1 Execution site(s)
Teresa M., born in 1934: “One day, the Germans poured over the petrol on a watermill and set it on fire while there were five people inside. They were Jews and Poles from other villages. They were just passing by and caught by Germans. One child was trying to run away but he got caught and locked up inside. When the Germans left, I went to the mill and saw the bodies. Later, the bodies were buried at the Maciejowice cemetery.” (Witness n° 684, interviewed in Podzamcze, on June 8, 2017).
Podzamcze is a village located 72 km southeast of Warsaw. According to the witnesses, there were only two Jewish families in the village. The majority of Jews lived in the nearing town of Maciejowice. The first record about the Jewish community goes back to the early 19th century. According to the 1897 census 1,027 Jews lived in the town. After World War I, this number decreased up to 739. The majority of Jews lived off handcraft and trade. Many Jews came to Podzamcze to sell their goods. Some Jews worked on leather and flour factories. On the eve of the German occupation, there were about 1,000 Jews in Maciejowice.
Germans occupied Maciejowice and Podzamcze on September 17, 1939. Little is known about the execution of Jews in Podzamcze. According to the witnesses interviewed by Yahad, they were not local Jews who were executed there. Some say they were the Jews from Maciejowice who stayed in hiding but were found. Before the shooting, the Jews were all gathered in a former stable which remained guarded for two weeks. Under threat of being shot, it was forbid to approach the stable. Two weeks later the Jews were killed. The execution took place in the fall of 1943 near the forest and former palace of Zamoyski family, behind the ponds. The palace was a place where the Jews were forced to perform labor. The Jews who were in hiding joined the workers in the palace in the hope of survival. But, the Germans sorted the “legal” Jews from those who had joined the group. The executers were the Gendarmes from Sobolew. The pit was dug on purpose by the Jews themselves, according to a witness interviewed by Yahad who saw them walking with shovels. The bodies were put one above another and covered with a lime. According to the memorial, 53 Jews were shot. However, according to the local testimonies recorded by Yahad the number of victims might be more important. The remaining Jews from Maciejowice were dispalced to the ghetto in Łaskarzew created in November 1941 and liquidated one year later.
For more information about the execution in Łaskarzew please follow the corresponding profile
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