The Full Wiki

Wąsosz pogrom: Wikis

Advertisements
  

Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.

Encyclopedia

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Wąsosz pogrom was the mass murder of Jewish residents of Wąsosz in Nazi German occupied Poland that took place on July 7, 1941, during World War II.

Contents

Circumstances surrounding the pogrom

When Nazi Germany invaded Poland in 1939, the village of Wąsosz (Podlaskie Voivodeship) was conquered by the second week of the war. At the end of September 1939, in accordance with the German–Soviet Boundary Treaty, the area was transferred by the Nazis to the Soviet Union.

The Soviet Union invaded Poland from the East two weeks earlier, on September 17, 1939, pursuant to the secret protocol of the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact, and took over 52.1% of territory of Poland. The Soviet occupation zone, with over 13,700,000 inhabitants, was composed of 5,1 million ethnic Poles (ca. 38%), 37% Ukrainians, 14,5% Belarusians, 8,4% Jews, 0,9% Russians and 0,6% Germans. There were also 336,000 refugees who escaped from Polish areas already occupied by Germany, most of them Polish Jews numbering at around 198,000.[1] The Soviet secret police (NKVD) accompanying the Red Army massacred Polish prisoners of war spreading terror throughout the region until 20-21 June 1941,[2][3][4] and conducted mass deportations of up to 1.5 million ethnic Poles to Siberia in less than two years,[5] with some of the local people, including some Jews, collaborating with them. There were also instances of Jewish Communists denouncing ethnic Poles to the Soviet NKVD.[6][7]

Nearly two years later Nazi Germans invaded the Soviet Union. On June 22, 1941, the Wehrmacht re-entered the town. At this point, there were between 400 and 600 Jews in Wąsosz.[8]

The only existing document

The only account of what might have happened during the pogrom belongs to a document written by 22-year-old Menachem Finkielsztejn who had lived in the region under the Polish protection. The paper was deposited as rough translation from Yiddish at the Jewish Committee in Białystok in June 1945 before his emigration with parents and all siblings to Israel in 1946.[9][10]

According to Finkielsztejn, the advancing German combat troops soon moved on leaving behind Nazi police presence.[8] In the second week of the German occupation, a Polish militia was formed in Wąsosz on the order of German gendarmerie, which consisted of local thugs.[8] On July 5, 1941, this unit surrounded Wąsosz to prevent Jews from escaping, and a house to house pogrom began.[8]

As Finkielsztejn writes – on July 6, 1941, the Jewish refugees, who managed to escape the pogrom, arrived in the neighboring hamlet of Radziłów, but the next day pogrom broke out there as well, and – 800 local and refugee Jews were killed. There's a monument at the outskirts of town which reads, "In August 1941 fascists murdered 800 persons of Jewish descent, 500 of them were burned alive in a barn." The date is incorrect but historical research confirms that Jews were killed in Radziłów on July 7, how many, and under what circumstances, remains unknown. The page from Finkielsztejn's deposition about the Jewish extermination itself, kept at the Jewish Historical Institute of Warsaw, vanished from the document in the following years.[9] According to the remaining pages, the Germans found later, that only fifteen Jews were left alive in Wąsosz.[8] The pogrom survivors were left in Wąsosz under the supervision of the local gendarmerie until July 1, 1942, and were used for forced labor purposes. On November 2, 1942, they were moved to the Bogusze transit camp, and from there to Auschwitz and Treblinka extermination camps.[8]

Investigation

The crimes committed in Wąsosz are being investigated by Institute of National Remembrance of Poland,[11] under the direction of the IPN prosecutor Radosław Ignatiew who earlier investigated the attrocities in Jedwabne.[12] Ignatiew pointed to the role of the Gestapo agent Mieczysław Kosmowski a.k.a. "Gienek" (born 1913) renamed Walter Krause and paid 250 Deutsche marks per month by the Gestapo for his denunciations of Poles and Jews in the Białystok region. The IPN chief prosecutor in Białystok, Zbigniew Kulikowski, named agent Kosmowski as the main instigator of the Nazi German raid on the Jewish community of Wąsosz.[13] He was last seen in 1944 in Bydgoszcz.

References

  1. ^ (Polish) Elżbieta Trela-Mazur (1997). Włodzimierz Bonusiak, Stanisław Jan Ciesielski, Zygmunt Mańkowski, Mikołaj Iwanow. ed. Sowietyzacja oświaty w Małopolsce Wschodniej pod radziecką okupacją 1939-1941 (Sovietization of education in eastern Lesser Poland during the Soviet occupation 1939-1941). Kielce: Wyższa Szkoła Pedagogiczna im. Jana Kochanowskiego. pp. 294. ISBN 83-7133-100-2.  , also in Wrocławskie Studia Wschodnie, Wrocław, 1997
  2. ^ Contested memories By Joshua D. Zimmerman, Rutgers University Press - Publisher; page 67-68
  3. ^ Sanford, p. 23; (Polish) Olszyna-Wilczyński Józef Konstanty, Encyklopedia PWN. Retrieved 14 November 2006.
  4. ^ (Polish) Śledztwo w sprawie zabójstwa w dniu 22 września 1939 r. w okolicach miejscowości Sopoćkinie generała brygady Wojska Polskiego Józefa Olszyny-Wilczyńskiego i jego adiutanta kapitana Mieczysława Strzemskiego przez żołnierzy b. Związku Radzieckiego. (S 6/02/Zk) Polish Institute of National Remembrance. Internet Archive, 16.10.03. Retrieved 16 July 2007.
  5. ^ Jerzy Jan Lerski, Piotr Wróbel, Richard J. Kozicki, Historical Dictionary of Poland, 966-1945, Greenwood Publishing Group, 1996, ISBN 0313260079, Google Print, 538
  6. ^ Iwo Cyprian Pogonowski, "Jedwabne: The Politics of Apology", presented at the Panel Jedwabne – A Scientific Analysis, Polish Institute of Arts and Sciences in America, Inc., June 8, 2002, Georgetown University, Washington DC.
  7. ^ Tomasz Strzembosz, “Inny obraz sąsiadów” archived by Internet Wayback Machine
  8. ^ a b c d e f Abraham Wein, ed (1989). Pinkas hakehillot Polin. Jerusalem: Yad Vashem.  
  9. ^ a b Andrzej Kaczynski, Thou Shall Not Kill Rzeczpospolita, no. 159, July 10, 2000: "Nie zabijaj"
  10. ^ Dr Adam Cyra, Auschwitz-Birkenau Muzeum, Zapomniana relacja Nasz Dziennik, 2001-03-29
  11. ^ (Polish) Sprostowanie do artykułu redaktor Anny Bikont „Pięć lat po Jedwabnem” zamieszczonym w „Gazecie Wyborczej” z dnia 4-5.03.2006 r.
  12. ^ (Polish) "Śledztwo w sprawie zbrodni na Żydach w Jedwabnem zostanie prawdopodobnie umorzone do końca marca" Informacyjna Agencja Radiowa, 2003-01-21
  13. ^ (Polish) Adam Białous, "Niemcy płacili i za pogromy, i za denuncjację polskich żołnierzy" Nasz Dziennik, Sobota-Niedziela, 11-12 lipca 2009, Nr 161 (3482)

See also

Advertisements

Advertisements






Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address
Message