1 Execution site(s)
Krystyna L., born in 1928, recalls: “I don’t know if the corpses of the victims were exhumed or not. Anyway, after so many years, nothing must be left from them. I don’t know if they were burnt or not because Poles didn’t have the right to go to the forest. It was announced by Germans through a loudspeaker.” (Witness n°647, interviewed in Białuty on November 21st, 2016).
"1/ Date and place of execution: from October 1939 to 1944. The Zwiarskiego forest, located to the right of the road in the direction of Nibork.
2/ Type of execution: shooting.
3/ Data concerning killed people:
Poles, Jews, foreigners: Poles, Jews and foreigners.
How many people were killed: nearly 1,000.
Where did the victims come from: Poland, France and Belgium. They were sent to the camp of Dzialdowo and then taken to the execution place.
6/ Are the name of the perpetrators known: the commandant Krauze, Dembski, Lenerth, Falk, Wilczynski." [Questionnaire on mass executions and mass graves, n°122. (Miejscowosc : Dzialdowo – miasto ; Powiat : Dizaldowo ; Wojewodztwo : warszawskie); RG15-019M]
Białuty is located 75 km south of Olsztyn, the region’s capital. As far as it is known, no Jews lived in the town prior to WWII. Five Jewish families lived in the nearby town of Działdowo, located 18 km west of Białuty. All five families were traders and owned small shops. According to the local residents, Polish and Jewish children went to the same school. There was no synagogue, but there was a Jewish cemetery.
Białuty was occupied by Germans during the first days of September 1939. During autumn 1939, the Nazis created a transit camp in Dzialdowo, known as Soldau camp, where about 30,000 people – Poles, Jews, and Soviet prisoners of war - were gathered. The Polish intelligentsia, priests and political prisoners were secretly executed there, in addition 1,558 patients from all the psychiatric hospitals in the district. They were executed in the forest close to the village of Białuty. In all, according to some sources, about12,000 prisoners, including 1,500 Jews from the Soldau camp were executed in the Białuty forest. Besides the forest many victims were shot at the Jewish cemetery of Dzialdowo or in villages of Komornik and Bursza. The camp existed until January 17th, 1945. Before the liberation of the camp with the goal of destroying the evidences of the crime, the Nazis proceeded to the Operation 1005, when the bodies were exhumed and burned.
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