Augustów is a town in north-eastern Poland
with around 30,000 inhabitants. It lies on the Netta River and the Augustów
The town was first mentioned in 1496 and was
granted city rights by King Sigismund II in 1557. Until 1569 Augustów belonged
to the Grand Duchy of Lithuania when the Real union called Union of Lublin was
signed between Poland, Grand Duchy of Lithuania and Royal Prussia. As a result,
the town became a part of the Kingdom of Poland, while its cemetery was left in
the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. Tatar invaders destroyed Augustów in 1656, and
the second half of the 17th century saw the town afflicted by plague.
In 1795 Prussia annexed Augustów. In 1807 it
became part of the Duchy of Warsaw, followed by incorporation into the Kingdom
of Poland in 1815. It was made a county seat in 1842. The first railway
connection reached Augustów in 1899.
From 1939 to 1941, Soviet troops occupied the
town. Many inhabitants were sent to exile in Kazachstan, from where some were
able to return after 6 years. The Nazi German forces occupied Augustów until
1944. World War II brought destruction of about 70% of the town and death or
departure of most of its residents, amongst them a community of several
thousand Jews who were imprisoned in the ghetto situated between the canal and
the river. The Germans executed practically all of them before they left
In 1970 Augustów became officially recognized
as a health and relaxation resort.