Nominated for 2020 POLIN Award: Mirosław Reczko
Mirosław Reczko, a graduate in history and English philology, is passionate about the history of the Ciechanowiec region. He served three terms as Mayor of Ciechanowiec; currently, he holds the post of the Chancellor of Białystok University of Technology. For over a dozen years now he has been devoted to restoring the memory of the Jewish residents of the Białystok region, through both academic studies and preservation of the material heritage of the local Jewish community.
Mirosław Reczko was the prime mover behind renovating the Jewish cemetery in Ciechanowiec as well as reconstructing and renovating the two synagogues in the town which now house, respectively, a community centre and a library. He collected and made public documents on the Jewish community of Ciechanowiec; they provided the basis for the first doctoral thesis in Poland devoted to Polish-Jewish relations within a single region titled: “Polish-Jewish relations in Ciechanowiec and the vicinity during the Second World War” which was later published as a book.
As a social activist, he has been involved in translating into Polish the memorial books of Ciechanowiec, Jedwabne and Zambrów. The Memorial Book of the Jewish Community of Stawiska, which he translated himself, was published by the ŁTN in Łomża. Mirosław Reczko has wide contacts with the Jewish circles in Israel, the United States and Australia, helping them locate documents; he is also actively involved in tidying up Jewish cemeteries in Krynki and in Białystok.
Working in his hometown of Ciechanowiec as well as in other towns in the region, such as Białystok, Łomża, Stawiski, Krynki or Goniądz, Mirosław Reczko remains a source of inspiration for the local communities, which he unstintingly supports in their efforts to preserve the heritage and to restore the memory of the history of local Jewish communities.