2 Execution site(s)
Władysław O., born in 1921: “When we arrived to the railway station in Szczucin, the square in front of the station had been cordoned off. There were many Jews, including men, women and children. They had their luggage with them. I suppose they had been told that they would be relocated, but in reality, they were all killed. After a while, a train with cargo wagons arrived at the station. The wagons had only a small opening, if not, there were no windows at all. And even this opening was closed with barbed wire. Inside the wagons they put the lime. All the Jews from the square were forced inside the wagons; they were packed there, as there was not enough room. In all, there were around 10 wagons.” (Witness n°558, interviewed in Stopnica, on April, 5th 2016)
1/ Date and place of execution: regarding Poles: March 1943; Regarding Jews: October 1943, in Stopnica.
2/ Type of execution: shooting.
3/ Data concerning killed people: Poles, Jews, foreigners: 6 Poles, about 400 Jews.
Where were the victims from: The people killed came from Stopnica, Wolica and Staszow.
4/ Do we know what the victims were accused of: The Jews: it was a massive deportation. The Poles: they were accused of being partisans.
5/ Who conducted the execution: The G endarmes and the Gestapo did. [Questionnaire on mass executions and mass graves n°629. Miejscowosc: Stopnica, Gmina: Wolica, Powiat: Stopnicki, Wojewodztwo: Kieleckie]
Stopnica is located 60km south-east of Kielce. In 1567, some Jews lived already in Stopnica. The community rose in number and in percentage over time. Jews were mainly traders and craftsmen. They also worked in transportation with their horses. They had a synagogue, located on Sternowska street, according to Wladyslaw O., born in 1921, and their own cemeteries. According to Eugeniusz G., born in 1929, before the war, there were more Jews than Poles. Czselaw G. claims they mainly lived around the market place. On the eve of the war 2,600 Jews lived in Stopnica.
Stopnica was occupied by Germans on September, 8th 1939. Straight after the Jewish quarter and the synagogue were burned down. Starting from January 1940, the Jews fit to work were subjected to perform forced labor: road construction, shoveling the snow or doing different types of work at the crop warehouse. According to the witness interviewed by Yahad-In Unum, all the Jews were marked with armbands bearing the Star of David.
An opened ghetto was created in mid-April 1941. By May 1941, it numbered about 4,600 Jews, including the refugees from Lodz, Krakow, Gabin, Radom and Plock, who had arrived during the first months of 1941. The Jewish inmates were forbidden to leave the ghetto’s territory under the penalty of death. By April 1942, there were 5,300 Jews in Stopnica. Over the winter, many of Jews died due to harsh living conditions and lack of food. In Spring 1942, several Jewish men were displaced to Skarzysko-Kamienna labor camp; there they worked at the factory. During the occupation there were several isolated shootings that happened throughout the town.
The liquidation of the ghetto took place in early November 1942, during which about 400 Jews were killed on the spot, 3,000 were marched to the station in Szczucin to be sent to Treblinka, and another 1,500 Jewswere sent to work camp in Skarzysko-Kamienna. According to the field research carried out by Yahad in the district, on the way from Stopnica to Szczucin, located about 20km, several Jews were shot dead and buried on the spot. The 400 corpses of the Jews shot in Stopnica were gathered and buried at the Jewish cemetery either by the Jews themselves or requisitioned Poles. According to some sources and the Yahad’s research results, afterwards the bodies were dug up and burned in a mobile crematorium by the Germans in order to hide the traces of the crime, an operation known under 1005. The 200 remaining Jewish artisans, who were left on purpose after the liquidation, were either displaced to Sandormierz or Poniatowa in winter or spring 1943. According to the Yahad witness, some of them were taken by cart to Szczucin, from where they were loaded into wagons and most probably taken to Treblinka. They were murdered during one of the last executions along with local remaining Jews in the fall of 1943.
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