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“Synagogue” Labor Camp in Kraśnik

Heritage Sites – Sites of martyrdom
Polska / lubelskie

The “Synagogue“ labor camp was established in the ghetto (Szkolna Street and Bóźnicza Street). It was located near the synagogue. After the ghetto’s dissolution and transportation of the Jewish population to the death camps, those Jewish craftsmen who survived: tailors, shoemakers and carpenters were employed by the Germans to work in the camp. They were given the task to renovate a few buildings for the Germans and to finish building of a tenement house in Piłsudskiego Street[1.1].

In March 1941 the camp numbered about 200 Jews. The camp commandant was Alois Gröger. The guards were: Bartetzko F., Klein, Koplok, A. Nazaruk and W. Zdończuk. Jewish militia composed of 12 people was led by Kawa P.

Work in the camp lasted a dozen or so hours a day. The members of the staff created a theatre in the synagogue where poems of the Jewish poets were presented. Artists from Vilnius theatres (Rzykowski), Warsaw (Kohn) and Nuchin Rozenel with his brother took part in these performances. Even the commandant Gröger watched these performances.

At the beginning of 1944 a conspiracy group was formed in the camp. The Jews got in touch with the guerrilla in Rzeczyca. The liaison officer was a Jewish security guard named Kasjan. Their objective was to prepare an escape on a large scale. The commandant of the Jewish militia P. Kawa participated in the preparations of the action. When Germans discovered the plot, a few dozens of Jews were shot by firing squad[1.2].

The liquidation of the camp was conducted by F. Bartetzko. The Jews who worked there were to be sent to Annopol. Their destination place was a camp in Płaszów. According to the accounts of the witnesses during the march through the woods the prisoners were rescued by the partisans[1.3].

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[1.1] J. Bartosiewicz, Pociągi pełne niebezpieczeństwa..., p. 76.

[1.2] W. Szymanek, Z dziejów..., p. 80.

[1.3] W. Szymanek, Z dziejów..., p. 45-46.

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GPS:
50.9208° N / 22.2210° E
50°55'14" N / 22°13'15" E
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