Łagów (Lagow) | Swietokrzyskie Voivodeship

/ The former Rabbi’s house is located on the market square in Łagów. ©Pawel Szupiluk/Yahad - In Unum The former mikveh (ritual bath). The building was enlarged after the war. ©Pawel Szupiluk/Yahad - In Unum The site of the former synagogue. After the war, a cinema operated for a while in the synagogue building. Currently, there is a building materials store and an industrial goods store at the site. ©Pawel Szupiluk/Yahad - In Unum The marketplace, the gatherng site of the Jews before their deportation to Treblinka and an execution site of a Jewish officer from Austria killed on October 7, 1942. ©Pawel Szupiluk/Yahad - In Unum The road that Jews were led out of Łagów on the day of deportation to Treblinka on October 7, 1942. ©Pawel Szupiluk/Yahad - In Unum Henryk D., born in 1931: “At the beginning of the occupation, there was no ghetto as such, but there were signs on some streets that said that Jews could not leave the area. The Poles could still enter the limits.” ©Pawel Szupiluk/Yahad - In Unum Henryk D., born in 1931:   “During the occupation, the Jews were forced to work. I remember in the winter of 1940, they had to clear the roads of snow. They all wore armbands with a yellow star.” ©Pawel Szupiluk/Yahad - In Unum Henryk D., born in 1931: “A Polish family hid two Jews until the end of the war. The Jews were called Weisbrat and Machul, they managed to hide in Nowy Staw. I saw them after the war, they were very pale and weak.” ©Pawel Szupiluk/Yahad - In Unum Henryk D., born in 1931 took the Yahad team to the site where the Jewish cemetery was before the war. Today, the area is completely overgrown with vegetation. ©Pawel Szupiluk/Yahad - In Unum Henryk D., born in 1931: “The Jewish cemetery in Łagów is located on the road to Zareby. The site has been destroyed, during and after the war. All the gravestones and possible cemetery infrastructure were obliterated.” ©Pawel Szupiluk/Yahad - In Unum The former Jewish cemetery, execution site and mass grave of at least four Jews killed by the Germans during the German occupation. ©Pawel Szupiluk/Yahad - In Unum A grave of two Jews killed by the Germans during the gathering before the deportation to Treblinka. At the time, it was a field, today it’s the backyard of a beauty salon. ©Pawel Szupiluk/Yahad - In Unum

Execution of Jews in Łagów

2 Execution site(s)

Kind of place before:
Field (1); Jewish cemetery (2)
Period of occupation:
Number of victims:

Witness interview

Henryk D., born in 1931: “Before the war, the Jews in Łagów were in the minority compared to Christian Poles. Jews were mostly shopkeepers: bakers, kosher butchers, food stores, fabric stores. They were also involved in crafts, many of them were tailors, dressmakers, or shoemakers. In Łagów, there was also a paper industry as well as a flourishing agricultural industry. Some Jews also worked in other professions, such as electricians, for example. They were the ones who installed the electricity in Łagów before the war. The Jews also owned a sawmill in town. There was a synagogue on Iwanowa Street. The Jewish cemetery, which was surrounded by a wall before the war, was located about 200m past Łagów, near the road that leads to Kielce. The front line was near the Jewish cemetery and so it was destroyed during the war. There was a rabbi in town, he had a 13-year-old son, we played together quite often. There was also a mikveh on Słupska Street. When war broke out, the Germans started to persecute the Jews. One day, the Germans started to set Jewish houses on fire. When a young Jewish woman saw that the German had set fire to her house, she put it out, but the German came back and burned the house next door. Eventually, her parents’ store, her house and the other Jewish family’s house were burned down, as well as an important part of the marketplace.” (Witness N°1352P, interviewed in Łagów, on August 23, 2022)

Historical note

Łagów is a village in Świebodzin County, Lubusz Voivodeship, in western Poland. It is the seat of the gmina (administrative district) called Gmina Łagów.[1] It lies approximately 19 kilometres (12 mi) north-west of Świebodzin, 45 km (28 mi) south of Gorzów Wielkopolski, and 46 km (29 mi) north of Zielona Góra. In 1921, there were 1,269 Jews in the Łagów settlement, or 50.2% of the total population. They lived mainly from crafts and trade. In 1933, the Jewish community in Łagów, according to the district office’s assessment, numbered 1,425 people and by 1937, 1,600 people. Prior to the war, the Jewish population in Łagów played an essential role in the town’s economic, cultural, and social life. Jews were involved in various professions and trades, including small businesses, crafts, and agriculture. They owned shops, taverns, and worked as tailors, blacksmiths, and carpenters, contributing to the local economy and providing services to both Jewish and non-Jewish residents. The Jewish community in Łagów had its own religious institutions, including synagogues, prayer houses, and study halls.. In addition to their religious and economic activities, the Jews of Łagów were active in various social and cultural organizations. They established charitable societies to support the needy, cultural associations promoting Jewish arts and literature, and youth organizations that fostered Jewish identity and education.

Holocaust by bullets in figures

 Łagów was occupied by the Germans during the first week of September 1939. At the beginning of the war, Łagów was severely damaged. In anticipation of the German forces’ arrival, a cohort of young Jews made an escape to Eastern Poland, which was then under Soviet occupation. After the Germans entered the city, executions of the Jewish population began; 32 people were shot for killing a German. At that time, the Jewish cemetery near the village was destroyed. Jews were forced to work and ordered to wear the yellow star of David. The Judenrat, established at the end of 1939, had to pay dues to the Germans. The entire Jewish population of the city was forcibly evacuated from their residences and relocated to substandard accommodation in the market area of the town. Initially, the Jews still had some freedom to leave their homes, but in March 1942, the area was sealed off, effectively transforming it into a ghetto. By March, the Łagów ghetto had been completely closed off and surrounded by barbed wire. During the years 1941-1942, approximately 100 Jews from Vienna were captured and held in Opatów and Łagów. In addition, a sizable group of Jews from Radom was transported to Łagów and accommodated in the synagogue. The residents of this confined area experienced severe hunger and deprivation. On October 7, 1942, SS men, accompanied by Ukrainian and Polish police, arrived in Łagów. They forcibly entered homes and rounded up all the Jews, herding them into the yard near the Judenrat building. The sick and elderly were shot, sometimes even in their beds, while many children met the same fate. Some Jewish individuals sought assistance from local farmers, but only a few were willing to help. Many of the hiding Jews were betrayed and denounced to the German occupants. Eventually, about 2,000 Jews from the Łagów ghetto were deported to the German Nazi death camp Treblinka. Amid this mass expulsion from Łagów, the Germans permitted a small number of Jews, possibly only a few dozen, to remain. These individuals were coerced into labor, tasked with collecting and sorting the possessions left behind by the expelled residents, burying the murdered victims, and cleaning the ghetto. However, after some time, they too were tragically sent to the extermination camp.

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