Radzymin

Borough of Radzymin, Wołomin District, Mazowieckie Voivodship

Type of place

The Jewish cemetery in Radzymin.

Information about the crime

The ghetto in Radzymin operated from September 1940 till October 1942. Approx. 2500 people altogether were imprisoned there. According to the Questionnaire of the camps, approx. 700 people lost their lives during that time and their remains were buried on the Jewish cemetery in Radzymin (IPN GK 163/62). The same cemetery was the place of burial of bodies of the Holocaust victims after the liquidation of the ghetto in Radzymin and the exportation of the remaining Jews to Treblinka. According to the Register of Crime Places and Facts, the Jewish cemetery in Radzymin was the location of the following events:

  1. In the autumn or spring of 1940 military policemen stopped and murdered two Jewish boys. Their bodies were buried on the Jewish cemetery. An eyewitness’ account: “The older boy tried to escape but the younger one grabbed his trousers. At this point a military policeman approached, pulled away the younger boy and shot him in the head. The older one pulled out and ran to the other side of the street where the policeman’s bullet reached him.” (IPN BU 2448/1068)
  2. In the spring of 1942 military policemen from the local police station shot 4 or 5 Jewish women on the Jewish cemetery. Bodies of the victims were buried at the place of execution.
  3. In the spring of 1942 or 1943 a military policeman shot a man of Jewish nationality called Maje on the Jewish cemetery. There is no information about the body.
  4. In the summer of 1942 on the Jewish cemetery military policemen from the local police station shot a Jewish family: a barrister, his wife and their 7-year-old daughter. There is no information about the place of burial.
  5. In the summer of 1942 military policemen shot 8 people of Jewish nationality on the Jewish cemetery. There is no information about the bodies.
  6. In June 1942 military police shot 19 Jews (10 men, 5 women and 4 children) with automatic guns on the Jewish cemetery in Radzymin. A witness testified: “In June 1942 a cart full of Jews stopped near my house. [Among the Jews] there were women and children. I watched the event hidden behind the trees in my garden which was located near the Jewish cemetery. The Jews were escorted by military policemen on horseback. I recognised Hoppe, Radke and Cymbryk. Beating them with butts of their rifles they pushed the Jews off the cart and walked them to the cemetery. I didn’t see the execution itself because I hid in my house. After a while, however, I heard automatic gunshots. After an hour I went to the cemetery. There was an old Jewish caretaker who was crying. Before leaving, Hoppe ordered him to bury the bodies before the evening – otherwise he would be shot as well.” (IPN BU 2448/1068)
  7. In October 1942 on the Jewish cemetery a military policeman from the local police station shot to death a Jew called Rybak (first name unknown.) His body was buried at the crime scene.
  8. In the autumn of 1942 military policemen shot a Jewish woman, approx. 30 years old, on the Jewish cemetery. There is no information about the place of burial.
  9. In the autumn of 1942 military policemen shot approx. 20 people (including women and 4 or 5 children) on the Jewish cemetery. There is no information about the place of burial.
  10. In the winter of 1942 police officers and military policemen shot to death 4 people of Jewish nationality on the Jewish cemetery. There is no information about the place of burial.
  11. In January 1943 military policemen shot 2 people of Jewish nationality who escaped from the ghetto in Warsaw. It was a father and his 7-year-old son. Their bodies were buried on the Jewish cemetery in Radzymin. A witness testified: “In January 1943 military policemen from Radzymin, Hoppe and Radke, were walking past my house laughing loudly and joking. They were escorting a man and his 7-year-old son. Before they reached the cemetery, the boy tried to run – Hoppe shot him and a moment later he shot the father as well. I don’t know the names of the victims.” (IPN BU 2448/1068)
  12. In August 1943 a German soldier shot to death a Jewish child on the Jewish cemetery. An eyewitness testified: “[…] Also in the same year I saw in Radzymin a German soldier from Wehrmacht, armed with a rifle, chasing a Jewish boy. He escorted him to the Jewish cemetery where he shot him. I saw it personally because as a young girl, out of curiosity, I followed them quietly and watched. I don’t know the name of the boy or that of his killer.” (IPN BU 2448/1067)
  13. In the autumn of 1943 Nazis shot to death 14 people of Jewish nationality (men, women and children 4-5 years old.) Their bodies were buried on the Jewish cemetery.
  14. In the autumn of 1943 a military policeman from the local police station shot to death a 5 or 6-year-old Jewish girl. There is no information about her body.

On 19 May 2015 Leon N., a resident of Radzymin born in 1930, told us about one of the murders committed on the Jewish cemetery that he witnessed: “There were two killers [in Radzymin]: military policemen Hoppe and Radke. They had their headquarters where now there is the gardening school. They were leading a 17 or 18-year-old Jew from there. We used to ride bicycles here. I was 13 and I knew why they were escorting him because it was well known that they were persecuting Jews. I told my friend (he died by now): ‘Look, Jurek, they are probably leading him to be shot. Let’s hide. Be quiet because they will shoot us too.’ They were escorting him, he was a pretty boy. He entered [the cemetery.] The grave had already been prepared, dug by Mr Paciorek. He [the military policeman] shot him and he fell. When he fell, Mr Paciorek arrived, approached him, turned him around, took off his clothes and shoes, took a spade and buried him. Then the Germans left.” (Radzymin, 19 May 2015.)

Sources

Contact and cooperation

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

Bibliography

Recording of the Zapomniane Foundation (audio file), name: Leon [eyewitness], b. 1930, place of residence: Radzymin, subject and keywords: Jewish graves in Radzymin, interviewed by Agnieszka Nieradko, Radzymin, 19 May 2015.

IPN BU 2448/1067 from the files of the group of the Chief Commission for the Examination of German Crimes in Poland, Wołomiński district.

IPN BU 2448/1068 from the files of the group of the Chief Commission for the Examination of German Crimes in Poland Wołomiński district.

IPN GK 163/62, Questionnaire. Executions. Graves. Warszawskie province, volume III, Questionnaires about mass executions and mass graves in the warszawskie province.

The register of sites and crimes committed by the Germans in Poland between 1939 and 1945. Warszawskie capital province, Warszawa 1988, p. 250 – 252.