Categories 1941

Oppression in Zichenau, Poland

Jews in Zichenau, Poland are informed by Public Notice that their homes are to be demolished, February 1941.

Noach Zabludowicz was 21 years old and a resident of Zichenau, also spelt Ciechanow, in Poland in 1941. He was a witness at the trial of Adolf Eichmann, describing the treatment of the Jews by the occupying Germans at the time:

Q, What happened to Jewish property?

A. At the same time they issued a confiscation order. All property was confiscated – not houses, since you cannot take houses away – but shops and the contents of shops, and also monies and flour mills and stores. Everything belonging to Jews was confiscated.

Q, What about food? What food did you receive?

A. They confiscated all the Jewish bakeries, and one bakery remained for the Jewish public, and then they distributed two hundred grams of bread to each Jew. Jews were forbidden to walk in the street from 7.30 p.m., from the time it became dark. When the Jews were shut off in their homes, the Gestapo men began their brutal treatment. I still remember several of their names: Rosmann, Barsel and others like them, who came late at night. . . Pardon me, I want to go back for a moment: At that time the Jews were ordered to restrict their area of residence. With us it was a ghetto, but it was the only ghetto that was not closed although it was a defined area which Jews were forbidden to leave. Anyone found outside this restricted area was shot. At that time they destroyed many of the old houses in the centre of the town; they were mainly Jewish houses and the people whose good homes were taken away had to enter the restricted area.

Judge Raveh: What period are you talking about?

Witness Zabludowicz: Of 1940-1941. We took another four families into the apartment in which we lived. The Germans began their cruel treatment. They used to knock on the entrance doors, break down these doors and enter the houses. Inside the rooms people had settled down by making tiers of bunks in each room, right up to the ceiling, at three or four levels, and couples occupied each bed. They used to come into the houses and say,”You up on top come down; you over there come down; you down below get off.” Then they would ask the man “Why are you sleeping with this woman?” The reply would be: “This is my wife.” The same way they questioned another and a third. And then they would exchange the men and the women and then they would compel them at pistol point to have sexual relations in the presence of the children and all their families; and all kinds of things, and blows and killing.

The full testimony of Noach Zabludowicz can be read at JewishGen.org

4 thoughts on “Oppression in Zichenau, Poland”

  1. I looked at the current Ciechanow City website. They handle the issue of the Ciechanow Jews, who were beaten, tortured and killed in a very gentle and unique manner. There is no mention of Jews having existed in Ciechanow.

    What didn’t exist here couldn’t have been brutalized here. We are gentle and loving people.

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