Ćmielów (Cmielow) | Swietokrzyskie Voivodeship

Execution of Jews and Roma in Ćmielów

1 Execution site(s)

Kind of place before :
Empty spot (1), Orchard (2), Baltowski street (3)
Memorials :
No
Period of occupation:
1939-1944
Number of victims :
Over two dozens

Witness interview

Antoni W., born in 1930: “There was a family of Gypsies. [They] weren’t native [or] from Ćmielów but from somewhere else. They were shot and buried in the garden behind the gmina [village hall]. They were found after the deportation of the Jews. I saw the execution of the Gypsies, but I don’t remember how many . I didn’t expect they would be killed. I don’t know who buried the corpses, and I didn’t go there to see. I think they are still buried there, because no one exhumed them. They stayed about one or two months.” (Witness n°1048, interviewed in Ćmielów on June, 6th 2019).

Polish Archives

“1/ Date and place of execution: Second half of November 1943 in Ćmielów.

2/ Type of execution: shooting

3/ Data concerning the killed people:

Poles, Jews, foreigners: Jews

How many: 2

Where were the victims from: locals.

Name, age, job: Gutman Maria, 65 years old, peddler, Aksinkiew Kazimierz, 45 years old, retired person.

4/ Why were they killed: Because they were Jews.” [Questionnaire on mass executions and mass graves n°369 (Miejscowosc: Cmielow; Gmina: Cmielow; Powiat: Opatow; Wojewodztwo: Kieleckie); RG.15.019M]

Historical note

The first records about the Jewish community in Ćmielów go back to the early 18th century. The community increased over the years. By 1827, 147 Jews lived in the town. According to the census in 1921, 664 Jews lived in the town making up 27% of the total population. The majority of Jews were traders or craftsmen. They had their own synagogue, built in the 1860s. There was a mikveh [ritual bath] as well. On the eve of WWII, about 500 Jews lived in Ćmielów.

Holocaust by bullets in figures

Ćmielów was occupied by Germans in September 1939. Immediately after the occupation, the anti-Jewish measures were implemented. The Ćmielów Jews were subjected to pay contributions, weren’t allowed to walk on the pavement ,and couldn’t buy many kinds of products. Their shops and properties were taken over by Germans. With the arrival of the refugees on May 1, 1940, about 1,000 Jews lived in Ćmielów. Several hundred Jews fit to work were subjected to forced labor at the road construction, porcelain factory, and quarry. The Jews continued to live freely until the creation of the ghetto in June 1942. The ghetto was fenced in and included between 900 to 1,500 inmates, including refugees from Vienna, Konin, Golin and Warta. Due to bad living conditions, a typhus epidemic broke out, and many Jews died. The ghetto was liquidated in October 1942. According to a local witness interviewed by Yahad, a group of Jews from Klemontow were brought to Cmielow on the eve of the deportation. After having spent the night under the sky in a park, they were deported along with the local Jews to the Treblinka extermination camp. About 24 Jews were killed and buried at the Jewish cemetery. Isolated shootings took place during the couple of weeks following the liquidation. Any Jews who were found hiding, were shot dead on the spot. This was the case of the Jews found hiding in the near village of Jastków. According to the field research, besides the Jews, about two dozens of Roma were killed in Ćmielów. The Roma were not native to the town. Those who were not found out immediately, but after a certain time, were confined into a camp created in January 1943 in Ćmielów. The camp inmates were eventually deported to the Treblinka camp some time later.

 For more information about the Jews killed in Jastków, please refer to the following profile

 

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