Opoka | Lublin Voivodeship

Aleksandr R., born in 1926: ”There were only two Germans. They gave them spades to dig a pit along the house’s fence. I was sitting and watching it all.”    © Cristian Monterroso  /Yahad-In Unum Aleksandr R. points out the execution site where he saw two Jewish men being killed.    © Christian Monteroso  /Yahad-In Unum Bolesław R., born in 1934 : « Two Jewish men came to our house and my mother gave them soup. Once they left we heard noise outside. They were caught by Germans and taken to be shot.” © Jordi Lagoutte  /Yahad-In Unum Execution site where about 20 Check Jews brought from Konskowola were shot. © Cristian Monterroso  /Yahad-In Unum Yahad-In Unum’s team with a witness at the execution site. According to the field research there were several mass graves at this place. The witness saw two Jews being shot at this place.  © Jordi Lagoutte/Yahad-In Unum

Execution of Check Jews in Opoka

1 Execution site(s)

Kind of place before :
Ravine near a field
Memorials :
No
Period of occupation:
1939-1944
Number of victims :
Dozens

Witness interview

Aleksandr R., born in 1926: «Some students from Czechoslovakia were brought here. I was going from Konskowola when I heard noise. I turned around and saw how they were escorted outskirts of Konskowola passing by the Sykut’s private house. Sykut worked at a mill. At the time, there was an anti-tank trench, where I hid and started observing. There were only two Germans. They gave them spades to dig a pit along the house’s fence. I was sitting and watching it all. When they finished digging the pit, the Germans lined them up and shot them with a submachine gun. After that they went down in the pit and finished them off. I don’t know what happened afterwards because I fled. I was afraid.”(Witness n°776, interviewed in Opoka, on October 18, 2017).

Polish Archives

“[…] another group [of Jews from the ghetto in Końskowola] was taken to a pasture near Opoka to be shot. The Jews were buried there. […] The corpses were not exhumed.” [Testimony given on June 14th, 1968; IPN: S 19/05/Zn, Vol.6]

Historical note

Opoka is a village near Końskowola located 44 km northwest of Lublin. According to Yahad’s witness, there were no Jewish families in the village. More than 1,000 Jews lived in the neighboring village of Końskowola before the outbreak of WWII.

Holocaust by bullets in figures

The village was occupied by the Germans in September 1939. Very little is known about the Jewish victims in Opoka. According to the Polish archives, the Jews from the Konskowola ghetto were brought to a pasture near Opoka where they were shot. As a result of the Yahad’s field work we found out that the majority of Końskowola’s Jews were taken to the Klementowice railway station and deported. However, some isolated shootings took place in Końskowola, at the Jewish cemetery, and in the pasture close to the village of Opoka.  With the help of the local witnesses from Opoka Yahadf was able to identify the execution sites of three different shootings, in the course of which one, two and about twenty Czeck Jews were shot respectively. The shootings were conducted in the ravine. The shootings were conducted by Germans accompanied by the soldiers of the Vlasov army.  Some of the bodies were reburied in Konskowola but some of them still remain in unprotected mass graves.

 For more information about the killings of Jews in Końskowola, please, refer to the corresponding profile.  

Other links

Nearby villages

  • Końskowola
  • Puławy
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