1 Execution site(s)
Emilia C., born in 1936: “The Jews from Gniewczyna were all gathered in Lejba’s house near the church and shot. When the Germans arrived in the village, they gathered the Jews in a building, but the Poles helped them. Then they came to our house and ordered my father and the neighbor to dig a pit behind Lejba’s house. Then they took the Jews outside one by one. The pit has already been dug. They shot the Jews from the front and the Jews fell directly into the pit. The last Jew to come out was called Lejba. My father had to wait near the execution site and cover the pit after the shooting. I was not far away, watching from a distance, I was afraid that they would kill my father too. I heard the gunshots and saw the silhouettes of the Jews marching one by one to the pit. The victims included men, women and children. Some of them used to go to school with me (…)” (Witness N°1376P, interviewed in Gniewczyna Łańcucka, on September 21, 2022)
"Gniewczyna Tryniecka, gmina Tryncza, 1942:
The gendarmes from Jarosław killed 16 Jews in the house of Lejb Trinczer. 14 names have been identified: Adler Gitla 38yo, Adler Jozef 12 yo, Adler Nuchem 8yo, Adler Szymche 43yo, Adler Urszula 10yo, four persons from, Majer family (wife, husband and two children), Sandman Kalka 3yo, Sandman Leizor 1yo, Trinczer Scheindla 30yo, Trinczer Leib 31 yo, Triczer Leizor 1yo.[Register of places and facts of crimes committed by the Nazi occupant on Polish lands in 1939-1945; Przemysl province]
Gniewczyna is, in terms of location, one village divided administratively into two: Lańcucka and Tryniecka. They belong to the municipality of Tryńcza, Przeworsk county, Subcarpathian region. At the outbreak of the war, the village had a total population of 2,557, including a small Jewish minority (3% of the population), a total of about ten families. Jews from both villages were mainly involved in trade and craft. The most known Jewish man from the local Jewish community was Lejba Trynczer. He owned a house near the catholic church and a small shop in the village. Jan J., born in 1935, recalls that a Jew named Symcha Adler owned a shop in Sieniawa, located about 10 km from Gniewczyna Łańcucka. There was no synagogue or house of prayer in the village so the Jews would gather in the house of Szymche Adler every Saturday to celebrate the Shabbat.
German troops entered the city on September 10, 1939, and by September 17, the Russians had occupied areas on the east bank of the San River. On September 27, 1939, the German Special 3 Operational Detachment of the Security Service (Sicherheitsdienst - SD) expelled the remaining Jews in the town. The Jews were forcibly moved across the San River and into the Soviet occupation zone in a cruel and inhumane manner. Hasselberg’s commando, in collaboration with the Wehrmacht, was responsible for driving over 21,000 Jews from the entire border areas beyond the San River. Gniewczyna was abandoned by some of its Jewish residents, with the most incumbent, settled families - the Adlers, the Trynczers, Sandmans, Birenbachs, Russes and individuals from other families - remaining behind. At the beginning of the German occupation, the Jews from Gniewczyna Łańcucka and Gniewczyna Tryniecka could continue trading and living in their houses. However, according to Jan J., born in 1935, the day came when the Jewish families still living in Gniewczyna had to leave their own houses, seek refuge with trusted Jewish or non-Jewish neighbors. It was rise in looting of Jewish properties by local hooligans which became increasingly oppressive that prompted Jewish families to arrange hiding places with trusted people - in the barn, stable, barn, in the attic, in the basement, rarely in the house, among people. In fall of 1942, most probably in November, a group of approximately ten Polish individuals, including a few members of the Volunteer Fire Department, who were also part of the "night guards" formed by order of the occupation authorities, organized a raid on Jews hiding in Gniewczyn Lańcucka. In total, they captured 11 people, including men, women, and children. They were all taken to a house near the church, called “Lejbówka” (from the name of its owners, Lejb and Szeindla Trynczer) and locked inside. The captors tortured the Jews, attempting to extract any valuable possessions they may have had. The women were also subjected to sexual assault. After the captured persons revealed the information, the firefighters went to the indicated addresses and took the money, jewellery and clothing left behind.
The next day, four gendarmes from Jarosław were alerted to the situation and arrived on the scene. A villager had dug a pit in the courtyard of the Trynczer’s house. The Jews were forced out of the house, and the gendarmes shot them one by one. According to Yahad witnesses, Polish hooligans might have participated in the shooting. The bodies of 18 Jewish victims killed in Gniewczyna Łańcucka were buried in the pit dug by the two villagers. After the liberation, they were exhumed and transferred to the war cemetery in Jagiełło-Niechciałka. A monument stands there today in memory of the Jewish victims murdered during this pogrom. The only survivor was the Adlers’ daughter, Fela Adler, who was hiding in the buildings of Zofia Ryfa, and managed to leave on so-called Aryan papers for forced labor in Germany. Until the end of the occupation, the murders of Jews in hiding took place in Gniewczyn Lańcucka and other towns in the district. It is estimated that 30 people seeking refuge from the Holocaust were murdered in Gniewczyn Łańcucka and nearby villages during the war. Because of these murder committed by Poles on their Jewish neighbors, the village of Gniewczyna Łańcucka is often called “little Jedwabne”.
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