3 Execution site(s)
Adela B., born in 1928: “I woke up one morning, so did my mother. She opened the curtain and she cried out: “Oh my God, what is going on?” I was very curious and I asked my mother what happened. Mom told me “Nothing, do not look!” She went back to work. My curiosity was so strong that once my mother went away, I came closer to the window and opened the curtain. Mom arrived: “What are you doing? Do you want us to be shot?” But I already saw everything. The market place was full of people. There were the men, women holding their children in their arms. They had their bundles which probably contained some food or other belongings. Nazis forced out family by family and proceeded to selection. There was a huge pit next to the synagogue where Jews were brought. Families were placed at the edge of the pit and boom. Nazis shot them. Jews fell in the pit. I did not see that, but the requisitioned people told us.” (Witness n°278, interviewed in Łęczna, on October, 26th 2013).
“List of Nazi crimes in Lublin district during 1942-1943 period according to police officers.
- 7. Łęczna: 12/42, 3 Jews
- 8. Łęczna: 9/43, about 23 Jews
- 9. Łęczna: 9/43, about 50 Jews
- 10. Łęczna, place of the synagogue: 9/43, about 970 Jews of AL Łęczna.” [B162-8805, II 208 AR 264/69]
1.Date and place of the execution: September 1943, place located next to the synagogue, about 900 people, and a pit next to Bozniczcna street, about 70 people.
2.Type of execution: shooting.
3.Data concerning executed victims:
Polish, Jews, foreigner: Jews.
Number of executed people: about 970.
Where do the victims come from: From the local work camp created by Nazi occupation’s regime
Name, age, profession and addresses: impossible to define.
4.What were the victims accused of, or was the execution a retaliation order or other: Occupier’s order to execute Jews.
5.Who did the execution? The Wehrmacht.
6.Are the names of perpetrators known? Give the names: No.
7.Were the corpses burnt? Or destroyed in other manner? Where? Buried just after the execution, in the same place.
8.Where were the corpses buried? Some next to the synagogue, others were buried in the pit next to Bozniczna street, see point 1.
9.Description of the pit/ pits/ dimensions, likely number of victims per pit:
In simple pits, a pit contains about 900 people, the other about 70 people.
[Statement of Julian Czerwinski, 45 year old, inhabitant of Łęczna, from the 15/01/1946, about the execution of Jewish population in 1943 in Łęczna. Questionnaire on mass executions and mass pits; GK 163/14 p. 470]
Łęczna is located 25km north-east of Lublin. The first Jews would have come to Łęczna in 1467, but written sources show their presence only from 1501. The Jewish population settled in the northern part of the town, next to Rynek II. There was a synagogue. During the 17th century, the community increased quickly. The majority of Jews lived off small scaled trade and crafts. There were many tailors, carpenters, and other artisans mong them. During the interwar-period, Łęczna was a little town and more than a half of its population was Jewish. The Jewish parties and organization participated actively in the town’s life. According to Antoni D., born in 1927, Jewish and Polish children went to the same school. In 1935, 1,889 Poles and 2,273 Jews lived in Łęczna.
Nazis occupied the town in September, 1939. From the beginning, they established a cur-few for Jews and Poles. At the end of 1939, all Jews were marked with yellow Stars of David; which later were replaced by armbands. Many anti-Jewish measures were introduced, for instance the access to some shops and services was restricted. Starting from January 1940, the ghettoization process began. A Judenrat composed of twelve memberswas created in January. An unfenced ghetto was established in February 1940, but in 1942, it was closed and fenced in. Young Jews able to work were sent to the work camp, Milejow, for the Milejow- Łęczna road construction. In 1941, a work camp was created in Łęczna and existed until 29th April, 1943. In July 1942, Jews from Slovakia and the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia, were displaced to the ghetto in Łęczna. In all, as of October 1942, 3,000 Jews including some German Jews, were detained in the ghetto. Hundreds died in December 1942, due to the typhus epidemic. The first wave of deportation started in the fall of 1942. Thus, 3,000 inmates, mainly children and elderly people, from the ghetto were sent to the Sobibor extermination camp on October 25, 1942. The remaining Jews were shot on the spot at different locations. In September 1943, 23 Jews were murdered next to Kanalowa street and another 50 next to Lancuchowa street. On October 9, 1943, another 970 Jews were rounded-up and executed next to the synagogue. Today there is a memorial dedicated only for the principal mass execution site, where 970 Jews were murdered.
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