4 Execution site(s)
Czeslaw Z., born in 1929, recalls: “It was on August 15, 1942, when two trucks full of people arrived at my neighbor’s field. I was on a hill near our house. Two pits were dug. The people who dug had been brought in covered trucks. The victims were forced to undress before being shot. All those poor people were shot. At the end of the shooting, two men went down inside the pit in order to arrange the corpses. My neighbor wanted to see what was happening, but was caught by the Germans and almost shot.”(Witness n°761, interviewed in Kazimierzówka, on October 11, 2017).
- A monument at the place of the pits. There are still ashes and human bones in the pits.
-Historical data: The Germans started the construction of Majdanek in 1941 and its enlargement in 1942. They started to bring already murdered victims from Majdanek to the Krępiec forest in 1941 in order to burn the bodies because there was no crematorium in Majdanek. Then, transports full of savagely murdered people were also taken to the forest. Their bodies were cremated. Some people were buried alive in the mass graves.
Altogether, 30,000 people of different nationalities were murdered in the Krępiec forest.
[Deposition of Deposition of ZHP – Polish Scouting and Guiding Association, 25 people of Janek Drozicki team. Information sources: eyewitnesses (elderly people) from Kazimierzówka and Kalinowka; IPN: GK 195/VIII/12]
Krępiec is a village located about 14 km southeast of Lublin. There were no Jews who lived in the town before the war. The forest located near the village is known as an execution site of the Jews from the Lublin region.
The first executions in the forest started in May 1940. According to Yahad’s witness who saw the column coming from Lublin, the Jews were escorted to the execution site on foot. They were told they were going to perform labor in Wierzchowiska. When the column reached the Krępiec forest, the Germans took the Jews inside the forest and murdered them in pits. According to the local witness the execution lasted for three days. As a result of the ghetto liquidation located in Majdan Tatarski, district of Lublin, in April 1942, the remaining 2,500 Jewish inmates were first transferred to the Majdanek extermination camp and then taken to the Krępiec forest where they were shot to death. Yahad’s witnesses report that the victims were brought to the forest by truck. Sometimes, the trucks were full of already dead people. In summer and autumn 1942, hundreds of Polish, Czechoslovak and German Jews who had typhus were murdered in the same forest. Starting from late 1942 through early 1943, the crematorium in Majdanek could not handle the amount of the bodies gassed in the camp, so the Germans started to transport the bodies to the Krepięc forest to burn them there. The bodies were unloaded and piled by the Soviet prisoners who were killed afterwards as well. The so called Operation 1005 lasted until autumn 1943. The exact number of Jewish victims is unknown. Altogether approximately 30,000 people of different nationalities, including Jews, Poles and Soviet prisoners of war were killed and burned in the Krępiec forest during the German occupation.
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