1 Execution site(s)
Otylia M., born in 1935, recalls: “After the deportation, the only remaining Jews were those who were hidden by the Polish people. But, it was really a secret. Only a small number of people knew about it. Actually, almost nobody. My parents knew about it. There was one man who was a carpenter. His name was Piast. He hid many Jews in his barn. For security reasons, Mr. Piast put a bell on a wire. When someone opened the fence, the bell rang and the Jews knew that they had to hide. I think he hid an entire family which managed to survive. They wrote him after the war.” ( Witness n°920, interviewed in Zaklików on November, 8th 2018)
“The inspections came out with the following results: On the south of the town, at the border of the town Zaklikow, at a distance of 150 to 200m from the railroads, on the field, at the edge of the forest, there are nine mass graves, in which – according to the words of the secretary Kobierzynski of the Zarzad gminy – about 150 Jews are buried. The graves are razed to the ground and are covered by the grass; some are visible because of soil embankment. None of the graves is fenced. As the secretary testified to it during the inspection, Jews were brought from different places and shot by Gendarmes and SS at this place. Their corpses were buried at the execution site.
On the east side of the town, at its end, there is a Jewish cemetery on which there is a visible long grave of 10m long and 2m wide. According to the testimony of the secretary Kobierzynski, about 100 Jews coming from Poland are also buried in the grave; among them there are those native from Janow Lubelski, Mdliboryc, and also Wiedna. Those Jews were murdered by German gendarmes and SS on October 3rd, 1942. According to the secretary’s testimony the perpetrators were Beckera and Reihard.” [Protocol inspecting mass grave and mass executions, n°437; RG-15.019M, reel 15]
Zaklików is located 91km north of Rzeszow and about 230km south east of Warsaw. The first records about the Jews go back to the second half of the 16th century. By 1789, 235 Jews lived in the town making up about 31% of the entire population. But during the following years it decreased to 130. The majority of them lived around the market place and worked as peddlers or owned small shops. There was a wooden synagogue and a Jewish cemetery in the town. On the eve of the Second World War, 1,403 Jews lived in the village.
Zaklików was occupied by Germans on September 18, 1939. Some days later, Germans rounded-up Jews and held them prisoner for several hours with their hands on their heads. On this occasion some Jews were killed randomly. Dozens of young Jewish men fled to the territories occupied by Soviets during the first days of the occupation. Shortly after the first killings the anti-Jewish measures were implemented: they couldn’t walk freely and were marked with armbands bearing the Star of David. The Jewish police and the Judenrat were created.
During 1941, many Jews from other towns were brought to Zaklikow, which worsened the living conditions. By the end of 1941, 2,200 Jews lived in the town, including Jews from the Lublin district, Krakow and Radomysl and Sanem.
A forced labor camp was established on March, 15th 1941 where Jews as well as Poles fit to work were confined. It existed until mid-April 1943. During the liquidation the Poles were transferred somewhere else, while the Jewish inmates were taken in an unknown direction and most probably shot dead.
According to the testimonies of the Jewish survivors as well as the local witness interviewed by Yahad, there was no ghetto in Zaklikow. Nevertheless, the majority of Jews were concentrated at one area which wasn’t fenced in.
The first mass execution took place on October, 15th18th, 1942, during which, after a selection at the market place, about 500 Jews were killed in and around the town, while some 1,000 Jews, mainly women and children, were deported to the Belzec camp where they were murdered shortly at the arrival. According to a local witness interviewed by Yahad, the some Jews were locked up in the synagogue after the selection and prior to be murdered. After the aktion some 700 Jews, 200 of which managed to hide and other who had privilege positions or were specialists, remained in the town. Many Jews from Krasnik and Modliborzyc were displaced to Zaklikow in October-November before being sent to the extermination camp of Belzec. One of such deportation took place on November 3, 1942, when about 2,000 Jews were displaced. Those who attempted to flee were shot on the spot. Their bodies were buried in the Jewish cemetery.
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