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I UNDERSTAND
English Section

WWII grave, believed to contain murdered Jews, found in Poland: report

14.10.2019 14:40
A World War II-era mass grave believed to contain the remains of Jews murdered by Germans has been uncovered in Wizna, north-eastern Poland, the Rzeczpospolita daily reported on its website on Monday.
Photo: Radio Poland
Photo: Radio Poland Julian Horodyski

The grave, located in a bomb crater, contains the remains of the town’s pre-war Jewish residents as well as German ammunition casings, and was discovered during research, the daily quoted local historical association “Wizna 1939” as saying.

According to Dariusz Szymanowski, the head of Wizna 1939, the research “confirmed accounts of mass, brutal murders of civilians by the Germans in June 1941.”

In June 1941, Nazi Germany began the invasion of the Soviet Union in an operation dubbed “Operation Barbarossa,” which ultimately failed when Adolf Hitler’s forces were overpowered by the Red Army in the 1942 Battle of Moscow.

Rzeczpospolita cited historians as saying that Germans entered Wizna soon after Operation Barbarossa had begun.

“From the very beginning, coordinated efforts started to murder the local Jews. Many of them managed to escape to Jedwabne or other nearby towns, trying to escape repression and death,” Dariusz Szymanowski was cited by the daily as saying.

He added: “In Wizna, two most-remembered tragic events took place: one is the shooting of a group of Jews on the outskirts of town, the second is the murder of women, children and elderly people rounded up in a smithy in Wizna […] The Germans threw a couple of grenades inside the small building, murdering people gathered inside.”

“Thanks to several years of talks with the residents of Wizna, we managed to establish that the Germans threw the murdered Jews into a bomb crater,” Szymanowski was quoted by the daily as saying.

The daily quoted the Wizna 1939 website as reporting that Jan Nadolny, a resident of the town, has said that “this field, where the hole is, it used to belong to my father-in-law and he told me that there were 30 or 36 people in that hole.”

(jh/pk)

Source: Rzeczpospolita