Documents concerning the murders in Jedwabne

In March 2001, Mr. Leszek Kocon, Director of the State Archives in Bialystok, Lomza Division, carried out an investigation which resulted in the discovery of some original documents concerning the events in Jedwabne on July 10, 1941. Preserved were the testimonies of witnesses, both of Polish and of Jewish descent.

The testimonies were found in the files of the Lomza Town Courts that were transferred from the Lomza Regional Court in May 2000. They were the files from a court action of Declaration of death in absentia under Court reference numbers Zg 167 and 236 (dated 1947); Zg 129, 130, 165, 234, 235, 308, and 334 (dated 1948); and Zg 105 and 178 (dated 1949).

Mentions of these events can also be found in the Court reference numbers Co 4, 13 and 52 from 1947. Together these files provided 28 depositions made by 19 witnesses; included in that number were depositions by 9 witnesses of Jewish ethnicity. Among the 19 witnesses, 9 define themselves as eyewitnesses to these events (5 of whom were Jewish).

In the case of the Court reference number ZG 236 (1947), there is mention of 2 Jewish witnesses, whose depositions are not included in the portfolio. Their absence may explain the problematic numbers of burned people. It follows from the context of the petition, that in Jedwabne they also burned Jewish people from Wizna.




Depositions of witnesses found in the files:

File Zg 167/47

J.R., age 36. "In July 1941, the Germans murdered them in Jedwabne. In addition, all Jedwabne Jews were burned alive in the barn. I know this only from hearsay because I was not an eyewitness to this. /../ About 1500 Jewish residents perished at the time and I saw how the Germans drove a large crowd of the Jewish population into the barn where they were burned."

Z. Tadeusz, age 38. "I saw the Germans chase them out of their houses and into the market square. From there, the whole Jewish population was driven into the barn outside of town, where they were burned alive. On that day, over 1000 Jewish residents perished."

File Zg 236/47

Excerpt from the conclusion "...and his wife together with the rest of Wizna's surviving Jewish population was displaced to Jedwabne, where she was burned alive with the other Wizna Jews in July, 1941."

File Zg 129/48

Z.T., age 38. "In 1941, the Germans /.../ drove all the Jews in Jedwabne into the barn, and burned them alive. I was a bystander of this burning."

O. Stanislaw, age 28. "In 1941, the Germans burned all the Jedwabne Jews in a barn. On the next day, I saw in the barn the burned corpses of all the Jews."

G. Eljasz, age 24. "Germans murdered my grandmother Mejta Chinka Grondowska in 1941 by burning. I was in Russia at the time."

File Zg 130/48

Z.T., age 38. "I was an eyewitness to the murdering of Jews from Jedwabne by the Germans. The Germans drove all the town's Jews, numbering more than 1000, into the barn and set it on fire."

O. Stanislaw, age 25. "On July the 10th, 1941, the Germans burned alive all the Jews from Jedwabne (in a barn). /../ On the next day, after the murder of the Jews, I saw the burned corpses of the Jews."

G.E., age 24. "The Germans murdered my mother Bluma Grondowska on July 10, 1941, in Jedwabne by burning her in a barn together with other Jews from that town. At that time I was in Russia."

File Zg 165/48

K.M., age 39. "In 1942, the Germans herded all the Jews in the town of Jedwabne into a barn and set it on fire, so that no Jew survived. I was not present there, as I managed to escape from Jedwabne, and Kilingros Motek was not herded into the barn. Later, Motek as a co-inmate in the Lomza ghetto told me all about it."

M.D., age 31. "In the month of July, 1942, the Germans ordered all Jedwabne Jews to come out to the market square. At that time I was with the underground army. In Jedwabne, I saw Lejba Pendziuch among the Jews in the market square. From the market square, all of the Jews were marched four abreast into the barn and the barn was set on fire. / ../ Around 700 Jews were burned alive in the barn."

File Zg 234/48

P.J., age 26. "In 1942, the Germans murdered all the Jews from Jedwabne by burning them alive in the barn."

B. Franciszek, age 37. "...after the burning of Jews alive in Jedwabne."

File Zg 235/48

J.P., age 26. "In July of 1942, the Germans murdered all the Jews in Jedwabne by burning them alive in the barn."

B.F., age 37. "In July 1942, the Germans burned alive all the Jews from Jedwabne in a barn."

File Zg 308/48

C.H.I., age 32. "In July 1941, the Germans murdered all the Jews of Jedwabne by burning them alive in the barn. I saw how they drove them into the barn /../ and they set the barn on fire. At that time I was in Jedwabne, hiding from the Germans. I was in hiding and survived. Jews were burned in the daylight."

B.J., age 46. "On the 10th of July, 1941, I saw how the Germans herded all the Jews from Jedwabne into a barn and set it on fire. / ../ At that time I was hiding from the Germans. At that moment I was in hiding in the cemetery and saw everything."

File Zg 334/48

Z.S.l., age 58. "On the 10th of July, the Germans burned him alive in a barn. At the time, they burned alive all the Jews from Jedwabne in that barn. I saw how the Germans herded all the Jews into the barn /../ and set it on fire during the day."

Z. Marian, age 36. "I saw how on July 10th, 1941, the Germans burned alive all the Jedwabne Jews in a barn."

File Zg 105/49

L.Z., age 53. "As the Germans entered Jedwabne, the Jewish population was rounded up in great numbers into the barn near Jedwabne, and in that barn this multitude was burned alive. Together with the father of the petitioner, I was among the people driven towards the barn, but in the last moment, just before reaching the barn, I was able to escape and hide by the cemetery wall near the barn. I firmly attest that I saw with my own eyes / ../ how the Germans drove the Jews /../ into the barn, set it on fire, and burned alive all the herded Jews. A few hundred Jews were burned in that barn."

File Zg 178/49

L.Z., age 56. "Towards the end of June 1941, I heard that the Germans / ../ burned alive Abram Ibram."

File Co 4/47

K.M., age 29. "Sora Drejarska with her whole family were burned alive by the Germans."

File Co 13/47

E.G. age 22, son of Berka.
"In 1941, on the 10th of July, the Germans murdered her by herding the Jews / ../ into a barn in Jedwabne, and burning them alive. I know this because at that time I was hiding near Jedwabne."


Z. Tadeusz, age 37. "On July 10, 1941, she was murdered by the Germans who herded the Jews / ../ into a barn and burned them alive. I saw all of this with my own eyes."

File Co 52/47

C.S., age 30. "The Germans burned the Piekarewiczes alive in August, I do not remember which year."

G.E., age 23. "/../ The Germans burned the Grądowskis in 1941./../"

Rywka F., age 38. "/../ The Germans took away the Piekarskis when they liquidated the Jews and the Piekarkis have not returned since /../"

M.P., age 65. "/../ The Germans burned alive Piekarski and his wife Golda /../"

M.J., age 60. "/../ The Germans burned the Piekarskis alive /../"

01/06/2018, Translation: Agnieszka Studzińska | Gregory Lynne