Busko-Zdrój (Busko) | Swietokrzyskie Voivodeship

Picture of Selma Schwarzwald, a Jewish girl, who lived in hiding in Busko-Zdrój. © USHMM Photo Archives / Site of the former synagogue in Busko-Zdrój. Today it is a shop. © Cristian Monterroso/ Yahad-In Unum. The former Jewish cemetery is today abandoned and the site is to be sold.  © Cristian Monterroso/ Yahad-In Unum. Stanislaw Zenon M., born in 1932, saw several isolated executions of Jews. © Cristian Monterroso/ Yahad-In Unum The former Jewish cemetery where a lot of Jews were buried during the Second World War. © Cristian Monterroso/ Yahad-In Unum.

Execution of Jews in Busko-Zdrój

1 Execution site(s)

Kind of place before:
Jewish cemetery
Period of occupation:
Number of victims:

Witness interview

Stanislaw Zenon M., born in 1932: “One thing is really interesting. The man named Mr Topiol whom I mentioned before was a really wealthy Jew. All the area there belonged to him. Behind there is still a building which is very old. A Jew who lived there was a carpenter. The building still exists. I don’t remember but I think someone bought it. Regarding Mr Topiol, the wealthy man, he was caught by Hans. I don’t know how it happened but Topiol was kind of hiding himself and was arrested. He was very rich. He had two suitcases with gold, rings, and other valuables. Both spoke together, I wasn’t there, people told me that. In all cases, they spoke and Topiol showed him everything saying that if he released him, he would give him all. Hans agreed to release him if he gave him the two suitcases. At the end, Hans took the two suitcases, put the Jew in the car and they went to the Jewish cemetery. “I’m going to release you now. Dig your own pit.” –Hans said. “You vowed as a German officer. Do you have any sense of honor?”- the Jew said. Hans turned around and shot The Jew dead. Someone from the town was requisitioned to bury the body. A German came and ordered to bury him and that’s it.” (Witness n°581, interviewed in Busko-Zdrój on April 14th, 2016).

Polish Archives

1/ Date and place of execution: October 1943 at the Jewish cemetery in Busko.

2/ Type of execution: shooting.

3/ Data concerning the killed people: Poles and Jews

How many people were killed: 3

Where are the victims from: From Busko

Name, age, job, address:

1. Dziurda Ignacy, a clerk

2. Zurkiewicz Helena

3. Dytkowska Zofia

Many other people whose name and origins are unknown.

6/ Are the names of the perpetrators known? : Fischer Friedrich, Hansel Hans, Kühn Bronislaw, Peters, Rückert, Matschke, Siebeneichler-Zielinski, Petraschke. [Court Inquiries about executions and mass graves n°600 (Miejscowosc: Busko-Zdrój; Powiat: Stopnicki; Wojewodztwo: Kieleckie);RG15-001M]

Historical note

Busko-Zdrój is located 48 km south of Kielce, Poland. The first records about the Jewish community go back to the 18th century. Although until 1862 it was forbidden for Jews to settle down in the town, about 30 families lived there illegally. By the 1870s some 374 Jews lived here. They had a wooden synagogue, which was replaced with a brick one in 1929, and a cemetery. The majority of Jews were mainly traders and artisans. The majority of business and small industries, for example, a candy factory, mills, and the printing houses were owned by Jews. In 1921, 1,464 Jews remained in Busko comprising 37% of the total population. In 1939, out of 5,679 inhabitants, 1,300 were Jews.

Holocaust by bullets in figures

Busko-Zdrój was occupied in September, 1939. In March 1940, the town numbered 1,700 Jews including 140-250 refugees. At this time some Jewish men fit to work were sent to the Biala Podlaska labor camp. An opened ghetto was established in Busko in the middle of April 1942. All the local Jews as well as the refugees, 1,500 from Radom and 966 Jews from Plock which had been brought to the town earlier in February, were confined there. The Jewish inmates were subjected to perform different kind of labor. Thus, in summer 1942, 670 men were selected to build the Busko-Wislica road. According to a historian, Adam Rutkowski, prior to liquidation the ghetto numbered about 2,000 inmates. The ghetto was liquidated on October 1st 1942 by a German Gendarmerie.  On this day, all the Jews were rounded-up and taken in the direction of Jedrzejow, located 38 km away.  From there, they were sent to the Treblinka death camp. Dozens of Jews, including those, like Judenrat chairman, Mr Topiol, and those who were found in hiding or were too sick to be taken, as well as children, were shot on the spot. Their bodies were gathered and buried at the Jewish cemeteries.

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