Klimontów | Swietokrzyskie Voivodship

The water bearer in Klimontow.© http://klimontow.pl/ Klimontow, broken gravestones in the Jewish cemetery with houses of the town in the background.© Yad Vashem Photo archives Synagogue in Klimontow, pre-war picture.© http://klimontow.pl/ Synagogue in Klimontow nowadays. About 30 Jewish women were shot in front of the building during the WWII. © Cristian Monterosso/Yahad-In Unum / Marian K., born in 1933, was a witness of shooting of 10 Jewish men next to the local synagogue. He also knows other execution sites as well as the former ghetto. © Cristian Monterosso/Yahad-In Unum Jozef B., born in 1926, told the YIU team about the execution he witnessed.© Cristian Monterosso/Yahad-In Unum Jozef B., born in 1926, speechless in front of the synagogue in Klimontow, where during WWII Nazis killed a group of 30 Jewish women. © Cristian Monterosso/Yahad-In Unum After the interview, Jozef B. showed our team the execution site he told us about.© Cristian Monterosso/Yahad-In Unum Marian K. told YIU team about the atrocities that he witnessed during the WWII. He also described our team how the ghetto in Klimontow looked like. © Cristian Monterosso/Yahad-In Unum Marian K. showed our team a mass grave of 4 Jewish men killed by the Nazis after the deportation of the Jews from Klimontow. © Cristian Monterosso/Yahad-In Unum

Execution of Jews in Klimontow

2 Execution site(s)

Kind of place before:
Square in front of the synagogue
Period of occupation:
Number of victims:
Around 100

Witness interview

Marian K., born in 1933, recalls : “In Klimontow there were a lot of Jews living before the war. They were mainly traders and craftsmen. When the German occupation began, the ghetto was set up in Klimontow. In the ghetto, aside from local Jews, there were also Jews from Austria. The ghetto was liquidated in October or November 1942. Jews were first gathered on the market square where several requisitioned carts were waiting for them. Elderly and sick people were put on carts and the rest of the Jews were put in a column and brought on foot to the railway station in Sandomierz. A young Jewish couple wanted to flee in the direction of the Jewish cemetery. They were shot on our property, right behind our barn. I remember this very well, I was about 10 years old at the time.” (Testimony n°574, interviewed in Klimontow on April 11, 2016)

Historical note

Klimontów is a village in Sandomierz County, Świętokrzyskie Voivodeship. The Jews started to settle down in Klimontow in the XVII century. In the 1930s, there were about 3.000 Jews living in Klimontow. They were mainly traders. They owned a few shops, a mill, an oil factory and a sparkling water factory. There was a synagogue and a Jewish cemetery in town. Right next to the synagogue, there was a rabbi house, two cheddars and a mikveh. According to the witnesses interviewed in Klimontow, the local Rabbi, Symche [Gelerguter] was a prominent figure in the town. Jews and Poles would visit him to ask for his advices in daily life. Germans arrived in Klimontow in September 1939.

Holocaust by bullets in figures

In June 1940, they created a ghetto. All the local Jews were placed there, as well as the Jews from neighboring and more distant towns and villages, such as Iwaniska, Radom, Ostrowiec and even from Vienna. In total, there were about 4.000 Jews living in the ghetto. In 1942, several public executions of Jews took place on the local stadium and on the square in front of the synagogue. According to Jozef B.,a witness interviewed in Klimontow, these executions’ main goal was to frighten the Jews in order to make them pay the contributions demanded regularly by the Germans. The victims of these executions were mainly Jewish women from Vienna. Their bodies were buried on the Jewish cemetery, behind the synagogue. The ghetto was liquidated in October 1942. The Jews were brought to Sandomierz railway station. Many of them were shot on the road. Those who survived the march were put in trains and sent to Treblinka extermination camp. Several Jewish policemen were left in town to clean up the ghetto area and to survey the synagogue where the Germans stocked valuables robbed from Jews. After some time, they were all shot behind a barn of one of the villagers.

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