ZręcinBorough of Chorkówka, Krośnieński District, Podkarpackie Voivodship
Type of placeA private plot.
Information about the crime
On the premises of a private plot in the village of Zręcin (Chorkówka borough, Krosno county) at the corner of Łukasiewicza and Klobassa-Zręcki streets, there is a grave of infants and young children from the Jedlicze ghetto. The oral record also tells of an unknown number of Christian children buried in the same place. Their origin still remains unknown.
“Few people know that there are 6 cemeteries in Zręcin. […] About 4 Jewish children were buried in the Jewish cemetery at the end of the 19th century, when Zręcin moved from the Jewish community in Dukla to the community in Krosno. Later, during World War II, about 20-30 infants and the youngest children taken from their mothers were buried here, […] In Zręcin about 10 infants were killed and buried near the Jewish grave. The next day, the Germans brought about 10-20 bodies and treated them with acid and slaked lime.”
(www.facebook.com/Gmina-Chorkówka-dawniej-i-dziś, published on April 8th, 2015)
On June 29 this year, representatives of the Zapomniane Foundation and the Rabbinical Commission for Cemeteries carried out a site inspection of the grave. There is a plaque on site, funded by Hanna Ciołkosz née Fries right after the war. Hanna Ciołkosz planted several trees around the grave, one of them has survived to our times and was cut by the new owners of the plot in the first half of 2021. However, it is still visible in satellite photos and is a reference point for the location of the grave. There is the following inscription on the plaque: Mass grave of the youngest victims of World War II.
On the same day, representatives of the Foundation and the Commission met a neighbor of the plot on which the grave is located. He knew about the existence of the grave, as this plot belonged to his family until recently. Moreover, Hanna Ciołkosz née Fries, the founder of the commemorative plaque, was a member of Mr. J-M.’s family, and the plot on which the grave is located belonged to the Fries family before the war. Hanna Fries was a Holocaust survivor, saved by Kazimierz Ciołkosz. Hanna and Kazimierz got married after the war. In other words, the history of the children’s grave in Zręcin is part of Mr. J-M.’s family history, and the memory of it has been cherished for years. Mr. J-M. found a letter from May 11, 1946, written by the pre-war maid Maria (surname unknown). She was asking her pre-war employer, Maria Ciołkoszowa née Idzikowska, about the possibility of returning to the service.She also mentions Hanna and Kazimierz Ciołkosz and the fact of the existence of a children’s grave in Zręcin with these words: “Behind the fence of the Fries family, the Germans buried many bodies of children, mainly babies of both religions from the Jedlicze ghetto […] Hanka planted a poplar there and erected a stone monument with a Cross and a Star David. […]) ”. The original letter is in the central state archive (Archiwum Akt Nowych) in Warsaw under the reference number 2/1459/0/3/365 / III. (www.facebook.com/Gmina-Chorkówka-dawniej-i-dziś, published on December 15th 8th, 2016)
The memory of the grave has also been preserved in the minds of the oldest inhabitants of Zręcin. Here is a fragment of the account of Stefania G. born in 1922: “It is on the plot that you bought from Hanka Ciołkoszowa, née Fries. This house burned down, they rebuilt it as a two-story house. […] A poplar planted by Hanka grows next to the empty house. Under the tree there is a grave of children from the Jedlicze ghetto. They have to do something about this place for people to know. Now, hardly anyone cares.
– Do you know anything more about this grave?
– I didn’t see it personally, because I lived in Koniec [part of Zręcin] then, but when the Germans buried babies from the Jedlicze ghetto here, it was clearly visible from Klimek’s house. They poured acid over it. Maybe that’s why this poplar is so weak. […] At that time, there were hardly any houses, because the Jewish ones were burnt, and apart from them, there were only empty fields and trees of the Klobassa Park. Apparently, Jews were buried next to this grave in the past. The Klobassa family gave a piece of their land for this purpose.” (2005-04-10)
At the place of the grave, there is a memorial plaque with the text: Mass grave of the youngest victims of World War II. The board is placed horizontally on a small plinth.
IDENTIFICATION OF THE GRAVE BASED ON NON INVASIVE RESEARCH
Non-invasive research in Zręcin is planned for 2022.
Contact and cooperation
We are still looking for information on the identity of the victims and the location of Jewish graves in Zręcin. If you know something more, write to us at the following address: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Recording of the Zapomniane Foundation (audio file), name: Bartosz J-M., subject and keywords: Jewish graves in Zręcin; exp. Agnieszka Nieradko, Zręcin, 28 July 2021
Fragment of Stefania G.’s account, b. in 1922, registered on April 10, 2005 by priest Wojciech Przystasz
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” and also thanks to the support of the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany in Warsaw.