Gowarczów | Swietokrzyskie Voivodeship

/ The place where the synagogue was located. Today, there is a bank at the site. ©Pawel Szupiluk/Yahad - In Unum The gathering place of the Jews before the deportation from the Końskie train station. ©Pawel Szupiluk/Yahad - In Unum The route that the Jews had to take to get to Końskie on the day of their deportation from Gowarczów. ©Pawel Szupiluk/Yahad - In Unum Helena T., born in 1928: “There were many Jews here before, there was even a rabbi. He had a beard and six children.” ©Pawel Szupiluk/Yahad - In Unum Karol S., born in 1934:   “The relations between Jews and Poles were different. Some were friends, others did not like each other much.” ©Pawel Szupiluk/Yahad - In Unum Karol S., born in 1934:   “During the occupation, Jews were often forced to work. The Germans would go to the soltys and ask for labor. There were about 30 Jews who worked on the construction of the bridge.” ©Pawel Szupiluk/Yahad - In Unum Helena T., born in 1928: “The Jews were deported in November. I saw the gathering while I was going to work. They were sitting on the marketplace, silently. They had some belongings with them.” ©Pawel Szupiluk/Yahad - In Unum Karol S., born in 1934:   “During the German occuaption, the Jews were rounded up and taken to Końskie. They were on foot and the Germans on bicycles. There were more than 200 Jews and maximum 5-6 Germans watching over them.” ©Pawel Szupiluk/Yahad - In Un Helena T., born in 1928: “The column of Jews column was long, they walked 4 by 4. The "sołtys" of the village had to requisition villagers who had horse-drawn carts to handle the deportation of the Jews.” ©Pawel Szupiluk/Yahad - In Unum Karol S., born in 1934:  "9 Jews hid in a cellar of a house. They were denounced. One of them was shot by a German. The remaining 8 Jews were taken to Końskie. I assume that they were killed and buried in the Jewish cemetery there."©Pawel Szupiluk/Yahad Helena T., born in 1928: “I saw a Jew on my street, I recognized him walking in the column. He suddenly fell. He was crying but the Germans took him and killed him. He was buried in the Jewish cemetery.” ©Pawel Szupiluk/Yahad - In Unum Helena T., born in 1928:” “After the deportation of Jews, their belongings were sold on an auction. The tombstones from the Jewish cemetery were stolen because they were expensive. The synagogue was sold after the war.” ©Pawel Szupiluk/Yahad - In Unum The former Jewish cemetery, where bodies of several Jews killed in Gowarczów during the occupation and the deportation were buried. The place remains without any memorial. There is no tombstone left. ©Pawel Szupiluk/Yahad - In Unum

Execution of Jews in Gowarczów

1 Execution site(s)

Kind of place before:
Jewish cemetery
Period of occupation:
Number of victims:
At least 9

Witness interview

Karol S., born in 1934: “Before the war, almost a half of the village’s population was Jewish. Most of the Jews lived near the marketplace, but in other parts of the village as well. My brother had a Jewish friend called Franek. He came to our house to play. The young Jew’s parents were shopkeepers. The Jews had stores, and one family had a store where you could buy herring. There was also a Jew who was a dyer. The Jews were very good merchants and bought everything they could. There was a lot of wool at that time, so the Jews wove wool, while a Polish women crocheted. There was a Jewish cemetery where everything was written in Hebrew and a mikveh by the river. There was a stone synagogue in the marketplace, which was only accessible to men. There was a rabbi in Gowarczów who had many children. Where the bank is now, there was a Jewish school. Before the occupation, Jewish and Polish children went to school together. When the Polish school was burned down, my future wife went to the Jewish school because there was no school for the Poles. The Jews spoke in Polish but also in their own Jewish language. The Poles were not always nice to the Jews, but some were good friends.” (Witness N°1342P, interviewed in Gowarczów, on August 19, 2022)

Historical note

Gowarczów is a village in Końskie County, Świętokrzyskie Voivodeship, in south-central Poland. It is the seat of the administrative district of Gmina Gowarczów. It lies in historic Lesser Poland, approximately 9 km (6 mi) north of Końskie and 46 km (29 mi) north of the regional capital Kielce. In the Middle Ages, the local Jewish community was one of the largest in Malopolska. In the 17th century it had a synagogue, a cheder, a mikvah and a cemetery located on the road to Rogówek. According to the 1921 census, 508 Jews lived in the village, making up 34% of the total population.. Jews had lived in the village for centuries and played an essential role in its economic and cultural life. They worked as traders, craftsmen, and artisans, and their contribution to the town’s development was significant. According to Yahad witness Helena T., born in 1928, before the war there were no Polish stores, all the stores were Jewish. There was a brick synagogue on the market square, as well as a Jewish school. But according to Karol S., born in 1934, Jewish and non-Jewish children went to the same school. During the German occupation, the local community grew from 450 people in 1939 to about 1,000 in 1942 due to the influx of refugees from other localities.


Holocaust by bullets in figures

German troops occupied Gowarczów in September 1939. They settled in Końskie, about 10 km from Gowarczów. At the beginning of the war, Jews could still work but could not leave the village. They had to wear armbands bearing a yellow Star of David. They were also subjected to the forced labor, like bridge construction on the nearby river. Thanks to the Yahad investigation in Gowarczów, our team managed to learn about the deportation of the local Jewish community in November 1942. During this Aktion, the Germans arrived from Końskie in cars looking for the Jews. All the streets were blocked so that no one could run away. Every local fireman was requisitioned that day. They went into Jewish homes, told the Jews to take what they could and took them to the market square for the round-up. The Germans had rounded up the Jews from other villages one or two weeks before. The Jews from these villages moved into the homes of Jews from Gowarczów where they lived until the general round-up. At the gathering point, children, women and the elderly were separated from the men. From the market square, the selected Jews were brought on foot and on requisitioned carts, mainly elderly Jews, and children, to Końskie. According to Yahad witness Helena T., born in 1928, Jews from the column who refused to or could not walk were shot on the spot. Others were taken to the train station in Końskie, from where they were deported to the Treblinka extermination camp on November 3, 1942. Jews who managed to hide and avoid the deportation were hunted down by the Germans and their collaborators and killed.

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