2 Execution site(s)
Helena W., born in 1931: « I still remember one episode. It stayed in my mind forever. A Jewish woman managed to get out of the ghetto. I didn’t know how she did that. Anyway, she was out of the ghetto. Another woman whose name I forgot, had already passed away. She was selling milk, fresh cream directly at people’s house. The Jewish woman wanted something from her. A man whose name was probably Adolf if I’m not wrong, saw the two women. He was an evil man. He took the food from the woman and spilt them all over the Jewish woman. I was at the corner, not so far, with a friend. We stopped. He ordered the Polish women to lick the spilt products on the Jewish woman. I even don’t want to give you more details, it was horrible!” (Witness n°853, interviewed in Rawa Mazowiecka, on July, 4th 2018).
« 1/ Name of the camp: isolated camp /ghetto/
2/ Situation of the camp: P.O.W. right side, Studniana, Zatylna, Topolowa, Staroscinska, Bozniczna and Zamkowa Wola right side streets.
4/ Creation date of the camp: March 1941.
5/ Liquidation date of the camp: August 27th, 1942.
9/ How many people lived in the camp during its existence? : about 8,000.
17/ Was there any executions in the ghetto, outside the ghetto, how? : Yes, outside the ghetto, in general shootings conducted by policemen and SS.” [IPN: Questionnaire on camps. N°199, Miejscowosc / gmina / Powiat : Rawa Mazowiecka. Wojewodztwo : Lodzkie.]
Rawa Mazowiecka is located 64 km west of Lodz. The first Jews settled in the town in 1507, but then, they were chased away from the town until 1765. In 1921, 3,018 Jews lived in the town, comprising of 1/3 part of the total population. Jews were mainly artisans, such as a tanner, glazier, weaver, goldsmith and tailor. Others lived off small commerce and industry. According to the local residents interviewed by Yahad, Jews had their own school and a synagogue. On the eve of the war the Jewish community of Rawa Mazowiecka numbered some 2,500 people.
Rawa Mazowiecka was occupied by the Germans on September, 8th 1939. During the first days of the Second World War, Germans bombed the town. They immediately began to persecute the whole population, especially the Jewish community. The violent acts were so strong that many decided to leave the town. An open ghetto gathering 4,000 Jews from Skierniewic, Biala Rawska, Nowe Miasto nad Pilica and locals, was created in March, 1941. The living conditions there were terrible, food was scarce and typhus epidemics were common. Some Jews were subjected to perform forced labor outside the ghetto, as it was the case for craftsmen who continued to work. The ghetto was closed with barbed wire in 1942. It was forbidden to leave the ghetto’s territory under the death penalty. Little by little, food rations were cut until they became nonexistent. The ghetto was finally entirely liquidated on October 27, 1942. During the liquidation the Jewish inmates were deported to Treblinka. However, several isolated shootings took place. Thus, 17 Jewish men were shot near the castle. Their bodies were buried at the Jewish cemetery. Those Jews, who stood in hiding but were found, were executed as well.
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