Nowiny BrdowskieBorough of Babiak , Kolski District, Wielkopolskie Voivodship
Type of placeA forest
Information about the crime
We were informed about the unmarked Jewish graves in Nowiny Brdowskie by the Towarzystwo Przyjaciół Ziemi Brdowskiej in 2022. The brochure published by the society contains all the accumulated knowledge about the history of the rural ghetto in Nowiny Brdowskie and the people murdered there. Excerpts from the brochure are quoted below:
“According to the 1921 census, Nowiny Brdowskie was inhabited by 252 inhabitants. It is very possible that by 1939 this number had increased to about 300 people. The German occupation dealt a terrible blow to the inhabitants of the village. The name of the village was changed to Neuhagen and the population was resettled. After the war, only one third of the former residents returned to their previous place of residence.
On September 1, 1940, the Germans established a Jewish ghetto in Nowiny Brdowskie, from which the inhabitants were displaced, as well as in the village of Bugaj. Both villages previously had 165 households inhabited by Polish peasants. The area of the ghetto was 300 hectares.
In the area of the then Lubotyń commune, which included Nowiny Brdowskie, the main centre of Jewish population was Babiak, with 812 inhabitants, 237 of whom were Jews. Some Jews also lived in smaller villages.
Historical sources say that on October 2, 1940, 240 Jews from Babiak and about 720 Jews from Koło were held in the ghetto in Nowiny Brdowskie. The number of all ghetto prisoners at that time was probably about 1,000 people. They were forced to work in the fields and forests, they were starved and treated as subhuman. Many people were murdered. Not even the children were spared. To this day, the exact number of victims of the ghetto in Nowiny Brdowskie is not known. The statement of the inhabitants that Nowiny Brdowskie stands on human remains seems to be accurate.
At the turn of December 1941 and January 1942, the 600 surviving Jews began to be transported in trucks to the Kulmhof extermination camp in Chełmno nad Nerem. They were murdered by gassing together with other Jews and Gypsies from the kolski district. The ghetto in Nowiny Brdowskie was liquidated in January 1942.
We visited Nowiny Brdowskie twice in the second half of 2022. The main purpose of our visits was to determine the burial place of the ghetto victims and to meet the last living witnesses of those events.
IDENTIFICATION OF THE GRAVE BASED ON NON INVASIVE RESEARCH
On August 2, 2022, a site inspection was carried out in the presence of a witness to locate mass graves (approximate GPS coordinates: N 52°19.511′ E 018°43.594′).
The site has been plowed for tree planting. Due to groundworks in this area, the original traces of graves have been erased.
LiDAR survey was not helpful in this case.
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 Nowiny Brdowskie. If you know something more, write to us at the following address: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Zachować pamięć… Getto w Nowinach Brdowskich, brochure published by the Towarzystwo Przyjaciół Ziemi Brdowskiej, Brdów 2019, resources of the Zapomniane Foundation
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”. The materials for this website were developed, digitized and made available as part of the project “Development of a digital archive of Jewish war graves outside the extermination camps and educational use of archive resources” thanks to funding from the Minister of Culture and National Heritage from the Cultural Promotion Fund.