ZdówBorough of Włodowice , Zawierciański District, Śląskie Voivodship
Type of placelas
Information about the crime
In February 2022, we visited Zdów, where there is a grave of a young man called Muniek in the forest. Józef Dorobisz, born in 1924, cherished the memory of Muniek and his burial place for years. Here is an excerpt from his written account:
“I was 21 then. About three Jewish families lived in Zdów. I remember the names of members of one of the families: Sura, Major, Majorowa, Iczyk, Herszlik, Dawid and Muniek – my friend. Before the war, this family was very wealthy. They had a shop, thanks to which they could help the inhabitants of Zdów. When World War II began, the Germans began to persecute Jewish families. They burned down their shop and house, leaving them without shelter. Even though I was friends with Muniek (we herded cows together), I couldn’t take them in (I helped them survive), because the Germans often came to me and asked about Jews. I didn’t turn them in! Later, after the war, the remaining Jewish families who survived thanked me for that. The story of the family I was friends with ended the day they were shot. The Germans killed part of the family on the so-called Waleniec. Only Muniek managed to escape, but unfortunately the Germans got him anyway. He was shot in Mokradlo. To this day, I come there to light a candle. I know where he was buried. After this incident, I went to the forest and I saw traces of blood and a burial place”.
Together with Moniek, all members of his family died, both his parents and siblings: Major with his wife, Dawid, Icek, Srul and Sura. The circumstances of their death and the place of their burial remain unknown. (Kijowski, 1999)
The place of the grave was marked with a wooden matzevah in 2022 as part of the project “Reference points – marking 25 Jewish war graves with wooden matzevot”. The project is an attempt to find a way of marking these places before they can be commemorated. Marking forgotten Jewish war graves with wooden matzevot is a subtle intervention in the landscape reminding about what remains invisible, yet present in the memory of local communities. Being only a temporary commemoration, wooden matzevot invite local communities to discuss and take action, to discover the places, and perhaps to start their own memory practice related to them or to initiate a permanent commemoration.
You can read more about the project here: https://tinyurl.com/2p9ar52f
The project was implemented thanks to the funding from The Association of the Jewish Historical Institute of Poland (Stowarzyszenie Żydowski Instytut Historyczny) and The Matzevah Foundation.
IDENTIFICATION OF THE GRAVE BASED ON NON INVASIVE RESEARCH
On February 14, 2022, a site inspection was carried out in the presence of a witness who precisely indicated the location of a single grave (GPS: N 50°35’49.8” E 19°32’6.3”).
The place was marked with a wooden cross and a wooden matzevah.
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 Zdów. If you know something more, write to us at the following address: email@example.com.
Written account of Józef Dorobisz born in May 15, 1924, undated.
Józef Kijowski Ziemia zawierciańsko-myszkowska w latach okupacji hitlerowskiej 1939-1945, Zawiercie 1999
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.