Wednesday, December 7, 2022

80 years ago, the Germans shot 97 Poles for helping Jews

Portal Niezalezna_pl: 80 years ago, on December 7, 1942, German gendarmes and policemen shot 97 inhabitants of Białka and a woman of Jewish origin hiding there. The pretext of the crime was the help and shelter that the villagers gave to Jews who had escaped from the ghettos in the Lublin region and were hiding in the nearby forests.

"In the autumn of 1942, a large group of Jews, escapees from the surrounding ghettos, was hiding in these forests, numbering several hundred people. It was a wetland, swampy area. The group of Jews was joined by a group of several dozen Soviet prisoners of war who had escaped from captivity. They were armed with weapons captured from the Germans. The pacification of Białka was part of the German action against Jews and prisoners of war in hiding. The action lasted from 2 to 8 December 1942," - said a historian from the Institute of National Remembrance, Dr. Rafał Drabik.

In the pacification, participated 1st motorized gendarmerie battalion from Warsaw. It had over 400 people. 75 percent of them were Austrians, and 25 percent were Germans. In addition to the gendarmes, there were two platoons from the 25th regiment of protective police, three companies from the 22nd regiment, the 3rd mounted police unit, a pursuit unit, and a unit from the reserve police battalion.

The murderers in police uniforms did not face any consequences for their actions. In 1963, former gendarme Kurt Rogall and 34 other Austrian officers of the 1st motorized battalion stood trial in Linz, Austria, but were not convicted of the crimes in Białka.