Thursday, December 30, 2021

Michniów massacre, 1943

 During World War II and the occupation of Poland by Nazi Germany (1939-1945), Poles were subjected to terror and mass German repression not only in the cities but also in the villages. The is no complete list, but nearly 300 villages were burned to the ground, literally.

One of such villages was Michniów. 

The inhabitants of Michniów were actively helping the local partisans from the Świętokrzyskie Home Army (AK). 

On July 12, 1943, a German military unit partially burned the village and murdered over 100 inhabitants. In retaliation that same night, AK's partisans attacked the express train Kraków-Warsaw in the area of Podłazie, Skarżysko County, killing or injuring at least a dozen Germans. The next day, German Ordnungspolizei returned to Michniów, completely burning the village and murdering almost all Poles who lived there. At least 204 people, men, women, and children, were killed. Most of them burned alive in a barn. The youngest victim was a nine-day-old Stefan Dąbrowa, thrown into a burning barn by a German military policeman.

German authorities forbade the reconstruction of the village and cultivation of surrounding fields. After the war, the Michniów massacre symbolized German crimes committed in Polish villages. Currently, in Michniów, there is the Mausoleum of Polish Rural Martyrology.