Ochotnica Dolna – grave no 1 (by the river)

Ochotnica Dolna, Ochotnica Górna, Borough of Ochotnica Dolna, Nowy Targ District, Małopolskie Voivodship

Type of place

The clearing by the Ochotnica river in Tylmanowa, a grave of an unknown number of people from neighbouring villages; in a close proximity – a grave of the owners of the sawmill (3 people, possibly the Apfelbaum family.)

Information about the crime

At least two Jewish graves of Holocaust victims are located by the Ochotnica river in Tylmanowa (the borough of Ochotnica Dolna.) In 2008 during a research camp organised by the Jagiellonian University’s Study Club of Historians (in cooperation with the Małopolskie Voivodship Office) information was collected about:

  • the mass grave on the right bank of the Ochotnica river. Three names of Jews who were probably murdered in 1942 were established: Izaak Furman, Estera Hochhauser, Mrs Messinger;
  • The Rzeka estate, a grave of an unknown number of Jews from Tylmanowa (a letter from 8 September 2014 from IPN KŚZpNP OBUiAD in Warsaw to the Rabbinic Commission that included a summary of a historical analysis related to Jewish war graves in the borough of Ochotnica Dolna completed in 2008.)

The presence of mass graves in Tylmanowa is confirmed by the following statement: “I don’t remember the date but sometime in the late spring 1942 or 1943 the Gestapo man Konig came to my flat and told me in Polish that on the Rzeka estate in Tylmanowa there were 5 corpses and I was meant to take care of their burial. I went to the estate and I saw 5 corpses in the garden of Jew Furman. They were all shot. I saw that three bodies belonged to men and two to women. These people were older, above 50 years of age. The corpses covered in blood were lying in different parts of the garden which looked like they were shot while trying to escape. […] [The bodies] were buried next to Izaak Furman’s garden. Apart from these bodies, 7 Jews brought from Ochotnica were buriedin the grave. The bodies of the Jews from Ochotnica were of younger people. They were bodies of 2 men and 5 women. Out of those bodies, I knew only Adela Jakubowicz. She came from Tylmanowa but Germans encountered her in Ochotnica and shot there.” (S 24/04/Zn p. 50)

Statements of the witnesses testifying in front of the District Commission for the Investigation of Hitlerite Crimes in Cracow as a part of the investigation into the Nazi crime in Ochotnica and Tylmanowa no S 24/04/Zn (previously: S 67/70 The Pacification in Tylmanowa and Ochotnica, Nowy Targ District) confirm that there were numerous murders of Jews in Ochotnica: […] “The Gestapo men came to Ochotnica several times and they shot every encountered Jew. Towards the end of August 1942 the Gestapo ordered Jews to leave their homes and travel to Nowy Targ. At that point all Jewish families left Ochotnica. (S 24/04/Zn p.99) “After some times the Gestapo came to Ochotnica again and went from door to door shooting Jewish men and women.” (S 24/04/Zn p. 78)

The murder of the sawmill owners has been remembered by the residents of Ochotnica Górna: “During the occupation I lived in Ochotnica Górna. Several Jewish families lived there: Apfelbaums were the owners of the forest; another family who owned the shop and the inn, I don’t remember their name – we used to say: [going] to Rywka. I remember that in 1942 the Gestapo men from Krościenko came to Ochotnica. Two wives of the Apfelbaum brothers were at home. They were 40 years old. The Gestapo men led them from their home to their own sawmill and took their lives by shooting them.” There is no information about a site of burial in the testimony. (S 24/04/Zn p. 29-30)

Identification of the grave based on research

On the 13th of May 2015, a local vision of the place identified as a mass grave was carried out. Vision took a place without the presence of the witness. Approximate coordinates: (GPS: N 49°31.010’E020°23.276′).

The LIDAR survey is not helpful due to the lack of exact indication.

No GPR surveys were conducted.

Sources

Contact and cooperation

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

Bibliography

Resources of the Zapomniane Foundation, letter of 8 September 2014 from the Institute of National Remembrance, the Commission for the Prosecution of Crimes against the Polish Nation, the Regional Commission for the Examination of Crimes against the Polish Nation in Warsaw to the Rabbinical Commission for Cemeteries containing a summary of the historical expertise regarding Jewish war graves in the Ochotnica Dolna carried out in 2008.

Resources of the Zapomniane Foundation, cover letter of 6/05/2014 of the Institute of National Remembrance, the Commission for the Prosecution of Crimes against the Polish Nation in Krakow, together with copies of the testimony of 11 residents of Ochotnica and Tylmanowa, who testified at the turn of July and August 1975 regarding the German crime in Ochotnica and Tylmanowa, file no. S 24/04 / Zn.

IPN BU 2448/475, the Chief Commission for the Examination of German Crimes in Poland, Archives of the Kraków province, Nowy Targ district, repression of the Jewish population before the creation of the ghetto.

IPN BU 2448/473, the Chief Commission for the Examination of German Crimes in Poland, Archives of the Cracow province, Nowy Targ district, Executions.

IPN GK 163/10 Questionnaire. Executions. Graves. Krakow province, Volume III, Questionnaires about mass executions and mass graves – Krakow province.

Cards from the thematic file of the Chief Commission for the Examination of German Crimes in Poland.

The register of sites and crimes committed by the Germans in Poland between 1939 and 1945, Warsaw 1984, p. 84.