Chorzele/RykaczeBorough of Zambrów, Zambrów District, Podlaskie Voivodship
Type of placeProbably a grave in the Giełczyn forest near Łomża.
Information about the crime
During the site location in the village of Rykacze in July 2015 we stumbled upon a story of a family of five, probably from Zambrów, who were hiding in Chorzele near Rykacze. We tried to find the grave but it turned out that the Jews discovered in the hideout were probably taken to the Giełczyn forest and murdered there.
A resident of Rykacze (born in 1926): “Manes and Jośko, the Słońcuk brothers, were running away towards Osowiec. Manes did survive.” (Rykacze, 23 July 2015.)
During a conversation with the representatives of the Rabbinic Commission in 2015 the mayor of the village mentioned that members of that family were hiding in the forest and used to come to her mother to get food.
Edward M. (88 years old), a resident of Chorzele: “[…] There was a Jew [called] Jośko, he used to lease orchards. He was hiding here. There was an alder copse near Chorzele [where] he made a dug-out for himself. He also made a dug-out in a forest near us but was driven away from there. So he made [another one] near Chorzele. It was quiet in the copse. But the farmer who owned the copse reported him to the military police. They came around… There were about five of them [the Jews], it was Manes’ family. Manes and Jośko Słońcuk and their family. They hid in our orchard. There were five of them. Manes and Jośko survived, they kept coming back after the war. The military policemen took the rest to Łomża, towards Giełczyn. There is nothing in Chorzele, no grave.” (Chorzele, 23 July 2015.)
To summarize: according to Chorzele residents’ accounts, five people were hiding in Chorzele. Two of them survived the war and the rest were taken to the Giełczyn forest and murdered there after their hideout was disclosed.
Contact and cooperation
We are still looking for information on the identity of the victims and the location of Jewish graves in Chorzele/Rykacze. If you know something more, write to us at the following address: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Recording of the Zapomniane Foundation (audio file), name: lack of data [witness to the story], place of residence: Rykacze, b. 1926, subject and keywords: Jewish graves in Chorzele, interviewed by Agnieszka Nieradko, Rykacze, 23 July 2015.
Recording of the Zapomniane Foundation (audio file), interlocutor: then Rykacze village administrator, place of residence: Rykacze, b. [lack of data], subject and keywords: Jewish graves in Chorzele, interviewed by Agnieszka Nieradko, Rykacze, 23 July 2015.
Recording of the Zapomniane Foundation (audio file), name: Edward [witness to the story], place of residence: Chorzele, b. lack of data (88 years old in 2015), subject and keywords: Jewish graves in Chorzele, interviewed by Agnieszka Nieradko, Chorzele, 23 July 2015.
In appreciation to the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany (Claims Conference) for supporting this research project. Through recovering the assets of the victims of the Holocaust, the Claims Conference enables organizations around the world to provide education about the Shoah and to preserve the memory of those who perished.