Testimonies of survivors
Memories of Janina and Augustyn ŻmudaThe period of German occupation was the most difficult time for us. Many memories are long gone by now, but we clearly remember the time when the Jewish community was being eradicated. 1942 was the memorable year when the Nazis began to shut down the ghetto.
Janina’s account: Transports of News from Tarnów were coming in for several days, they were all directed towards Buczyna forest. At that time there weren’t so many houses around here so I could see from my house what was happening. It was, of course, forbidden. The people from the transports were led in a line towards the forest edge, where they were told to remove their clothes and leave all their possessions on the spot. Later, you could see a huge pile of clothes and purses there.
Then they were rushed into the forest, and moments later you could only hear the gunshots. Children were not killed individually. They were thrown into a hole in the ground and the barbarians used hand grenades. Some of them were still alive when they buried them. After they covered the holes with soil, the Nazis used lime to make the shape of the Star of David on top. When Jews were brought in, they got off at the statue of St. Florian and followed the German officers with obedience. They walked towards Buczyna as if they didn’t know what was going to happen. Only after they got into the woods did they start to cry and despair. The transports were regular; after they unloaded a group, there would come another one.
We were not allowed to walk near the place during the executions, we had to walk around the fields in order to get to work.
Another thing I remember is that one day there was going to be a funeral, and a transport came in. People gathered for the ceremony were ordered to walk away. They couldn’t bury the coffin until the evening.
I also remember that my grandmother used to sell milk to a Jewish family, I can’t remember their name, though. They used to come with a child and take milk in their churns. They were always frightened. At that time there were executions going on in Tarnów already. They said they didn’t know if they were coming again, and one day they simply didn’t show up. We don’t know what happened to them.
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