Czestochowa


On September 3, 1939, Czestochowa was captured without a fight by German troops. But the very next day information was received that Polish partisans had fired on German troops on two different occasions in the city. When the shots came from houses they were searched but without being able to find any obvious suspects. But the Germans could not let this pass without randomly collected 200 ”suspected” people. Suddenly the Germans started to open fire on the poles and panic broke out in the column which resulted in about 200 Polish civilians killed during the fire. The next step in the killing was that the Germans gathered about 600 civilians in a square in front of the city’s cathedral. There the Germans separated the men from the women and searched them. Those who had a knife or similar were shot at the scene. The men were then ordered to go into the church but for some reason the Germans, like the day before, began to open fire for unclear reasons. About 400 people were killed during the fire and about a hundred were injured. In addition to these two incidents, additional civilians were killed elsewhere in Czestochowa between 4 and 6 September. Exactly how many people were murdered is difficult to estimate but a figure mentioned is about 1000 people.

Current status: Monument (2023).

Location: 50°48' 32.78" N 19°07' 40.10" E

Get there: Walk from central Czestochowa.

My comment:

It is a well-kept monument nestled in a flower bed of shrubs. The massacre was one of the first massacres committed by the Germans during the invasion of Poland. Probably the first one to claim more than 1,000 victims.

Follow up in books: Moorhouse, Roger: Poland 1939: The Outbreak of World War II (2020).