932
*Stefan Świderski 8 September 1932 – 2 December 1935 (acting to 1933)
*Adam Korwin-Sokołowski 17 December 1935 – 17 September 1939

eptember 1939 and its aftermath

On September 17, 1939, following German aggression on Poland and Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, Soviet forces invaded eastern Poland. As bulk of Polish Army was concentrated in the west, fighting Germans, the Soviets met with little resistance and their troops quickly moved westwards, occupying Voivodeship’s area with ease.

After the Polish Defensive War of 1939 the area was occupied by the Soviet Union, and then (after 1941) by Germany. After the World War II the area was annexed by the Soviet union and divided between Lithuanian SSR and Byelorussian SSR.

References

* Maly rocznik statystyczny 1939, Nakladem Glownego Urzedu Statystycznego, Warszawa 1939 (Concise Statistical Year-Book of Poland, Warsaw 1939).

ee also

* Belarus’ current Hrodna Voblast


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