1 Execution site(s)
Tadeusz B., born in 1928: “When there was no more Jews in
in Pacanow, Germans organized an auction. There were two German officers, Skorupa and Sturmann who used to come often into the village. We thought Skorupa was Polish because of his name. First, they sold everything from the houses such as furniture for example. Then, they sold the houses. During the auction Germans said: “You are buying Jewish belongings; I wonder who will buy yours one day!” (Witness n°570, interviewed in Pacanów on April 9th 2016).
Pacanów is located 69 km south-east of Kielce. The first record about the Jews who settled down in the town goes back to the 15th century. Back then the majority of Jews lived off small scale trade of clothing, cattle, beer, and wheat. The synagogue and the Jewish cemetery were built in 1748. There was a mikveh and two cheders as well. According to the local residents, the synagogue was destroyed in 1944 during the bombing at the moment of the German retreat. In 1933, 1,902 Jews lived in the town. In 1939, on the eve of the war, 1,850 people out of 5,000 inhabitants in Pacanów were Jewish, making up 37% of the total population
Pacanów was occupied by Germans on September 7, 1939. Immediately after, all Jews fit to work were subjected to perform 10 hours of forced labor, by doing farm work. In the middle of the fall 1939, a Judenrat was created.
In May 1941, the population of Jews rose to 2,600 as a result of the relocation of Jews from nearby villages to Pacanow and other localities; These included Krakow, Warsaw, Plock, Glowno districts. The ghetto was created in April 1942, in the eastern part of the town comprised of 3,000 inmates.
According to the local residents interviewed by Yahad, the ghetto wasn’t closed but was guarded by Jewish police. Polish residents were allowed to enter the ghetto without any restrictions. All the Jews, including children, were marked with armbands bearing the Star of David. In early October 1942, about 240 young Jewish men were sent for forced labor at the Hugo Schneider AG factory located in Skarzysko-Kamienna. The ghetto was liquidated shortly after that in early October 1942 by a special German unit assisted by Ukrainian auxiliaries and Granatowa police. On this day about 3,000 Jewish inmates were rounded-up at the market place and then taken to the railway station in Szczucin, from where they were all deported to the Treblinka death camp. Those who resisted or were found in hiding, as well as ill and weak people, were shot dead on the spot. About 60 Jews were shot in that way. Their bodies were buried at the Jewish cemetery by the requisitioned Poles. Once the Jews were deported, all their belongings were sold out at the auction. Their houses which at the moment of the deportation were sealed and guarded by the Polish firefighters were sold out as well by the German administration.
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