Świecie nad Wisłą

Borough of Świecie, Świecie District, Kujawsko-Pomorskie Voivodship

Type of place

The Jewish cemetery on Polna Street.

Information about the crime

On 7 and 8 October 1939 on the Jewish cemetery on Polna Street Gestapo and members of the Selbstschutz formation, recruited from the members of the local German minority, murdered approx. 80 people – Jews and Poles, men, women and children. The victims were buried in a common grave. In 1945 the bodies of Polish people were moved to the communal cemetery.

The following description of events can be found in a study by Witold Dmochowski, a long-term member of the Committee for the Protection of Struggle and Martyrdom Sites in Bydgoszcz: “On the 8 and 9 October 1939 on the Jewish cemetery a mass execution took place. Thirty Polish people (intellectuals from Świecie) were shot alongside all Jews who lived and stayed in the town. According to an eyewitness account on the 8 October 1939 Jews were led out of the jail adjacent to the municipal court. While being hurried through the town’s streets to the cemetery, the Jews were told to hold their hands up. They were escorted by Germans in SS and SA uniforms. On the cemetery the Jews were ordered to dig a hole 17 metres long, 2.5 metres wide and 2 metres deep. Then 4 Jews at a time were ordered to lie down in the hole face down and that was how they were shot. The next day, 9 October, approx. 20 Jewish women with children and 30 Poles were brought. Then all of them were shot to death.”

Commemoration

On the Jewish cemetery on Polna Street there is a memorial commemorating this event while the actual grave is located several metres further.

Identification of the grave based on research

On the 18th of February 2014 a GPR survey at the Jewish cemetery was carried out (GPS: N53°24.1314’E018°26.3113′). The results of the surveys were processed and subjected to a geophysical interpretation, which confirmed the presence of numerous ground disturbance. The supposed size of the trench is: the length of approx. 14.0 – 16.0 m, width approx. 2.0 m and depth approx. 0.8 – 1.4 (p.p.t.).

The LIDAR survey is not helping 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 Świecie nad Wisłą. If you know something more, write to us at the following address: fundacjazapomniane@gmail.com.

Bibliography

IPN By 26/47, documents from the files of the Regional Commission for the Examination of German Crimes in Bydgoszcz.

IPN By 26/49, documents from the files of the Regional Commission for the Examination of German Crimes in Bydgoszcz.

IPN By 35/26, The Regional Commission for the Examination of German Crimes in Bydgoszcz, extracts from files: “Declared deceased”, Town and District Court in Świecie.

GK 170/14, k. 2, Report of the hearing of a witness regarding German crimes committed in Świecie in 1939.

Report of the Rabbinical Commission for Cemeteries from GPR questionnaires of a mass grave at the Jewish cemetery in Świecie at Polna street from 27/03/2014.

Card inventory of the former Regional Commission for the Examination of Crimes against the Polish Nation in Bydgoszcz.

GK 159/216, Ministry of the Interior of the Republic of Poland in London – office for War Crimes.

The register of sites and crimes committed by the Germans in Poland between 1939 and 1945, bydgoskie province, Warsaw 1981, p. 127.

IPN GK 195/II/18, Group: Scout Alert materials on the sites of German crimes in Poland.

Domachowski Witold, elaboration of the set: ” Ewidencja miejsc pamięci narodowej długoletniego członka Wojewódzkiego Komitetu Ochrony Pamięci Walk i Męczeństwa w Bydgoszczy Pana Witolda Domachowskiego”, passed on to the Committee in 2006-2007.