AndrzejówBorough of Godziszów, Janów District, Lubelskie Voivodship
Type of placeNear the forest, on a land owned at that time by the Szabat family.
Information about the crime
The 19th of August 2015 we conducted a site location of a Jewish mass grave in Andrzejów where bodies of approx. 30 Jewish men were meant to be buried. The place was pointed out by Czesław, a resident of Janów Lubelski born in 1930, who learned the circumstances of the murder from an eyewitness: “Germans called AK (the Home Army) and AL (the People’s Army) ‘the gangs’. I knew one member [of a gang] and he told me the following story. The hidden forest gangs always had sentries and one night they saw someone walking with a torch. It was a group of people, one of them said: ‘We escaped from Majdanek, we’re 33 Jews. Felek [the leader of the gang], give us rifles, we’ll be fighting Germans with you.’ But Felek didn’t give them any rifles. On the third day one of the Jews said on a side: ‘Felek, commander, I’ll tell you something: don’t give us rifles. We were let out and if you give us rifles, we’ll kill you, go back to Lublin where we’ll get armbands and will be allowed to walk free.’ When he said this, Felek replied: ‘You’re motherfuckers, aren’t you? We’re done with you.’ He just said it so the Jew would leave him alone but I didn’t ask in the end whether he let him live or did the same to him. Later on, UB (the Department of Security) caught the commander in Szczecin and locked him up in Lublin. I know it from an eyewitness and it was confirmed, I heard something between the lines.” (Andrzejów, 19 August 2015.)
Before the murder, gang members were meant to go to the then commander of the local fire brigade to get spades and ropes. Czesław: “I worked and lived with a landlord who was the commander of the [fire] brigade. One night [members of a Polish gang] came and said to him: ‘Take the keys and lead us to the fire station. And give us 33 spades and ropes. They tied the Jews, [took them] to the forest and killed them there, he said. The next day they ordered him to take a cart and collect those spades and ropes.” (Andrzejów, 9 August 2015.)
It may be that Czesław’s account is related to the event described by Dariusz Libionka: “October 1942, Kraśnik forests – a unit of the National Military Organisation who was later incorporated into the National Armed Forces in Kraśnik murdered 40 Jews who escaped from the camp at Lipowa Street in Lublin. The Jews – former soldiers of the Polish Army – who were hiding in bunkers had grenades thrown at them.” (Libionka, 2011.)
The grave is meant to be located on a land owned at that time by the Szabat family. During the war there was a wooden house with a well – the house has been demolished since but the well is still present. According to our interlocutor, the murder took place in 1942-43. (Andrzejów, 9 August 2015.)
IDENTIFICATION OF THE GRAVE BASED ON NON INVASIVE RESEARCH
The place of the grave was marked with a wooden matzevah in 2020 as part of the project “Reference points – marking 24 Jewish war graves with wooden matzevot ” . The project is an attempt to find a way to mark these places before they can be commemorated. The action was aimed as an intervention in the landscape of these places, which would remind about what remains invisible, even if present in the memory of local communities.Being only a temporary commemoration, wooden matzevot invite local communities to discuss and take action, to discover the places, and perhaps to start their own memory practice related to them or to permanently commemorate them.
You can read more about the project here (English below): https://zapomniane.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/MACEWY_punkty-odniesienia_folder.pdf
The project was implemented thanks to funding from the Stowarzyszenie Żydowski Instytut Historyczny and The Matzevah Foundation.
Contact and cooperation
We are still looking for information on the identity of the victims and the location of Jewish graves in Andrzejów. If you know something more, write to us at the following address: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Recording of the Zapomniane Foundation (audio file), name: Czesław [he knows the story of the murder from an eyewitness], place of residence: Janów Lubelski, b. 1930, subject and keywords: Jewish graves in Andrzejów, interviewed by Agnieszka Nieradko, Andrzejów, 19 August 2015.
Dariusz Libionka, National Military Organization and National Armed Forces against the Jews near Kraśnik – image correction, in: Extermination of Jews. Studies and Materials R. 2011, no. 7; Warsaw 2011