ZrąbBorough of Skierbieszów, Zamoyski District, Lubelskie Voivodeship
Type of placeWasteland, private property.
Information about the crime
In October 1942, around noon in the forest in Kolonia Zrąb, about 40 Jewish women and men were shot. “The victims of the execution were the Jews who had been working in logging the forest for about two weeks. These people lived in a barrack that stood near the forest. Two people, whose fate is unknown, escaped during the execution. After the execution, the victims were buried by the peasants returning from the forest. The names of those who buried the victims are unknown. Probably they were from the village of Sitaniec, Zamość district. The execution was carried out by two Germans with machine guns. Their names and ranks are also unknown. The Germans guarded the people during the logging of the forest. The names of the murdered Jews are unknown. ” (IPN Bu 2448/607)
In July 2021, we carried out a site inspection and met with Ryszard, an inhabitant of Zrąb, who knew the history of the grave from his grandmother:
“There was a pit, one grave. As far as I know, it was one big grave, because, as my grandmother said, they were digging a grave for themselves. But they didn’t know what they were digging. Maybe they suspected something, but they were told to dig somewhere near that barrack. And they shot them there. Probably 4 or 5 of them managed to escape to the forest.” (Zrąb, 14 July 2021)
Jews worked in the forest, cutting down trees and lived in a barrack that they probably had to build for themselves. According to Ryszard, a settlement was built in the place of the cleared forest, which was later taken over by the German settlers.
On the side of an unpaved road, quite far away from the alleged location of the grave, there is a monument with the following inscription: Here lie the remains of 40 Jews who were victims of German fascism, murdered in 1942. Honor of their memory. Kolonia Zrąb, December 7, 1986.
It turns out that our interlocutor participated in the erection of this monument: “I told my friend, who was my superior at that time that the Jews are buried here. He said: All right. I have a Jewish friend. They worked together, he was some kind of engineer. He let him know, and the Jew was immediately into it. We went to the borough office. He had no personal link with this place, he just did it because he was a Jew. And my friend told me right away: He will put up a monument here. He must have made some monuments before. They went there several times and eventually made the monument. […] We wanted to put it more or less where the grave was but the ground was in private hands so the head of the borough said: Forget about it, there is a wasteland nearby, take it. The borough made the pedestal, piled up the soil, and the Jew brought a stone.” (Zrąb, 14 July 2021)
IDENTIFICATION OF THE GRAVE BASED ON NON INVASIVE RESEARCH
Non-invasive research in Kolonia Zrąb is planned for 2022.
Contact and cooperation
We are still looking for information on the identity of the victims and the location of Jewish graves in Kolonia Zrąb. If you know something more, write to us at the following address: firstname.lastname@example.org.
IPN Bu 2448/ 607
Recording of the Zapomniane Foundation (audio file), Ryszard A. resident of the village of Zrąb, keywords: Jewish grave in Kolonia Zrąb; exp. Agnieszka Nieradko and Marek Kołcon, Zrąb, 14 July 2021.
We have collected the materials about this village thanks to the funding provided by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance as part of the project “The rural Holocaust. Collecting and safeguarding the never recorded testimonies 100 forgotten Jewish graves 2021-2022” and also thanks to the support of the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany in Warsaw.