Gacki, Staszów County

Staszów

Staszów [] is a town in Poland, in Świętokrzyskie Voivodship, about 54 km southeast of Kielce. It is the capital of Staszów County. Population is 15,642 (2004).

Districts

City consists of 10 districts:

  • Osiedle Oględowska - Złodziejówka (Thief Village)
  • Osiedle Ogrody (The Gardens )
  • Osiedle Północ (North town )
  • Osiedle Wschód - Pipała(East town )
  • Stare Miasto (Downtown )
  • Staszówek
  • Golejów
  • Radzików
  • Pocieszka
  • Małopolskie

Black Sunday

Staszów (pronounced Stash-ouv) is one of the many sites in Poland where Jews were exterminated en masse by Nazis (sometimes assisted by the Polish themselves). The famous Sefer Staszów (The Staszów Book) (Sefer Stashev) contains eyewitness accounts of life in the ghetto, the mass extermination on Black Sunday (Nov 8, 1942), and the subsequent horrors.

According to Sefer Staszów, the night before Black Sunday, Obersturmfuehrer Schild ordered the Jewish policemen to instruct all the Jews in town to be present by 8 o'clock in the morning at the marketplace. Anybody who did not obey this order would be shot. By 8 o'clock in the morning about 5,000 Jews, young and old, children and grown-ups, had assembled at the market place in order to begin their march to death. At 10 in the morning, Schild gave the order: “March! And so the people started the march and as soon as they filed into Krakowski Street, the murderers shot into the mass of people, strewing the whole road with innocent victims. Blood ran from the Krakowski street down to the river. The march of the Staszów Jews took them through Szczuczin and Stopnica to Belzec, that second Treblinka. More than 1,000 Jews reached Stopnica. In Nizszen (Niziny) village, 9 kilometres from Staszów, a mass grave was dug for 740 victims.

Those who had not come at 8 AM to the marketplace were bestially murdered in their homes. All those killed in Staszów itself on the day of slaughter were buried in a single mass grave at the Jewish Cemetery. Many more Jews, who were retained for hard labor or who had hidden in bunkers, were subsequently killed or shipped to a concentration camp.

Original Jewish Cemetery

Over 175 years old, the Jewish Cemetery was not maintained by the Polish, and at one point was even replaced without a trace by a playground. The newer Jewish cemetery, two-thirds of a mile from the center of Staszow, was an empty lot. The gravestones had been carted away by the Nazis for use as paving stones on muddy roads and sold to a construction company by municipal authorities after the war when no Jews returned to claim them.

An individual living in New York paid to have the grounds spruced up, to have a 10-foot Holocaust memorial constructed, to have some 155 Jewish gravestones he discovered in Staszow homes brought back to the cemetery, and to have a marker set up at a Holocaust-era mass grave.

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