Borough of Rykociny , Tomaszowski District, Łódzkie Voivodship

Type of place

The edge of a cultivated field behind the barn

Information about the crime

In 2021, we received a phone call from a farmer who informed us that a Jew murdered during World War II was buried in his field. At the site, we met the host and his mother, who witnessed the accidental unearthing of human remains during the laying of drainage pipes in 1963. She remembers workers putting the remains and remnants of their clothes back into the pit. She also gave us the story of the murder, which she knew from her late in-laws, who were eyewitnesses. According to this account, a German car drove from Popielawy toward Będków. As it passed the farm of our interviewees, a Jewish man who was supposed to be hiding in Popielawy jumped out of the trunk. The farm gate was closed, so the Jew ran around the farm to get to the fields. When he got there, one of the Germans fired a fatal shot. The Germans initially planned to transport the body to the Jewish cemetery in Będków. Eventually, they ordered the locals to bury it in a field.

“- Zapomniane: A gentleman called us with the information that there is a single Jew buried here in an unmarked place.

– Yes, but he has been lying here since the war. My in-laws told me that he was a tailor in Popielawy. You were hiding, but you know, Poles, as Poles are, one another….

– Zapomniane: Was he hiding with a Polish family?

– Yes. Later, they drove him to Bełków. There is a kierchoł in the forest there. I wasn’t there, but I heard from stories that there was kierchoł there. That’s what they called it.

– Zapomniane: Some kind of cemetery?

– Yes, a cemetery. I think that’s where they took him.

– Zapomniane: Did someone discover his hiding place?

– Yes. In Popielawy, it all came out, and the Germans drove him to Będków in a trunk. And he opened that trunk and jumped out. Here was another house. It was an old house. He ran around the house, behind the barn, and through the gate. He had to go around because the area was fenced. The gate was high. It was locked, you know, in those times, everyone was afraid. The German set a gun at that gate.

– Zapomniane: An he pointed it at him?

– Yes, at the edge. They were supposed to come here because there were small children. My mother-in-law said they were supposed to come. Well, and they came. But the German came out and told them to bury him here.

– Zapomniane: Were they supposed to come to pick him up?

– Apparently. “Bury him here”. My mother-in-law begged him. She said the children would be scared. But they buried him. What could they do?

– Zapomniane: And when he was hiding, he earned this hiding by sewing, I understand?

– No one knows.

– Zapomniane: But he was a tailor?

– Yes. He was young”. (Łaznów, July 23, 2021)

The closest village to Łaznów, where there was a Jewish community until 1942, was Będków. In 1939, 228 Jews lived there. In late April and early May 1942, a ghetto was established in a small area on Krakowska Street. The last Jews of Będków were driven to the railroad station in Skrzynka and deported to Treblinka from there. The Register of Killing Sites and Crimes committed by the Germans in Poland for the former Piotrowski voivodeship lists the following events, including the murder of a Jewish man in Popielawy: 

Popielawy, Rokiciny borough

December 9, 1943. 

Military policemen shot a Jewish man.

Source: AGK, The Regional Commission for the Examination of German Crimes in Łódź, “Executions”, Brzeziny district, łódzkie voivodeship.

Będków, Będków borough

June 22-23, 1942.

Six people of Jewish nationality were shot / three men and three women / The execution was carried out by military policemen from Koluszki near the road to Będków towards Łaznów.

Chłopski Mendel, painter

Chłopski Gitla, born February 15, 1920, by her husband

Lajzerowicz Cyporia, born February 20, 1899, no occupation

Lipfeld Estera-Rojza, born March 15, 1904, by her husband

Krakowski Chaskiel, born 1916

Krakowska Sura, born December 28, 1921, by her husband

The bodies of the victims were buried in the Jewish cemetery in Będków.


On March 2, 2022, a local inspection was carried out on a private property in the area indicated as the burial site (GPS: N 51°37.449′ E 019°46.609′) of a single victim (tailor). The area inspected is located at the rear of the property on the south-eastern side, close to the farm buildings. The land in this area has been subjected to numerous disturbances in the past, such as: arable fields, installation of wells, construction of walls visible in photo number 1 of the location. Due to this fact, it is impossible to precisely find a single grave.

Landform measurement (LiDAR) is not helpful in this case.

No search was conducted for archival aerial photographs for this area.


Contact and cooperation

We are still looking for information on the identity of the victims and the location of Jewish graves in Łaznów. If you know something more, write to us at the following address: fundacjazapomniane@gmail.com.


Recording of the Zapomniane Foundation (audio file), Łaznów village resident, owner of the field where Mr. Z.’s grave is to be located, interviewed by Andrzej Jankowski and Agnieszka Nieradko, Łaznów, July 23, 2021.

The Register of Killing Sites and Crimes committed by the Germans in Poland between 1939 and 1945, piotrkowskie voivodeship, Warsaw 1983.

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”.