Wola Przybysławska | Lublin Voivodeship

/ Jozef A., born in 1924: “I was requisitioned once to bury Jewish corpses. It was seven Jewish women near a bunker in the forest. There were also two children aged 5-6 and still alive”  © Christian Monterroso  /Yahad-In Unum Jan B., born in 1933:” The soltys’ assistant came to my father and said to take a shovel and go bury the Jews. My father refused saying he couldn’t watch it. So, I had to take a shovel ad go instead of him.”  © Christian Monterroso  /Yahad-In Unum Yahad-In Unum team during an interview in Wola Przybysławska.  © Cristian Monterroso  /Yahad-In Unum Jan B. took our team to the place where the bunker was located.  © Cristian Monterroso  /Yahad-In Unum

Execution of Jews in Wola Przybysławska

1 Execution site(s)

Kind of place before:
Bunker in the Borkowski forest
Number of victims:
About 1,000

Witness interview

Józef A., born in 1924, was requisitioned to bury the bodies: “Many villagers were requisitioned by soltys to bury the Jews who were murdered in the forest. The Jews stayed in hiding there in foxholes for a while but I guess someone denounced them and Germans arrived to take them away, but apparently they were shot dead on the spot. I don’t know how it happened because I didn’t see the shooting, I saw only the bodies. When a soltys came to requisition me he told to take my shovel, but I didn’t even know what I was taken for. Once there, I saw about seven Jewish bodies. There were children among them. ” (Testimony n°773, interviewed in Wola Przybysławska, on October 17, 2017)

Polish Archives

Date and place of execution: – December 2, 1942 and January 20, 1943, in the forest of Wola Przybysławska and in the forest of Garbow.

Type of execution (shooting, hanging or other): shootings, hand grenades, smoke suffocation (caused by burning of a material).

Personal data on the executed victims (Polish, Jews, other nationalities): Jews and three Poles.

Number of executed victims: more than 1,000

Origin of the victims: from local hideouts from different regions of Poland.

Names, age, occupations and addresses: Undetermined. […]

Who lead the execution/ Gendarmes, Gestapo, SS, Wehrmacht? The Gendarmerie, Schulz police and Ukrainian Gendarmerie.

Were the bodies burned or destroyed in any way? All the victims’ corpses were thrown in hideouts and covered with sand.

Where were exactly the bodies buried? The mass graves with corpses can be found everywhere in the Wola Przybysławska forest and in the Garbow forest. Description of the pit/pits/dimensions, number of victims per pit: It is difficult to establish the number of victims and the exact locations of the mass graves. [Deposition of Jan D., Markuszow mayor, IPN: GK 163/16]

Historical note

Wola Przybysławska is a village located about 30 km northwest of Lublin. Very little is known about the prewar Jewish community  who lived in the village. According to the local witnesses interviewed by Yahad-In Unum there were several Jewish families in Wola Przybysławska. They were craftsmen and had their own shops. The nearest synagogue and Jewish cemetery were located in Markuszow, where a bigger Jewish community lived.

Holocaust by bullets in figures

As a result of numerous rounds-up organized by Germans after the occupation, many Jews escaped into the forest and stayed in hiding for about one year or more. They lived in the bunkers or foxholes. The mass execution started from December 1942. Thus, on December 2, 1942, the Germans murdered an unknown number of the Jews hiding in the forest nearby. Another execution was carried out on January 20, 1943.  According to the Polish archives they were more than 1,000 Jews who were murdered in both the Wola Przybysławska and the Garbow forests. The victims ‘bodies were buried in the forest by the requisitioned villagers. Along with Jews several Polish families (19 people in total) were murdered for hiding or helping Jews on December 10, 1942.

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