Chęciny (Chesiny) | Swietokrzyskie Voivodeship

/ Former Jewish cemetery. © Piotr Malec – Yahad-In Unum Former Jewish cemetery. © Piotr Malec – Yahad-In Unum Former Jewish cemetery. © Piotr Malec – Yahad-In Unum Former Jewish bath. © Piotr Malec/Yahad-In Unum Former street of the ghetto. © Piotr Malec/Yahad-In Unum Former street of the ghetto. © Piotr Malec/Yahad-In Unum Former street of the ghetto. © Piotr Malec/Yahad-In Unum Former Jewish police station. © Piotr Malec/Yahad-In Unum Former Jewish bath. © Piotr Malec/Yahad-In Unum Former building of the synagogue. © Piotr Malec/Yahad-In Unum Tadeusz G., born in 1934, said Jews had to gather in front of the Jewish praying house. From there they were marched to Wolica. © Piotr Malec – Yahad-In Unum Czeslaw S., born in 1935, went to the ghetto in order to play with his Jewish friends. © Piotr Malec – Yahad-In Unum Execution place of the Jewish policemen. We don’t know if the bodies were exhumed and buried or still remain here. © Piotr Malec – Yahad-In Unum Mass grave of Jewish police officers and other Jews, located in the forest. © Piotr Malec – Yahad-In Unum Yahad’s team during an interview. © Piotr Malec/Yahad-In Unum

Execution of Jews in Chęciny

2 Execution site(s)

Kind of place before:
Orchard (1), forest (2)
Period of occupation:
Number of victims:
About 40

Witness interview

Czeslaw S., born in 1935, recalls: “When Jews were deported from the town, Germans took what they wanted to take. Then, they organized an auction and sold to Poles all the belongings left by Jews inside the houses. This auction was conducted by Germans. The auctions were directly organized in the Jewish houses. They sold mainly furniture and objects useful in the everyday life. The prices were fixed by Germans but they weren’t expensive.” (Witness n°1028, interviewed in Chęciny, on May 28th, 2019).

Polish Archives

1/ Date and place of execution: 14.9.1942 in Chęciny.

2/ Type of execution: Shooting.

3/ Data concerning the killed people:

Poles, Jews, foreigners: Jews.

How many people killed: about 40 people.

Where were the victims from: unknown.

5/ Who made the execution: Gendarmes and Gestapo. [Questionnaire on mass executions and mass graves n°251. (Miejscowosc: Chęciny; Gmina: Chęciny; Powiat: Kielce; Wojewodztwo: Kieleckie; RG-15.019M]

Historical note

Chęciny is located 13km south-west of Kielce. Jews settled in the town in the 16th century. They had a synagogue and two prayer houses as well as a cemetery. The community was quite significant during the second half of the 19th century; they made up about 70% of the entire population of the town. They were mainly craftsmen and traders. With over 230 businesses, the majority belonged to the Jews. In 1939, out of 7,459 inhabitants, 3,120 were Jewish comprising 42% of the total population.

Holocaust by bullets in figures

Chęciny was occupied by Germans on September 4, 1939. From 1940 some Jewish belongings were confiscated and their businesses were taken over by non-Jews. The first killings started in the spring 1940, when dozens of Jews were taken to be killed in the forest near Zamkowa Gora.

Starting from April 1941 and until July, all the Jews from the town, as well as the Jews from Jedrzejow, Malogoszcz and Sobkowa, were moved into the closed ghetto. Initially, the ghetto numbered about 3,600 inmates, but in September 1942 it went up to 4,000 due to the arrival of the Jews from Lopuszno. The Poles, who lived in its territory, were forced to move out and settle down in the empty Jewish houses. Due to overcrowding and poor living conditions, typhus broke out several times. The Jews fit to work were forced to perform different kinds of labor, including road constructions, cleaning and others. In April 1942, about 500 Jews were sent to the labor camp in Skarzysko-Kamienna. The ghetto was liquidated on September 12, 1942 by the German gendarmerie. On this day all the Jews were rounded-up at the market place and then taken in the direction of Wolica, located 8km away, from where they were deported to the Treblinka extermination camp. About 40 Jews, mainly sick and those unable to walk, were shot dead on September 14, 1940. Supposedly, according to the local witnesses, the Jewish police members were shot as well at this time. Those who managed to escape were found and were killed in December 1942. 

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