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Plaque in IBB PAN in Warsaw

The murder of the Lviv professors was an organized execution of approximately 25 Polish professors from various tertiary educational establishments in Lviv ('Lwów' in Polish and 'Lemberg' in German) along with their families and guests. It took place in July 1941, when the city was occupied by Nazi Germany during World War II. The organized murder of the civilian population was a continuation of the AB Action, or Ausserordentliche Befriedungsaktion, started in 1940.



After the German invasion of the Soviet Union started in June 1941, Lviv was captured on June 30. Along with the Wehrmacht, a number of smaller Abwehr units entered the city.

Monument to the victims in Wrocław, Poland

During the Nazi occupation almost all of the 120,000 Jewish inhabitants of the city were killed. All that survived at the end of the war were 200-800 Jewish inhabitants.

Members of other ethnic groups also suffered. In order to control the population, prominent citizens and intellectuals were transported to known execution sites such as the Gestapo prison on Pełczyńska Street, the Brygidki Prison, the former military prison at Zamarstynów and to the fields surrounding the city: in the suburb of Winniky, the Kortumówky hills and the Jewish Cemetery. Many of the people killed were prominent Polish politicians, artists, sportsmen, scientists and priests.

By July 2, 1941, many of the initial terror actions were halted, yet the individual, planned executions continued. At approximately 3 o'clock in the evening Prof. Kazimierz Bartel was arrested by one of the Einsatzgruppen operating in the area.

During the night of July 3 and July 4 several dozen professors and their families were arrested. The lists were prepared by their Ukrainian students[1]. In the early morning of July 4 one of the professors and most of his servants were set free while the rest were either brought to the Wulka hills or shot dead in the courtyard of the Bursa Abrahamowiczów building. The victims were buried on the spot, but several days after the massacre their bodies were exhumed and transported by the Wehrmacht to an unknown place.

Methodology of the crime

There are accounts of four different methods used by the German troops. The victims were either beaten to death, killed with a bayonet, killed with a hammer, or shot to death.

The professors themselves were shot to death, although it is highly probable that some of them were buried alive.[2]


Execution was made by unit Einsatzgruppen (Einsatzkommando zur besonderen Verwendung) under command of SS-Brigadeführer Karl Eberhard Schöngarth.[3]

Decision was taken on the highest level of IIIrd Reich authorities.[4] Direct decisionmaker of the massacre was the commander of the Sicherheitspolizei (Befehlshaber der Sicherheitspolizei und des SD- BdS) in District Krakau Generalgouvernement, Brigadeführer Karl Eberhard Schöngarth. In crime also participated Gestapo officers: Heinz Heim (Chief of Staff Schöngarth), Hans Krüger, Walter Kutschmann, Kurt Stawizki, and Felix Landau. They were never punished for that crime.[5]


Abbreviations used:

  • UJK = Lviv University (Uniwersytet Jana Kazimierza, now Ivan Franko National University of Lviv)
  • PSP = National Public Hospital (Państwowy Szpital Powszechny)
  • PL = Lviv Polytechnic (Politechnika Lwowska, now Lviv Polytechnic National University)
  • AWL = Academy of Veterinary Sciences in Lviv (Akademia Weterynaryjna we Lwowie)
  • AHZ = Academy of Foreign Trade in Lviv (Akademia Handlu Zagranicznego we Lwowie)

Murdered on the Wulka hills

  1. Prof. Dr. Antoni Cieszyński, Professor of Stomatology UJK
  2. Prof. Dr. Władysław Dobrzaniecki, head of the ord. Oddz. Chirurgii PSP
  3. Prof. Dr. Jan Grek, Professor of Internal Medicine, UJK
  4. Maria Grekowa, wife of Jan Grek
  5. Doc. Dr. Jerzy Grzędzielski, head of the Institute of Ophthalmology, UJK
  6. Prof. Dr. Edward Hamerski, Chief of Internal Medicine, AWL
  7. Prof. Dr. Henryk Hilarowicz, Professor of Surgery, UJK
  8. Rev. Dr. Władysław Komornicki, theologian, a relative of the Ostrowski family
  9. Eugeniusz Kostecki, husband of Prof. Dobrzaniecki's servant
  10. Prof. Dr. Włodzimierz Krukowski, Chief of the Institute of Electrical Measurement, PL
  11. Prof. Dr. Roman Longchamps de Bérier, Chief of the Institute of Civil Law, UJK
  12. Bronisław Longchamps de Bérier, son of Prof. Longchamps de Bérier
  13. Zygmunt Longchamps de Bérier, son of Prof. Longchamps de Bérier
  14. Kazimierz Longchamps de Bérier, son of Prof. Longchamps de Bérier
  15. Prof. Dr. Antoni Łomnicki, Chief of the Institute of Mathematics, PL
  16. Adam Mięsowicz, grandson of Prof. Sołowij
  17. Prof. Dr. Witołd Nowicki, Dean of the Faculty of Anatomy and Pathology, UJK
  18. Dr. Med. Jerzy Nowicki, assistant at the Institute of Hygiene, UJK, son of Prof. Nowicki
  19. Prof. Dr. Tadeusz Ostrowski, Chief of the Institute of Surgery, UJK
  20. Jadwiga Ostrowska, wife of Prof. Ostrowski
  21. Prof. Dr. Stanisław Pilat, Chief of the Institute of Technology of Petroleum and Natural Gases, PL
  22. Prof. Dr. Stanisław Progulski, pediatrician, UJK
  23. Andrzej Progulski, son of Prof. Progulski
  24. Prof. Dr. Roman Rencki, Chief of the Institute of Internal Medicine, UJK
  25. Dr. Med. Stanisław Ruff, Chief of the Department of Surgery of the Jewish Hospital
  26. Anna Ruffowa, Dr. Ruff's wife
  27. Inż. Adam Ruff, Dr. Ruff's son
  28. Prof. Dr. Włodzimierz Sieradzki, Dean of the faculty of Court Medicine, UJK
  29. Prof. Dr. Adam Sołowij, former Chief of the Department of Gynaecology and Obstetrics of the PSP
  30. Prof. Dr. Włodzimierz Stożek, Dean of the Faculty of Mathematics, PL
  31. Inż. Eustachy Stożek, assistant at the Politechnika Lwowska, son of Prof. Stożek
  32. Emanuel Stożek, son of Prof. Stożek
  33. Dr. Tadeusz Tapkowski, lawyer
  34. Prof. Dr. Kazimierz Vetulani, Dean of the Faculty of Theoretical Mechanics, PL
  35. Prof. Dr. Kacper Weigel, Chief of the Institute of Measures, PL
  36. Mgr Józef Weigel, son of Prof. Weigel
  37. Prof. Dr. Roman Witkiewicz, Chief of the Institute of Machinery, PL
  38. Prof. Dr. Tadeusz Boy-Żeleński, writer and gynaecologist, Chief of the Institute of French Literature

Murdered in the courtyard of Bursa Abrahamowiczów

  1. Katarzyna Demko, English language teacher
  2. Doc. Dr. Stanisław Mączewski, head of the Department of Gynaecology and Obstetrics of the PSP
  3. Maria Reymanowa, nurse
  4. Wolisch (name unknown), merchant

Murdered on July 12

  1. Prof. Dr. Henryk Korowicz, Chief of the Institute of Economics, AHZ
  2. Prof. Dr. Stanisław Ruziewicz, Chief of the Institute of Mathematics, AHZ

Murdered on July 26 in Brygidki Prison

  1. Prof. Dr. Kazimierz Bartel, former Prime Minister of Poland, former Rector of PL, Chairman of the Department of Geometry, PL


After World War II the government of the Soviet Union made attempts to diminish the Polish cultural and historic legacy of Lviv. Crimes committed east of the Curzon line could not be prosecuted by Polish courts. Information on the atrocities that took place in Lviv was restricted.

In 1960 Dr. Helena Krukowska, the widow of Prof. Dr. Włodzimierz Krukowski, launched an appeal to the court in Hamburg. After five years the German court closed the judicial proceeding. Public prosecutor von Beelow argued that the people responsible for the crime were already dead. This however was not true since at the same time SS-Hauptsturmführer Hans Krüger, commander of the Gestapo unit supervising the massacres in Lviv in 1941, was being held in Hamburg prison (he was sentenced to life imprisonment for the mass murder of Jews and Poles in Stanisławów, committed several weeks after his unit was transferred from Lviv). As a result no person has ever been held responsible for this atrocity.

In the 1970s Abrahamowicz Street in Lviv was renamed Tadeusz Boy-Żeleński Street.

Various Polish organisations have made deputations to remember the victims of the atrocity with a monument or a symbolic grave in Lviv. These requests have been so-far rejected.

The case of the murder of the professors is currently under investigation by the Institute of National Remembrance.


"Death to the Poles" - the inscription smeared with red paint on the Monument to Murdered Professors in Lviv, in 1941. A vandalized plaque by unknown vandals on 10/12 May 2009, Lviv, Ukraine

Some Polish sources contend that members of the Nachtigall Battalion killed the Polish professors, including the ex-Polish Prime minister Kazimierz Bartel, Tadeusz Boy-Żeleński and others.

Russian sources state "That on June 30 in Lviv the German administration started mass repressions. The commander of the Einzatzgruppen C Dr. Rasch had incriminated the death of those incarcerated in the Lviv jails to the "Jews from the NKVD" which became the spark for the terror against the Jews and Poles of Lviv. In the bloody murder of the Jews the Einsatzgruppen under the command of brigadeerfuhrer SS Karl Eberhard Schenhardt took prominence. Sections of this group under the command of H. Kruger and W. Kutshman on July 4 murdered 23 Polish professors and their families. On July 11, 2 more were killed, and later the former prime-minister of Poland, professor Bartel."[6]

See also


  1. ^ IPN - Oddziałowa Komisja w Rzeszowie, "Śledztwo w sprawie zabójstwa profesorów polskich wyższych uczelni, członków ich rodzin oraz współmieszkańców, we Lwowie w lipcu 1941 roku, podjęte na nowo z umorzenia w dniu 25 lutego 2003 roku. sygn. S 5/03/Zn.", [1]
  2. ^ Krakowscy i wrocławscy akademicy na wzgórzach wuleckich we Lwowie, Alma Mater nr 33/2001
  3. ^ Zygmunt Albert, Kaźń profesorów lwowskich w lipcu 1941 roku, Warszawa 2004 (in Polish)
  4. ^ Decision in case of Kazimierz Bartel, former Polish Prime Minister was taken by Heinrich Himmler.
  5. ^ Wacław Szulc Wyniki śledztwa w sprawie mordu profesorów lwowskich, prowadzonego przez Główną Komisję Badania Zbrodni Hitlerowskich w : Zygmunt Albert Kaźń profesorów lwowskich – lipiec 1941 / studia oraz relacje i dokumenty zebrane i oprac. przez Zygmunta Alberta Wrocław 1989, Wydawnictwo Uniwersytetu Wrocławskiego, ISBN 83-229-0351-0 s. 177-185.(in Polish)(main article in English,German and Russian).
  6. ^ * RUSSIAN:Chuyev, Sergei Ukrainskyj Legion - Moskva, 2006 p. 180


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