1 Execution site(s)
Eleonora T., born in 1935:
YIU: “How did Miss Kopla, from the Kopla family, manage to escape and to hide in the barn?
W: My parents weren’t home at that time, because they had something to do outside the town. So, Ms Kopla hid inside the barn while others were taken to the execution. I don’t know how she managed to escape. When my father came back, he went to the barn and told her that other Jews were about to be killed. I guess she went to see the execution, because her husband was among the victims. Her daughter was shot dead on their way towards the execution site. The next day, when my father went to the barn again, she wasn’t there anymore. She left the village afterwards.” (Witness n°554, interviewed in Wyszogrod on April 2nd, 2016).
“1/ Date and place of execution: November 4, 1942
2/ Type of execution: Shooting
3/ Data concerning killed people:
Poles, Jews, foreigners: Jews.
How many people were killed: 23 people.
Where did the victims come from?: Three people brought from Mistrzowice and 20 people found in the haystack
Name, age, job, address:
1) Preis, 33 years old, buyer, with his wife and his two children.
2) Hinda Szczyglowska, 55 years old, peddler with her two grandsons.
3) Lokaj Ruchla, 20 years old, peddler, lived in Opatow
4) Four people from Lodz
5) Person from Sosnowiec, name unknown
Who conducted the executions: SS police.”
[Questionnaire on mass executions and mass graves n°462 (Miejscowosc: Mistrzowice, Gmina, Opatowiec, Powiat: Pinczowski, Woj: Kieleckie); IPN: RG-15.019 Reel #2 part 3]
Mistrzowice is located 78km south of Kielce. According to the local villagers, prior to WWII Mistrzowice was home to Poles mainly. According to the archives, a few Jews lived in the village. Some Jewish families, including the Kopla family, lived in the nearby town of Opatowiec. The Jews were involved in trade or handcraft.
The village was occupied by Germans in the beginning of September 1939. There was no ghetto created in the village. The local Jews, as few as they were, continued to live in their house until they were executed on November 4, 1942. On this day, 28 Jews, among them the Kopla family native of Opatowiec, the Jews from Lodz area, and three Jews from Mistrzowice, one from Sosnowiec, and one from Opatow, were taken to the clay quarry located in the east of the village where they were murdered. Some victims were identified by the Polish after war commission while the majority of victims remain unknown. According to the local eyewitness, Yahad-In Unum found out some details about how the execution was conducted. Beforehand, all the Jews, including some who were marked with armbands, were confined into the pigsty. Then, at about 10am they were divided in three small groups and taken to the quarry to be shot. One Jewish girl from the Kopla family was shot dead on the spot in front of the school. Her body was carried toward the execution site. In all 28 Jews were killed that day.
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