BorówBorough of Kazanów, Zwoleń District, Mazowieckie Voivodship
Type of placeA square at the crossroad between the edge of the square and a pylon.
Information about the crime
On 21 July 2016 a representative of the Rabbinic Commission came for a site inspection to the village of Borów to establish a site of burial of five Jews killed and buried near a square at the crossroad between the edge of the square and a pylon.
Three residents, Leokadia and Wanda (who lived in Borów during the war and have been living there since) and Marianna (from the village of Kowalków) independently of each other indicated the same place as the site of burial. According to their testimonies it was a Jewish family of five who probably came from a nearby town of Skaryszew. They reached Borów wearied and sat near the fence on the square at the crossroad. Apparently, this family has been warned by Poles about approaching Germans. They were so exhausted and emaciated that they said they didn’t care anymore and stayed put. Germans arrived soon. In the last moment the Jews tried to escape, but to no avail. One girl (the residents remembered that at the time of her death she was dressed in a red jumper and a black skirt) tried to run away but she was caught and shot. Eyewitnesses said that the Germans told the Jews to lie down on the square and they shot them. It happened in front of the residents. Then Germans ordered the residents of Borów to dig a ditch on the crossroad near the square. There the family was buried. Apparently, a mound was raised and the local community looked after it, lighting candles on the All Saints’ Day. Now there is no visible sign of the mound. The witnesses don’t remember the date or victims’ names. (Borów, 21 July 2016.)
The Register of Sites and Crimes for the former Radomskie Voivodship provides information about a murder committed in October 1942 in the village of Borów, the borough of Kazanów. “Four people of Jewish nationality [were killed], including one man, two women and a child. No information of their names. The bodies were buried in a field.”
The place of the grave was marked with a wooden matzevah in 2021 as part of the project “Reference points – marking 25 Jewish war graves with wooden matzevot ”. The project is an attempt to find a way of marking these sites before they can be commemorated. Marking forgotten Jewish war graves with wooden matzevot is a subtle intervention in the landscape, reminding about what remains invisible, yet 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 initiate a permanent commemoration.
You can read more about the project here: https://tinyurl.com/2p9ar52f
The project was carried out thanks to the funding from The Association of the Jewish Historical Institute of Poland (Stowarzyszenie Żydowski Instytut Historyczny) and The Matzevah Foundation.
IDENTIFICATION OF THE GRAVE BASED ON NON INVASIVE RESEARCH
On the 8th of August 2017, a GPR survey of the location indicated by witnesses was carried out (N51°14.483′ E21°23.0696′), to locate the mass grave of five victims. Despite the relatively accurate indication of the burial site, the precise location of the grave could not be determined. Probably the area has been excavated many times in the past, as the road and water ditch runs in a very close vicinity. There is a suspicion that the grave may now be under a gravel road, which for many years was used by the local residents and naturally increased its width.
The LIDAR survey shows ground disturbance at the confluence of gravel and asphalt roads.
The aerial photography query for this area wasn’t ordered.
Contact and cooperation
We are still looking for information on the identity of the victims and the location of Jewish graves in Borów. If you know something more, write to us at the following address: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The register of sites and crimes committed by the Germans in Poland between 1939 and 1945, radomskie province, Warsaw 1980, p. 22.
Resources of the Zapomniane Foundation, report on the local visit carried out by a representative of the Rabbinical Commission for Cemeteries of 7/21/2016.
Recording of the Zapomniane Foundation (audio file), names and place of residence: Leokadia (Borów), Wanda (Borów), Marianna (Kowalków), subject and key words: Jewish graves in Borowo, interviewed by Filip Szczepański, Borów, 21 July 2016.