Kunów (Kunow) | Swietokrzyskie Voivodeship

/ The synagogue was located next to the Koga store on      Koscielna street. The building doesn’t exist anymore. © Piotr Malec – Yahad-In Unum Gathering place located at the main square in Kunów. Once gathered here, the Jews were told to leave all their belongings and were taken by       Warszawska street towards the station. © Piotr Malec – Yahad-In Unum Sylwester C., born in 1927: “The Jews from Vienna were wealthy. I know a wealthy Jew was shot here because he was old and physically not able to work.” © Piotr Malec – Yahad-In Unum Domicela D., born in 1930, saw a Jewish woman called Rywcia being shot near the place called Glinnik in 1944. © Piotr Malec – Yahad-In Unum Stanislawa C., born in 1927, saw the 19 year- old Jewish woman being shot. She was from Ostrowiec.  © Piotr Malec – Yahad-In Unum Warszawska, the street by which the column of Jews was taken. The column was followed by the Germans going by car.  © Piotr Malec – Yahad-In Unum Warszawska Street from another angle. © Piotr Malec – Yahad-In Unum Execution site of a Jewish refugee from Vienna. The site is located on the corner of Koscielna and Laczna streets. Apparently, it was a 50-year-old doctor. His body was taken by Jews to the wagons in a train station. © Piotr Malec – Yahad-In Unum “Glinnik”, clay quarry, a place where a 19-years-old Jewish girl Rywcia was shot and buried. The site is located under the hill and now there is a house and a vet clinic. © Piotr Malec – Yahad-In Unum The school building where the Jewish belongings were brought by the requisitioned Poles. © Piotr Malec – Yahad-In Unum Yahad’s team during an interview. © Piotr Malec – Yahad-In Unum

Execution of Jews in Kunów

1 Execution site(s)

Kind of place before:
Clay quarry
Period of occupation:
Number of victims:

Witness interview

Sylwester C., born in 1927, recalls: “The Jews who lived in my house also had to gather on the marketplace under the pretext of further relocation. But one of the old men said they were going to die. They told us goodbye and left. They were completely frightened. They barely said a word: “If we survive! If we survive!” They repeated several times, “If we survive, we will come back here.” (Witness n°1043, interviewed in Kunów on June, 3rd 2019).

Polish Archives

1/ Date and place of execution: Night from May 12 to 13, 1943 on the road next to the bridge of Kunów.

2/ Type of execution: execution.

3/ Data concerning the killed people:

Poles, Jews, foreigners: Poles

How many people were killed: 3

Where were the victims from: locals. [Questionnaire on mass execution and mass grave n°396 (Miejscowosc: Kunów; Gmina: Kunów; Powiat: Opatowski; Wojewodztwo: Kieleckie); IPN: RG-15.019M]

Historical note

Kunów is located on the banks of the Kamienna River, 58km east of Kielce. It was first mentioned between 1325 and 1327. It is believed that the first records about Jewish community go back to the early 17th century. Back then the majority of residents lived off the stone processing industry. In 1929, 496 Jews lived in the village. They were mainly traders and craftsmen. They had a synagogue but they didn’t have a cemetery. The nearest one was located in the town of Ostrowiec, located 9km away. On the eve of WWII, 395 Jews lived in the town.

Holocaust by bullets in figures

Kunów was occupied by Germans on September 8, 1939. By that time some Jews managed to flee to the Soviet-occupied zone, while some refugees from the West arrived in the village. From December 1940 to March 1941 more than 150 Jews were brought to Kunów, including about 100 brought from Vienna. In March 1941, 600 Jews lived in the town.

An opened ghetto was created somewhere in late 1940 or spring 1941. Later it was fenced in. All the Jews fit to work were subjected to perform different kinds of forced labor, like road construction or in the forest. From time to time small groups of young Jews were sent to the nearby labor camps, like the group of 15 Jews who were sent to Bodzechow to work in a quarry. The ghetto was liquidated in late October-early November 1942, when the Jewish inmates were rounded-up at the market place and then marched towards the railway station. They were then deported to the Treblinka death camp. According to the local witnesses the Jews were asked to take the most valuable belongings with them which they were then forced to leave at the market place. These belongings were transported to the school building afterwards. Those Jews who were too sick or old were shot on the spot. During the next weeks Germans continued to look for the Jews in hiding. Yahad-In Unum could find a couple of execution sites, where a Jewish doctor from Vienna and a young Jewish girl from Ostrowiec were killed.

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