KRASNOSIELC: Mazowieckie Print

Coat of arms of Krasnosielc Map. Alternate names: Krasnosielc, Krasnoshelets, Krasnoshelts, Krosnoshiltz. 53°02' N, 21°10' E, 55 miles N of Warsaw, 40 miles WSW of Łomża. 1900 Jewish population: 1,331. Yizkor: Dzieje społeczności żydowskiej: powiatów Pułtusk i Maków Mazowiecki (Warsaw, 1993). "We Remember Krasnosielc" has WWII massacre information. Krasnosielc is a village in Maków County on the river Orzyc in east-central Poland and the seat of the administrative district called Gmina Krasnosielc 18 km (11 mi) N of Maków Mazowiecki. Previous names include: Sielc, Siedlec and in Yiddish: Silc. The village has a population of 1,300. Harry Warner, co-founder of Warner Bros., was born in Krasnosielc, a son of Pearl Leah Eichelbaum and Benjamin Voron, a shoemaker born also in Krasnosielc. Until the mid-19th century, the Krasinski family owned the town. Until WWII, the majority (60%+) of the inhabitants were Jews. In addition to Poles and Jews, a small group of Germans lived here. The first Jews settled in the mid-18th century. In 1824, Krasnosielc received its town charter, attracting economic development and permitting Jewish residence. They lived on the streets of Nadrzeczna, Wodna, and Żabińska by paying the owner at the time, Joseph Krasinski, rent. The Jewish Community initially was subordinate to the Makowie kahał, then to Przasnysz, and in 1844 received autonomy. Płock government granted a hearing in July 1842 based on a complaint by Krasnosielc Jews against Przasnysz, by which they felt ill-served. After two years, autonomy was granted. In 1841, Krasnosiel Jews numbered 588 with an annual income of 113 RBS and 14 kop. They had their own cemetery, synagogue at ul. Przechodnia 6 built in 1883, and a mikvah. Predominantly engaged in handicrafts and trade, at the beginning of the 19th century, they produced thick cloth. Tailoring was mostly a Jewish occupation. Jews also worked on a number of repair work such as David Freyman, who in 1837 performed all work on the city's wells and pumps. In 1869 Krasnosielc lost and never regained them. When the town owner, Karol Krasinski, died without issue, the town was acquired by the Jew, Henry Bethel Strausberg, one of the richest people in Europe known as the King of European Railways. He purchased Krasinski and transferred it to his sister, Wanda Rumocki with Drążdżewa (near Krasnosielc). A few years later Strousberg went bankrupt;; the Krasnosiel property was auctioned. The purchasers of the town were also Jewish. In the early 20th century, Jews owned 27 out of 46 shops and dominated manufacturing and dressmaking. The largest Jewish businessman was Frajman Motel, owner of a large store. At the same time a cheder, children's school, and an orphanage operated. In the 1926/1927 school year, a school for Jewish and Polish children together began. Aaron and Szmul Hirsz Eichelbaum immigrated to America and founded the film studio, Warner Brothers. At the beginning of September 1939, the armored SS Division "Kempf" occupied the city. In the Jewish Historical Institute archives have memoirs of Holocaust survivor, Joseph Nachman Kazimierski, who recalled the first days of war in Krasnosielc: "The SS wanted to force a wife to stab her husband with a knife. Despite a beating, they could not compel her to that. So they killed him and forced the wife to wash her hands in the blood."  The  War Diary of General Franz Halder, who was the Chief of Staff of the Land Forces, "mentioned the massacre of the Jews Krasnoschlitz... "artillery men from the SS armored unit gathered Jews into the synagogue and murdered them there. A court martial convicted the murderers and sentenced them to minimal imprisonment. Von Kuchler did not confirm the verdict because in his opinion they deserved a more severe punishment. It was suggested that the unit be transferred. Following the publication of Halder's War Diaries, the event received much publicity in Germany."* Artillery men from the SS armored unit gathered Jews in the synagogue and murdered them there. On September 5, 1939, those German soldiers forced fifty local Jews and Poles to repair the bridge over the Orzycu and the dikes. During this work, they murdered Jews and one escaped to the marshes. Late in the evening, all the Poles returned home, but the Jews (men) went to the synagogue, where the Nazis killed them with machine guns. The victims were buried near the synagogue  in ditches and covered them with religious books, poured some combustible material, and set it all on fire.* The estimate of victims range from forty to seventy people. The victims were buried beside the synagogue when the Germans took the bodies of the murdered Jews out of the synagogue and threw them in the ditches beside it and covered them with Torah books, poured some combustible material and set it all on fire.* Six or seven Jews survived through the intervention of German officers. On September 28, 1939, some, possibly were deportees from Różana and Ostrowi and from Makowej, Ciechanów and Bialystok. (The Germans made the Jews sign statements that they left of their own will.) Nazi crime in Krasnosielc was without precedent and the first mass murder of Jews in the war. This mass murder was interrupted by the intervention of other German soldiers including one doctor. Those Jews, who had not died (about 7), were severely wounded and transferred to the German military hospital in Olsztyn for care and a cure and survived the war. News of this crime echoed throughout Berlin. The perpetrators were immediately brought before a court-martial. While the highest officers were involved  and Gen Kuechler demanded the death penalty for the criminals as did Gen. Werner Kempf, commander of the SS tank division, the perpetrators were not punished fully, just received several years in prison. Still in the German archives are documents describing these events. The entire episode is described in *David Shachar's website.* [May 2009]

CEMETERY: The Jewish Cemetery was founded in 1781 on ul. Młynarskiej according to local parish records ("Today is for the Jews cemetery, synagogues on the designated place.") The cemetery was devastated during the Nazi occupation. After WWII, car repairs were done there. Today, it is a private transport lot and destroyed barracks. Some sources claim that several matzevot might be thre, but no trace of the cemetery remains. David Shachar, son of one of the victims of murder in the synagogue, decided to restore the synagogue that has ceased to serve as a feed store. At the rear of the building, plaques bear the names of thirty Jews murdered there. The unveiling of the monument took place on June 5¸ 1996. In addition to the numerous guests, 25 Jews with roots in Krasnosielc participated. photos. [May 2009]

US Commission No. POCE000047   

The town is located at 53°02' N 21°10' E in Ostroeeckie province, 21 km from Przasnysz, 20 km from Makoy Mazowiecki, 29 km from Ostroleka and 101 km from Warsaw. Cemetery: on Meynarska Street. Present population is 1,000-5,000 with no Jews.

  • Town: Miroslaw Glinka-Wojt. Urzad Gminy, Rynek 06-212 Krasnosielc, tel. 73.
  • Local: Spoldzielnia Kolek Rolniczych, 06-212 Krasnosielc, Meynarska Street.
  • Regional: Ewa Kawacek, Panstwowa Sluzba Ochrony Zabytkow, Wojewodski Konserwator Zabytkow Wojewodzki 4 Ostrolece, 38 Pilsudskiego Street, 07-400 Ostroleka, tel. 66-829.
  • The key is held by Spoldzielnia Kolek Rolniczych, Krasnosielc, St. Mlynarska.

The earliest known Jewish community dates from 19th century. The Jewish cemetery was established in the 18th century. 1921 Jewish population was 926. The last known Orthodox, Conservative, or Progressive/Reform Jewish burial occurred here before during 1939/1940. Unlandmarked The cemetery located on an isolated crown of a hill, near water in a suburban setting; no sign or marker. Reached by turning directly off a public road. There is no sign or marker. There is a continuous fence with locking gate. Access is by permission. The gate key is kept by Spoldzielnia Kolek Rolniczych, Meynarska Street, Krasnosielc. The area of the cemetery is approximately 1 square hectares, its approximate size prior to WWII. No gravestones are visible. The location of stones that were removed is not known. There are no known mass graves. The property is now owned by an agricultural cooperative. It is currently use is industrial, commercial purposes and for storage. Adjacent property is recreational, commercial/industrial and agricultural. Local residents or Private visitors visit rarely. The cemetery was vandalized during WWII, but it has not been vandalized in the last ten years [1981-1991]. Today within the limits of the cemetery boundaries there are garages and workshops. Overgrowth of vegetation is a seasonal problem preventing access. Significant threats come from security, pollution, incompatible, existing and planned nearby development as well as from vandalism.

Wojciech Henrykowski, 06-200 Makow Maz Street Spoldziellza 20. Completed survey on December 8, 1991. Other Documentation: consists of the cemetery documentation in the collection of the Panstwowa Sluzba Ochrony Zabytkow w Ostrop?ie. No visit. No interviews.

Last Updated on Thursday, 11 June 2009 01:18