Navahrudak (in Polish Nowogródek) is one of the largest cities in western Belarus (Hrodna Voblast). The town was founded in the 12thg century and was part of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania until the partitions of Poland.
In the late 19th century Navahrudak had 12,000 inhabitants, including 8,000 Jews, more than 2,000 Poles, and more than 1,000 Tartars. After World War I and the Polish-Soviet War Nowogródek was the smallest voivodship town in the Second Polish Republic, but, as matter of fact, it maintained its character of a small provincial town. Władysław Raczkiewicz, the later president of the Polish Government-in-Exile was the first Voivode of Nowogródek Voivodship (1921–24). The town which had some 10,000 inhabitants then was dominated by Jews who accounted for 50 percent of its population. Poles accounted for 25 percent of the town’s population, Byelorussians for 20 percent, and Tartars and representatives of other nationalities for the remaining 5 percent. After the outbreak of World War II and the Soviet aggression on Poland the town got under the Soviet occupation. On 6 July 1941, Nowogródek was occupied by German troops. The Polish resistance movement developed in the town. In mid-December 1943, Nowogródek District was separated from the Home Army Białystok District with the district authorities headquartered in Lida, where the Delegates of the Polish Government to the Nowogródek Voivodship resided. After World War II Navahrudak was incorporated into the USSR. At present, it is one of the largest Polish centres in Belarus next to Hrodna. Poles who were not covered by the post-war repatriation and their descendants are the largest ethnic minority in the city.