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Koden, Poland
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Last updated: November 23, 2012

 

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Alternate names: Koden Pol, Kodni Yid, Kodnia

51:54:43 N, 23:36:00 E

Before WWI (c. 1900): Russian Empire (Koden, Biala, Siedice)
Between Wars (c. 1930): Poland (Koden, Biala Podlaska, Lublin)
After WWII (c. 1950): Poland (Koden)
Today (c. 2000): Poland (Koden)

The Jewish population c. 1900 was about 600.
Koden is located 
on the Bug River (Poland-Belarus border),
14 miles SSW of Brest-Litovsk, 22 miles ESE of Biala Podlaska.

Map of the location of Koden, Poland

Koden, once a city, now a village, lies on the left bank of the Bug River, in Poland, about 10 miles south of Brzesc and 26 miles from the border town of Terespol (the crossing point to Brzesc and the Belarus Republic).

The town name is pronounced "KAW-dane" by the Polish people and pronounced "KUD-na" by the Jews who once lived there. The city got its name from a battle cry, To den! ("It's the day!"), later corrupted to Koden.

Koden was founded in 1511 by the Sapieha family, famous in Polish history. The village houses a seminary and is known for a painting Our Lady Of Guadelupe (now Our Lady Of Koden), which was pilfered from Rome in the 17th century. In 1864, according to Polish sources, the village was home to 1,588 Christians, 792 "Old Testamentarians" (Jews), 9 brick and 251 wooden houses.

In 1939 there were 541 Jews living in Koden. All were led out of town by the Nazis, and shot. If any managed to get across the border to Russia and escape, no one I have contacted has ever heard from them. The Jewish cemetery is no more. The Nazis used all the tombstones to put on the dirt roads so their tanks could travel easier. What remains is a large empty field (fenced in by the Polish government).

From the records that I have translated, I know a few more facts about the Jews of Koden. Koden was a 'service' community of Brzesc and the surrounding larger cities. Most of the trades were tailoring, furriers, shoemakers, etc. Their records start in 1810 but I have determined that they were living in Koden as early at 1725. They intermarried with the towns of Biala Podlaski, Brzesc, Terespol, Lomazy, Radzyn Podlaski, Miedzyrzec Podlaski, Slawatycze, Wisznice, Wlodawa, Janow Podlaski, Kobrin and Domacheva.

In 1855 the death toll was triple the average. I have no idea if it was the result of disease or a pogram. During the years 1865, 1866 and 1867, very few births, marriages and deaths were recorded. The next few years all the vital records from those years were entered. Whether the reason for this was political turmoil, or war, I don't know. Then in 1873 there was a cholera epidemic that tripled the number deaths in the Jewish community.

Web Page Copyright 2010-12 Joyce Oshrin. All Rights Reserved.
The information on Koden is compiled by
Joyce Oshrin, with thanks to Gary Brzezsowski and Melissa Kaplan for original web design.
Continuing web design is by Vincent Prichard.

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