Saturday, July 17, 2010
July 17 PM
I wanted to add that we are now in Zamosc. We traveled here through towns that were mentioned in the book "Ordinary Men." The towns which Battalion 101 such as Jozefow where these men killed so many in the towns we passed through today. The town now is a quaint little hamlet with Renaissance architecture, a lovely square where food is plenty and fresh flower stalls., but this little town has a dark history. Settled in 1588 by Sephardic Jews who left and then Ashkenazi Jews soon took their place. Before WWII 12,000 Jews thrived here and made up about 80% of the population. In 1939 it was caputred by the Soviets by a few days and then by the Germans. The Jews welcomed the Soviets as liberators. When the Soviets left about 5000 Jews went along with them.
Germans returned and rounded up the Jews for slave labor and their property was looted.
In December of 1939 the Gestapo ordered the formation of the Judenrat. In early 1941 Jews were ordered to move into the poorest impoverished section of town. In April 1942 deportation began.Hidden Jews and elderly were shot on the spot. Others were taken to the gathering place put on 30 wagons and sent to Belzec- they left behind scores of bodies of those shot.
There is one synagogue that survived because the Germans made use of it. Today it has been renovated- and interestingly it has been done so with funds from Norway, Iceland and Lichtenstein.