2 Execution site(s)
Marian K., born in 1933, recalls : “In Klimontow there were a lot of Jews living before the war. They were mainly traders and craftsmen. When the German occupation began, the ghetto was set up in Klimontow. In the ghetto, aside from local Jews, there were also Jews from Austria. The ghetto was liquidated in October or November 1942. Jews were first gathered on the market square where several requisitioned carts were waiting for them. Elderly and sick people were put on carts and the rest of the Jews were put in a column and brought on foot to the railway station in Sandomierz. A young Jewish couple wanted to flee in the direction of the Jewish cemetery. They were shot on our property, right behind our barn. I remember this very well, I was about 10 years old at the time.” (Testimony n°574, interviewed in Klimontow on April 11, 2016)
Klimontów is a village in Sandomierz County, Świętokrzyskie Voivodeship. The Jews started to settle down in Klimontow in the XVII century. In the 1930s, there were about 3.000 Jews living in Klimontow. They were mainly traders. They owned a few shops, a mill, an oil factory and a sparkling water factory. There was a synagogue and a Jewish cemetery in town. Right next to the synagogue, there was a rabbi house, two cheddars and a mikveh. According to the witnesses interviewed in Klimontow, the local Rabbi, Symche [Gelerguter] was a prominent figure in the town. Jews and Poles would visit him to ask for his advices in daily life. Germans arrived in Klimontow in September 1939.
In June 1940, they created a ghetto. All the local Jews were placed there, as well as the Jews from neighboring and more distant towns and villages, such as Iwaniska, Radom, Ostrowiec and even from Vienna. In total, there were about 4.000 Jews living in the ghetto. In 1942, several public executions of Jews took place on the local stadium and on the square in front of the synagogue. According to Jozef B.,a witness interviewed in Klimontow, these executions’ main goal was to frighten the Jews in order to make them pay the contributions demanded regularly by the Germans. The victims of these executions were mainly Jewish women from Vienna. Their bodies were buried on the Jewish cemetery, behind the synagogue. The ghetto was liquidated in October 1942. The Jews were brought to Sandomierz railway station. Many of them were shot on the road. Those who survived the march were put in trains and sent to Treblinka extermination camp. Several Jewish policemen were left in town to clean up the ghetto area and to survey the synagogue where the Germans stocked valuables robbed from Jews. After some time, they were all shot behind a barn of one of the villagers.
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