75. anniwersary of the murder of 43 Jewish children in Kielce

On May 23, 2018, 75 years passed since the murder of 43 Jewish children in Kielce. To commemorate the victims the Jan Karski Association organized a short ceremony at the Jewish cemetery, the place where children were murdered and buried. At noon, dozens of people gathered at the grave of the murdered children: representatives of the Association, delegations of students from several Kielce schools together with teachers, journalists as well as citizens of Kielce. The students of the Jan Karski Integration School read a list of the names of murdered children, and Fr. Jacek Kopeć, director of the St. Stanislaus Kostka Catholic High School led the prayer with a Psalm 23, beginning with the words “my God, my God, why have you left me”. Then Andrzej Białek from the Jan Karski Association read the message of Stefan Zabłocki, who was one of the children destined to die, but he managed to escape. – What kind of man must you be to face such children and shoot them in cold blood? And then go home and play with his own children. Who can imagine it? – wrote Zabłocki. Posters with a fragment of his speech, as well as a list of names of murdered children, were placed that day at the Jan Karski bench and at the monument of the “Menorah” dedicated to the victims of the Holocaust in Kielce.

The murder of 45 Jewish children took place less than a year after the extermination of the Kielce ghetto, when in three days in August in 1942 the Germans were deported to Treblinka and killed over 20,000 Jews there. Only a handful of Jews remained in Kielce. Crowded in labor camps they were used by the Germans to rob and order Jewish property. On May 23, 1943, children were taken from their camps on the camp appeal ground and closed together in a wooden barrack. The children were then taken to the Jewish cemetery and shot there.