Czarny DunajecBorough of Czarny Dunajec, Nowotarski District, Małopolskie Voivodship
Type of placeJewish cemetery in Czarny Dunajec, next to the road towards Rabka. The war graves are located in the northeastern part of the cemetery, in two rows in an area free from traditional burials.
Information about the crime
Jewish cemetery in Czarny Dunajec became a place of mass burials during the Holocaust:
- On May 20, 1942 Józef Lehrer with his daughter Rachela/Regina, called Reśka/Ryśka and Karol Chraca, a Christian, were shot and buried in the cemetery. In 1945, the remains of Karol Chraca were exhumed.
- In July 1942, the following people were murdered: Jonas Geerg with his wife Saloma, Natan Neugewirtz with his wife, Henryk Balitzer with his wife, Feliks Balitzer, Natan’s father, Anna Balitzer, Nina Krauz, Henryk’s wife, a wife of Muldengrun from Zakopane, Kolber with his wife and the wife of Józef Lehrer. The bodies were buried in one or two graves. In the same month in 1942, the Gestapo from Zakopane conducted an action during which influential members of the Jewish community were killed. The circumstances indicate the robbery motive. The Gestapo walked from house to house and killed specific, not random people. They were killed in their homes and yards. The bodies of the victims were taken to the Jewish cemetery and buried.
- On August 5, 1942, the Jewish community of Czarny Dunajec was liquidated. We can guess its brutal character by recreating the course of similar actions carried out by the Gestapo of Zakopane in nearby towns. On this day 25 people died on the streets of Czarny Dunajec. Their remains were buried in the Jewish cemetery.
Between November and December 1942, the remains of 22 prisoners of the labor camp in Czarny Dunajec were buried in the cemetery. They were boys and young men aged 15-25. The biggest execution took place in November in revenge for the escape of one of the prisoners, Natan Knobler. Collective responsibility was applied and about 10 people were shot. Few days later another group of prisoners was executed. According to historical sources and reports of survivors and outside witnesses, about 22 prisoners were murdered within two months.
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):
The project was implemented thanks to funding from the Stowarzyszenie Żydowski Instytut Historyczny and The Matzevah Foundation.
IDENTIFICATION OF THE GRAVE BASED ON NON INVASIVE RESEARCH
On April 28, 2020, a site inspection was carried out at the Jewish cemetery in Czarny Dunajec. During the examination of the cemetary plot, four locations in the northeastern part of the cemetery were indicated as potential mass graves. The GPS coordinates of these four places are: 1. N 49°27.033′ E019°52.129′, 2.N 49°27.027′
E 019°52.136′, 3. N 49°27.025′ E 019°52.134′, 4. N 49°27.022′ E 019°52.141′. Formats of all four locations are similar in size, length about 5.6 – 7.2 m, width about 4.1-4.3 m. In the case of such wide graves, it can be assumed that in fact there are more graves dug in close proximity to each other. The results of GPR surveys confirm numerous ground disturbances. The depth of anomalies ranges from about 0.7-1.0 m below sea level. The LiDAR survey in this case shows the area free of tombstones, which allowed to narrow down the area of the GPR research. The aerial photography query for the area of Czarny Dunajec is still ongoing.
Thanks to cooperation between the Zapomniane Foundation and the „People, not numbers” initiative, it was possible to indicate locations of the following mass graves:
- Place I – a grave of unknown number of people murdered during the Gestapo robbery action in July 1942.
- Place II – a grave of 25 people murdered during the liquidation of the Jewish Community in summer 1942. The Jews who were hiding after 1942 were probably buried in the same place.
- Places III and IV – graves of prisoners of the labor camp in Czarny Dunajec murdered between November and December 1942.
Contact and cooperation
We are still looking for information on the identity of the victims and the location of Jewish graves in Czarny Dunajec. If you know something more, write to us at the following address: firstname.lastname@example.org.