The main difficulty that I encountered was the lack of data concerning Białowieża. This was what I was told in every archive that I went to – first, there are no preserved documents of the Jewish community, second, Białowieża was a town so small that if there would be any informations concerning Jews, they wouldn't be marked in the index. Most of the archives don't have the possibility to search according to the geographic index, and if there any documents about the period before the 1st World War, they are placed in the Belarussian archives. Even though a query in the Grodno archive was prepared for me by a highly specialised archivist, and though I had ordered a second query in the archive itself, there wasn't much that could be found there.

In researching and editing the gathered material the main problems were:

  • a lack of reliable statistical data for Białowieża – the only data available is the one from the 1921 census. The other censuses are incomplete as they either do not involve Białowieża, or give only the number of Orthodox people, or give the data for the whole borough instead of the particular towns (so they sum up the data of several towns and villages);
  • unverified, false information in available research papers concerning key issues – especially the Holocaust. Text: Critical revision of the research papers regarding the Genocide of Jews in Białowieża;
  • at times, contradictory testimonies gathered during the interviews concerning the same events or the same people;
  • the renaming of the villages Stoczek, Zastawa, Podolany, Krzyże for Białowieża, and the alternating use of all of these names;
  • the renaming of streets and their numbering after the War. I wasn't able to match all the old numbering with the new one, which caused difficulties to connect the residences of the families from before the war with the modern buildings. Thanks to the knowledge of the city's inhabitants, I was able to find the buildings where the most important stores were located or where some of the families lived;
  • my lack of familiarity with Hebrew, Yiddish and Russian.