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Jews played an important role in the local economy with archival records from 1656 mentioning that out of the thirty squares in the market, twenty were held by Jews. Approximately 1700, of the town's 1,945 inhabitants, 1,089 were Jewish, a proportion continuing to the following century. Jewish population began to decrease at the end of the 19th century with immigration. During WWI, many houses burned as Jews deemed an "element of uncertainty" were expelled from the city, but soon attempted to return. Difficult economic conditions forced many residents to immigrate. Besides other sites overseas, a large group of Jews went to Palestine, Argentina, or the US and the Jewish Autonomous oblast of Birobidżanie near the Manchurian border with the Soviet Union. Anti-Semitism increased in the interwar period especially after the death of Jozef Pilsudski. In 1921, only 902 Jews remained. After the outbreak of WWII, local communists formed a guard to patrol workers. Among them was a large group of young Jews. After a brief German occupation in September 22, 1939, the Red Army entered the village. The local rabbi with the Orthodox and Catholic priest welcomed the invaders in the traditional way, carrying a tray of bread and salt, but they soon left the town to the Nazi invaders under the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact. Repression by the Germans against the Jewish population became increasingly severe. Shortly after the occupation, the Nazi shot some Jews. The coming weeks brought further executions. In February 1940, the Nazis murdered more than fifty people. Deprived of their rights, ordered to wear armbands with the Mogen David, they were forced into slave labor. Jews were brought to the ghetto from nearby localities including Hanna, Dołhobrodu and Holeszowa. By May 1942 the ghetto numbered 1502 people. At the end of June, Germany ordered the Jews to gather in the market. Many of them do not appear, trying to hide or escape. Most were caught. For three days, the Nazis found their hiding place and shot them on the spot. From 600 to 1,000 died, buried in the Jewish cemetery in the 100 meter long mass grave. Houses belonging to Jews were burned. At the end of September, Jews were forced to appear at the market. Women and children were loaded on wagons. The men were to take off their shoes and walk barefoot. Police and Germans guarded them all the way to Sławatycze, killing many people along the way. Sławatycze Jews were deported to Treblinka. A handful of Jews survived the war; among them was Henryk Grynszpan, the only Jew who, returned to the town after liberation. Unknown perpetrators, possibly soldiers in the National Armed Forces, murdered him.

CEMETERY: The 1.35-ha cemetery at ul Sławatyczach about 100 meters behind the Catholic cemetery on an L-shaped parcel was vandalized during WWII with gravestones stolen by the Nazis for construction materials. It fell into oblivion. In 2008, fencing was repaired and the gate erected by the Foundation for Protection of Jewish Heritage with financial support from Jews connected by heritage to Sławatycz. Several gravestones were returned to the cemetery from the city. The unveiling occurred on May 19, 2008 with commemorative plaques. In 2008, the cemetery site was restored with the fence fixed and a gate was erected. The work was performed with the Preservation of Jewish Heritage Foundation, thanks to the financial support of the Jews come from the Sławatycze and the Jewish Community in Warsaw. Stolen matzevot, found by a young person in Sławatycze, were returned. On May 19, 2008, a ceremony was held at the reopening of the cemetery and memorial unveiling. Only three graves, one matzevot made of two pieces of granite and sandstone remain. On one is the symbol of the Levites. memoir. photos. [July 2009]

US Commission No. POCE000388

Yiddish alternate name: Slowoticz (Slovotitz). Slawatycze is located in Biala-Podlaska at 51º45 23º33, 88km NE of Lublina. The cemetery location is ul. Polna.Present town population is 1,100 with no Jews.

  • Town: Urzad Gminy Slawatycze, Rynek 13, tx. 863484.
  • Regional: PSOZ-WKZ, ul. Brzeska 41, 21-500 Biala Podlaska.
  • Local: Urzad Ochrony i Konserwacji Zespolow Padacowo-Ogrodowych, ul. Szwolezerow 9, 00-464 Warszawa, tx-817481.
  • Caretaker: Jozef Panasiewicz, ul Krzywa 18.

The earliest known Jewish community was before 1623. Orthodox Jewish population as of the last census before World War II was 902. The isolated suburban flat land has no sign or marker. Reached by turning directly off a public road, access is open with permission. A continuous fence with a locking gate surrounds. Fewer than 20 visible granite rough stones or flat shaped stones have Hebrew inscriptions. The cemetery contains unmarked mass graves. There are no structures. The municipality owns property used for Jewish cemetery. Properties adjacent are agricultural. Thecemetery is visited rarely. The cemetery was vandalized during World War II, and since. The local authorities cleared the vegetation during the 1970's. The authorities clear or clean occasionally. Vegetation overgrowth is a seasonal problem that prevents access.

Michal Witwicki, ul. Dembowskiego 12/53, 02-784 Warszawa, Tel. 6418345 completed survey 9/91. He and E. Bergman visited the site on 2 August 1991. Jozef Panasiewicz was interviewed at ul Krzywa 18.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 08 July 2009 02:14
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