1 Execution site(s)
Aniela K., born in 1924, recalls: “One day, I went to my garden and I saw a group of 24-26 Jews. I didn’t count but I think they were around this number. I asked them: “Where are you going?” They answered that they would cross the San river. But I told them to not cross there because I saw going into that direction. I told them to take another path if not they would have been caught by the Germans. They stayed there waiting for some Jews from Krzeszów and then, they left. They wanted to flee to Bolivia, in the South America” (Witness n°926, interviewed in Krzeszów on November 10, 2018).
“1/ Date and place of execution: November 3rd – 12th, 1942 in the area of Krzeszów and on the road Krzeszów-Bialgoraj and in the grave under the forest Chojnik.
2/ Type of execution: shooting.
3/ Data concerning the killed people:
Poles, Jews, foreigners: Jews
How many people were killed: about 600
Where were the victims from: Jews from Krzeszów, Ulanow, Rudnik, Potok Gorny, Linin and other places.
6/ Are the names of the perpetrators known: From the Gestapo the following names are known: Chief of the Gestapo K., chief deputies I., M. and W.” [Questionnaire on mass executions and mass graves, n°104 (Miejscowosc: Krzeszów, Gmina: Krzeszów, Powiat: Bialogoraj, Wojewodztwo: Lubelskie); RG-15.019M]
Krzeszów is located on the banks of the San river, 56km north-east of Rzeszow. The first records about the Jews in the town go back to the 16th century. However, it was destroyed during the pogroms in 1648-1649 and was only reestablished in the 18th century. By 1867, 650 residents out of 1,093 were Jews comprising more than a half of the total population. Their number decreased after WWI: in 1921 only 281 Jews lived in the town. They had their own cemetery and a synagogue which was burned down. The majority of Jews lived off trade and handcraft. The Zionist movement became rather popular at this period. On the eve of WWII, several hundred Jews lived in the town.
During the outbreak of the Second World War, Krzeszów was occupied by both Germans and Soviets. During this time many Jews managed to flee to the East, while other refugees from western Poland arrived to the town. In all, the Jewish population numbered about 600 people. According to the historical sources about 1,500 Jews, mainly elderly people, women and children, were taken and shot in the forest; while others were taken to the station from where they were deported to the Belzec camp. The aktion was conducted on November 2, 1942, by SS unit who arrived for this purpose form the district center. According to a local witness interviewed by Yahad, some Jews were confined into the prison where they stayed for three or four days, before being taken to the forest to be shot.
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