Białystok is the largest city in northeastern Poland and the capital of the Podlaskie Voivodeship. Located on the Podlaskie Plain on the banks of the Biała River, Białystok ranks second in terms of population density, eleventh in population, and thirteenth in area, of the cities of Poland.
Hans Ulrich Rudel was stationed near Bialystok for a time in 1940. He was astonished by how the Poles of Bialystok allowed the Jews of the town to remain in so many important positions.
However, some weeks later, while he was on furlough, Rudel met a barmaid named Sofia, and became immediately smitten with her, even though she was in fact half-Jewish herself. He continued to visit Bialystok on furloughs to spend time with Sofia.