Ochotnica Dolna – grave no 2 (a meadow on the Młynne estate)

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

Type of place

The meadow on the Młynne estate where bodies of murdered members of the Judenrat (about 15-22 people) are meant to be buried. In a close proximity to this site, in an unidentified place, there is also a grave of the family of an assistant rabbi (the name and the number of victims unknown.)

Information about the crime

There were numerous murders of Jews in Ochotnica Dolna. According to the Commission’s documents, in 1942-43 in Poland Germans murdered whole families of Jews, including Gasners, Wenzelbergs, Aptelbans, Englenders, Sussmans, Komunholdzs. (IPN BU 2448/475, p. 3).

Bodies of the victims were most often buried on an estate called Młynne. It was there that the bodies of the Judenrat members shot on 24 April 1942 were buried. Among the victims there were: Salomon Mesinger – the owner of an inn and a grocery shop, Hochauser, two Furmans and Sussman. The murders of Jewish councillors is recalled by a resident of Ochotnica Dolna in his statement from August 1972: “[…] About six Germans led the councillors from Jew Weiss’ house where the community used to have its headquarters. Six or seven of them were taken, I don’t remember exactly. Germans led all of them to the riverside behid the house. I heard gunshots coming from there. Then I received an order from the mayor to take part in the removal of the bodies of Jews. I transported bodies, I can’t remember if it was one or more, to the Młynne estate where one common grave had been dug. This was where the bodies were buried. I remember seeing the body of Klapholtz. I don’t remember other names.” (S 24/04/Zn, p. 73-74)

The facts established by students from the Jagiellonian University’s Study Club of Historians who did a field study in Ochotnica Dolna indicate that the following people were among the Judenrat members murdered in 1942 (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.):

  • Kalmon Feldschreiber
  • Fogelhut (no name)
  • Förster (no name)
  • Förster (no name)
  • Izaak Hochhauser
  • Jemen Hochhauser
  • Dawid Kepler
  • Salomon Messinger
  • Salomon Szlachet
  • Geśla Süssman
  • Süssman (no name)
  • Moryc Wencelberger

In an unknown spot on the same estate bodies of members of the Appfel and Schlacheta families and others of unknown names murdered in September 1942 are buried: “Then I saw that one of the Germans followed a Jew called Appfel to the garden. When he reached him, he started beating him with the butt of his gun and when he fell, he started to kick him. […] He shot him in the back of the head. The Jew fell on the ground dead. After shooting Appfel the same Gestapo man shot his daughter who was standing in the yard. I saw him shooting three times. But she didn’t fall. Then he kicked her and at that point she fell. He was still shooting her while she was lying. The other of the Gestapo men entered the Appfels’ house where Appfel’s wife was still present. I heard gunshots coming out of the house. I haven’t seen the actual killing of Appfel’s wife. On the same day Gestapo men shot Jews in other houses too. I heard gunshots in the Schlachetas’ house and I saw the body of the 30-something-year-old Lejka Schlacheta. On that day I saw several other bodies but I don’t recall their names. Coachmen transported bodies of the Jews to the grave dug on the Młynne estate where they were buried.” (The statement of Karol B. who testified on 6 August 1975 in front of the District Commission for the Investigation of Hitlerite Crimes in Cracow.) (S 24/04/Zn, p. 91-92.)

The same witness saw the death of a 30-year-old Jewish woman: “In 1942, I think it was in the summer, I saw a Jewish woman being shot. I didn’t know her came. She came from a Jewish home in our village, past the post office. We used to say ‘to Szlacheta’. I saw then a German in the Gestapo uniform leading a Jewish woman, about 30 years old, from the house and taking her behind the building where he shot her. She shot her from the front as when he was putting the shotgun to her head she turned around and when she saw the gun directed at her, she covered her face with her hands. Her body was buried in Młynne.” (S 24/04/Zn, p. 36-37)

Identification of the grave based on research

On the 29th of September 2015 two graves, single and mass grave (GPS: 1. N49°32.226’E 020°18.924′ ,2. N49°32.233’E020°18.926′) were identified. At the indicated place of the mass grave a GPR survey was conducted (GPS: N49°32.233’E020°18.926′). An attempt to interpret was made, despite the low quality of the survey result. The approximate format of the ground disturbance is approximately 3.2 – 3.7 m, width approx. 3.2 – 3.7 m. 2.5 – 3.0 m, depth unknown.

The location of a single grave has not been confirmed by the GPR survey.

The LIDAR survey is not helpful in this case.

The aerial photography query for this area wasn’t ordered.

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.