Osiek | Swietokrzyskie Voivodeship

/ Former synagogue. It was partially destroyed and rebuilt. Today it is a pharmacy.  © Cristian Monterroso/Yahad-In Unum Jan R., born in 1922, saw the Jews being gathered at the market place. He saw an old Jew being killed because he couldn’t walk anymore. © Cristian Monterroso/Yahad-In Unum Jan K., born in 1922, saw some executions during the war.  © Cristian Monterroso/Yahad-In Unum Former Jewish cemetery where the corpses of the Jews killed on the spot during the deportation were buried. There is no mark today that it was a cemetery and there is no memorial for the victims. © Cristian Monterroso/Yahad-In Unum Yahad’s team during an interview. © Cristian Monterroso/Yahad-In Unum

Execution of Jews in Osiek

1 Execution site(s)

Kind of place before:
Jewish cemetery
Period of occupation:
Number of victims:

Witness interview

Jan R., born in 1922, recalls: “There was no ghetto in Osiek. All at once, all the Jews from from Osiek were taken to Staszow where a ghetto existed during a certain time. Then, they were brought to Sandomierz to be finally sent to Auschwitz. Before the deportation all the Jews were forced out of their homes and gathered at the market place. They could only take a few belongings with them. They were marched towards Staszow.”( Witness n°576, interviewed in Osiek on April 12th,2016)

Polish Archives

“1/ Date and place of execution: 1942 – 1943 in different months in the places mentioned before.

2/ Type of execution: Shooting and deportation.

3/ Data concerning the killed people:

Poles, Jews, foreigners: Poles and Jews.

How many people were killed: 277 people were shot; 500 Jews and 8 Poles were deported and those are still not back. They were brought to Auschwitz and they died there.

Where did the victims come from: Strzegon, Pliskowola, Leg, Strzegonem, Osiele, Dzieki, Osieczko. [“Questionnaire on mass executions and mass graves n°577 (Miejscowosc: “Czarny Las” pod Czerwonym Krzyzem “Strzegor, Pliskowola, Leg, Strzegonek, Osiek, Dzieki, Osieczko; Gmina: Osiek; Powiat: Sandomierz; Wojewodztwo: Kieleckie; IPN RG-15.019 Reel #2 part 3]

Historical note

Osiek is located 81km south-east of Kielce. The first records about Jews in the village go back to the second half of the 19th century. The community was quite significant. Thus, in 1933 756 Jews lived in the town.  The majority of Jews were merchants or artisans, like tailors, hatters, shoemakers. There was a synagogue, a mikveh (ritual bath) and a Jewish cemetery. The Jewish community decreased a little due to relocation to bigger cities in the second half of the 1930. On the eve of war 520 Jews lived in the town.

Holocaust by bullets in figures

Osiek was occupied by Germans in September 1939. As a result of the heavy bombings, about 164 Jewish and non-Jewish households were destroyed and burned down. Shortly after the occupation all the Jews were marked with distinguishing badges and those fit to work were subjected to perform forced labor, for instance, clearing the rubble from the bombing destruction. The Jews were also forced to pay contributions.  In August 1941, 481 Jews remained in Osiek, including some 100 deportees mainly from Krakow, but also 25 Jews from Vienna and others from nearing villages. Even though some sources mentioned that there was a ghetto created in Osiek, the local residents didn’t confirm this information. It may be possible that the Jews had been already living on the territory and no other measures, like installing the barbed wire or German patrols, were implemented. In June and July 1942, 277 Poles and Jews who had been previously detained in the prisons of Opatow and Sandormierz were executed in the Czarny Las. Among the victims, there were residents from Osiek. The Jewish community of Osiek was liquidated in October 1942. There is different information about the exact day, some sources state it took place on October 17-18, while others claim it happened on October 25. What we know for sure as a result of the field research is that on this day the remaining Osiek Jews were rounded up at the market place and marched to Staszow where they were first confined into the ghetto but after were deported to the Treblinka camp along with the local and Polaniec Jews. Those Jews who were found in hiding or tried to resist as well as elderly and sick people were shot on the spot. Their bodies were buried in the Jewish cemetery.

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