Łuby-KurkiBorough of Miastkowo, Łomża District, Podlaskie Voivodship
Type of placeA closed down school in Łuby-Kurki. In the schoolyard, in the alder forest under a tree.
Information about the crime
In the first half of 1942 in a village of Łuby-Kurki, German military policemen murdered 50-year-old Leib Minkiewicz. His body was buried in the schoolyard. It’s worth quoting the testimony of an eyewitness, Piotr M., who spent the occupation in Łuby-Kurki and witnessed the murder: “In January or February 1942 in the village of Łuby-Kurki two German military policemen arrived from the police station in Miastkowo. […] At that time the Jewish Minkiewicz family lived at the edge of the forest. They were farmers. I saw the policemen approaching Minkiewicz’s farm buildings to rob food from them. At some point I saw officer Belko walking into the barn and after some time I heard shots. Belko left the barn, got into the carriage with another policeman and they left. Then the Jews entered the barn and brought out the corpse of Leib Minkiewicz. He was about 50 years old and he was mentally ill, retarded really.” (testimony from 3 March 1973 given in the District Court in Łomża, documents no Ds 164/69, Files related to the crimes of German military police in Miastkowo, Łomża District.)
The same witness testified a year later, on 26 July 1974 in front of the District Prosecutor in Białystok: “I remember very well that in January or February 1942 in our village two German military policemen arrived from the police station in Miastkowo. […] I saw them driving in the direction of the buildings belonging to the Jewish family Nilkiewicz. They lived about 300 metres from my steadings. Because I was walking in the same direction as the military police, I saw them stopping near the Nilkiewicz steadings and walking into their house. […] It was during the day, around 1 pm. I saw that the officers left the house after a short time and went to the barn. I heard gunshots [coming from] the barn. […] Shortly after a gunshot, [officer] Schulz left the barn, followed by [officer] Belko. They went to their carriage and drove away towards Miastkowo. I saw Jews from the Nilkiewicz family running towards the barn. A moment later they brought out the body of Leib Nilkiewicz, murdered by the military policemen. He was about 50 years old and was mentally ill. His illness wasn’t dangerous and Leib Nilkiewicz didn’t bother anyone in the village. […] His body was taken to the house and later buried in the field next to the alder forest. I saw the grave of Leib Nilkiewicz.” (Ds 164/69)
During the site inspection conducted on 18 August 2017 in Łuby-Kurki one of the residents pointed out the building of the closed down school where Leib Minkiewicz was meant to be buried and also the exact location of the burial.
The place of the grave was marked with a wooden matzevah as part of the project “Reference points”. 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 of marking graves with wooden matzevot has been carried out by the Zapomniane Foundation since 2017. in constant cooperation with The Matzevah Foundation.
In 2021, the place was commemorated thanks to the support of the U.S. Commission for the Preservation of America’s Heritage Abroad.
IDENTIFICATION OF THE GRAVE BASED ON NON INVASIVE RESEARCH
On the 21st of September 2017, a single grave indicated by a witness (GPS: N53°08.316’E021°51.844′) was inspected. This place was determined with a large approximation thanks to the point of reference, which was the tree.
No GPR surveys were conducted.
The LIDAR survey is not helpful in this case.
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 Łuby-Kurki. If you know something more, write to us at the following address: email@example.com.
Ds 164/69, Files on the crime of German gendarmes in Miastków, Łomża district, testimony of 3 March 1973, submitted to the district court in Łomża, p. 208, 208 v (photographic documentation “General view of the place of murdering the Jew Lejba. Łuby Kurki”, “Place of the murder of the Jew Lejba, Łuby Kurki”, “Burial place of the Jew Lejb in the village of Łuby Kurki”).
The register of sites and crimes committed by the Germans in Poland between 1939 and 1945, łomżyńskie province, Warsaw 1985, p. 137.
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.