Bodzentyn | Swietokryskie Voivodeship

Market place in Bodzentyn. © Virtual Sztetl / The street where the Jewish houses used to be located. Some of them remain until today. © Piotr Malec – Yahad-In Unum Pacification place located on 3 Maja Street. 39 Poles were executed there on July 1st 1943. The bodies were exhumed after the war. © Piotr Malec – Yahad-In Unum Roman P., born in 1929, said there was no mass execution of Jews, but many of them were shot individually on the street.  © Piotr Malec – Yahad-In Unum Piotr H., born in 1937, said Jews could still sell things at the beginning of the occupation.  © Piotr Malec – Yahad-In Unum Roman P., born in 1937. According to him, Jews had to work in Skarzysko in the ammunition factory. They only came back for the      weekend. © Piotr Malec – Yahad-In Unum Execution site of a dozen Jews who were shot next to the synagogue which no longer       exists today. Apparently, the bones were exhumed after the war and buried at the Jewish cemetery. © Piotr Malec – Yahad-In Unum Execution site of one Jewish woman. It is located on Pilsudski street. The site is now surrounded by houses. © Piotr Malec – Yahad-In Unum The Jewish cemetery today.  It was destroyed under the occupation as Germans used the tombstones to build roads. © Piotr Malec – Yahad-In Unum Execution site situated at the Jewish cemetery. © Piotr Malec – Yahad-In Unum Yahad’s team during an interview. © Piotr Malec – Yahad-In Unum

Execution of Jews in Bodzentyn

3 Execution site(s)

Kind of place before :
Near the synagogue(1,2); Jewish cemetery (3)
Memorials :
Yes
Period of occupation:
1939-1944
Number of victims :
Several dozens

Witness interview

Roman P., born in 1929, recalls: “There was no mass execution of Jews here, but there were many isolated shootings; the Jews were killed on the streets. They stood in hiding being afraid of Germans. I saw one Jewish woman being killed on that street. That’s why they were afraid to get out in the street. Afterwards, they were all deported.” (Witness n°1036, interviewed in Bodzentyn on May, 31st 2019)

Polish Archives

"1/ Date and place of the execution: 1943, next to the synagogue in Bodzentyn.

2/ Type of execution: shooting.

3/ Data concerning the killed people: local Jews and Jews from other towns brought here. About 39 people.

5/ Who conducted the execution: gendarmes from Bieliny. " [Questionnaire on mass executions and mass graves n°233 (Miejscowosc: Bodzentyn; Gmina: Bodzentyn; Powiat: Kielce; Wojewodtzwo: Kielce). RG-15.019M]

Historical note

Bodzentyn is located 29km north-east of Kielce. The first records about the Jews go back to the second half of the 19th century. Jews were mainly craftsmen. They had a synagogue and their own cemetery. On the eve of WWII, 1,000 Jews lived in Bodzentyn making up the third of the total population. 

Holocaust by bullets in figures

Bodzentyn was occupied by Germans in September 1939. Straight after the occupation, many refugees arrived or were forcibly displaced to Bodzentyn from such areas as Lodz, Kielce, and Plock. By the end of June 1941, 3,700 Jews remained in the town according to the registration document. Due to overcrowding and bad living conditions, a typhus epidemic broke out at the end of 1941 taking many victims. Starting from 1942, according to a historian Martin Dean it was in Mid-March 1942, an opened ghetto was created. In May 1942 several groups of young Jews fit to work were taken to the Skarzysko-Kamienna labor camp. On July 3-4 1942, a synagogue with several dozen deportees was burned down. The remaining Jews from the ghetto were gathered and deported to Suchedniow; from there they were sent to the death camp in Treblinka where they were gassed soon afterwards. In 1943 about 39 Jews were shot near the synagogue. After the war, their bodies were exhumed and buried at the Jewish cemetery.

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