1 Execution site(s)
Teresa J., born in 1928: “Before the war, almost half of the town’s population was Jewish. The Jews were mainly small merchants. The Germans arrived during a Jewish holiday. They took 40 men out of the synagogue and executed them in the village of Iwierzyce. They were buried at the Jewish cemetery. After this first Aktion, the persecution stopped until the ghetto was created. It was in the northern part of Sędziszów. My family and I had to move out of our house because it was located within the ghetto’s limits. The Polish policeman told us to move to the house at the edge of our backyard that belonged to the family of my Jewish friend, DOSIA, who fled to hide in nearby villages. The ghetto was not fenced in, a road marked its border. The Jews had to wear armbands. I sewed the stars on the armbands for my Jewish neighbors.” (Witness n°1003P, interviewed in Sędziszów Małopolski, on May 1, 2019)
• On October 14, 1939, the Nazis (gendarmes and SS) killed 36 Jewish men in a nearby forest. They were buried in the Jewish cemetery in Sędziszów Małopolski.
• 10.1939: 25 Jewish men shot following a raid organized on the marketplace in Sędziszów.
• 24.07.1942: during the liquidation of the transit ghetto, members of the SS and the gendarmes shot about 400 Jews from Ropczyce, Kolbuszowa and Mielec at the marketplace and in the Jewish cemetery. The Jews had to strip naked before the execution, stand on the edge of a pit before being shot with a bullet to the back of the head. Their bodies were buried in a mass grave at the Jewish cemetery. During the following days, 19 Jews were found and shot. A monument stands in the cemetery.
Partial list of victims’ family names follows:
Birman, Birnbaum, Brot, Fleischer, Goldbaum, Goldfarb, Glassel, Hirsch, Huttner,
Knic, Leibel, Leiman, Mantel, Meller, Pinkus, Rathenhaus, Reck, Rejss, Rock, Schotland, Wirst, Tocher.
[Register of places and facts of crimes committed by the Nazi occupiers in Poland in 1939-1945; Rzeszow voivodeship]
Sędziszów Małopolski is a town in Ropczyce-Sędziszów County, Subcarpathian Voivodeship, Poland. Sędziszów is located in eastern Lesser Poland, near the historic boundary between Lesser Poland and Red Ruthenia. The first records of the Jewish community date back to the 18th century. In 1765, there were 378 Jews living in Sędziszów. Their numbers increased each year. By 1910, 1.425 out of the 2.651 inhabitants of the town were Jewish. According to Yahad witnesses, Jews from Sędziszów were mainly small merchants. Roman J., born in 1935, recalled: “Half of the town’s population was Jewish. Most of them had shops. I remember that on my way to school, I would go to Mr. Jankiel’s shop and every time I bought something, he would give me a small piece of bread or a needle for free.” Teresa, born in 1928, told our team: “Jewish and non-Jewish children went to the same local school, but the Jews also had a separate school in town, a cheder. We liked our Jewish neighbors very much. I remember my best friend, a Jewish girl named Dosia. Her family was originally from Krakow, but they lived in Sędziszów. I also remember a Jewish pediatrician, Dr Goldmann and the mayor of the town, a Jewish man named Lof.” Teresa recalled that in Sędziszów, there were three rabbis and three synagogues before the war: “Two of them were brick buildings, connected to each other with a wide corridor, so when there was a funeral, the Jews would pass between those two synagogues on their way to the Jewish cemetery. The third synagogue was close to the market square. Well off jews would mostly attend there, including Dr Goldmann.” According to the witnesses interviewed by Yahad’s team in May 2019 and in October 2020, the relations between both Jewish and non-Jewish communities from Sędziszów Małopolski were good.
The German army entered the town on September 8, 1939. On September 15, the first Jew was shot dead in town. According to available archives, as well as a witness testimony by Teresa, “the Germans arrived in town during a Jewish holiday. They took 40 men out of the synagogue and executed them in the village of Iwierzyce. They were buried at the Jewish cemetery in Sędziszów”. In October 1939, the Germans established the General Gouvernement and Sędziszów became part of Kreis Dębica, within Distrikt Krakau. Several Aktions against Jews were organized by the Security Police from Dębica, aided by the German Order Police and other auxiliary forces. In October, 25 Jews were murdered in the town. A series of discriminatory measures against the local Jews were imposed, such as confiscation of property, imposition of “contributions”, obligation to wear white armbands with a blue Star of David and many others. The Judenrat (Jewish Council) was created and made responsible for providing forced laborers, mainly for construction and cleanup work. By February 1942, the number of Jews in Sędziszów Małopolski had reached 1.380, including many refugees from nearby Kolbuszowa. In May 1942, about 50 young Jews were sent to the Pustków labor camp, located 23 km from Sędziszów. In June 1942, the Nazis established an open ghetto in Sędziszów for the local Jews, where about 1,400 people were interned. About 400 Jews from Wielopole Skrzyńskie and Ropczyce were subsequently moved to the same ghetto. This brought the number of Jews in the ghetto to circa. 1.900. The ghetto was liquidated on July 24, 1942. About 400 Jews from Ropczyce, Kolbuszowa and Mielec (mainly elderly, women and children) were killed by the SS and gendarmerie members, some of them at the market square, others at the local Jewish Cemetery, where all the victims were buried in a mass grave. Circa. 1,500 Jews were taken to the ghetto in Dębica, from where they were transported to the Bełżec extermination camp. The remaining Jews were transferred to the ghetto in Rzeszów. When the ghetto was liquidated, and the town was officially declared “judenrein” (“cleansed of Jews”), at least 19 Jews that had been hiding were discovered and killed. About 30 Jews, who had been hidden by Poles, survived the war.
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