Piaski


About twenty kilometres southeast of Lublin lies a small town called Piaski where at the outbreak of the Second World War lived about 4000 Jews, which corresponded to about 70 percent of the inhabitants. There were synagogues, Jewish prayer houses, Jewish cemeteries, Jewish libraries and a Jewish school. The city was first occupied by the Soviet Union but handed over to the Germans in accordance with the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact in which Poland was divided between Germany and the Soviet Union. 

When the Germans took over the control of Piaski, anti-Jewish restrictions were immediately imposed that restricted or deprived the Jews of their rights. A small ghetto to which the city’s Jews were forced to move was established in the spring of 1940. Initially, it was not shielded from the outside world, but this changed in the autumn of 1940 when the ghetto was fenced. Only with special passports, like shifts, it was possible to move freely between the ghetto and the outside world. In addition to Jews from Piaski, about 500 German jews were deported to the ghetto. The overcrowding in poor housing and lack of supplies, food and medicines helped to spread diseases uninhibitedly.  

In the spring of 1942, the deportation of Jews from Europe to the ghetto was intensified in Piaski. Just as the ghetto in Izbica became a transit ghetto for Jews to be deported to extermination camps in the east, the ghetto in Piaski also became a transit ghetto. Two trains with Jews departed for Belzec, the first in march and the second in april for a total of about 5500 jews who were murdered in Belzec’s gas chamber. In November 1942, about 5,000 Jews were sent to Sobibor where they were murdered in the same way. That same month, about 1,000 Jews were murdered at the new Jewish cemetery in Piaski. After this action, about a hundred Jews remained in the ghetto and were taken to a camp in Trawniki. When this was completed, the ghetto was dismantled. 

Current status: Monument (2023).

Location: 51°08' 07.00" N, 22°50' 30.69" E

Get there: Car.

My comment:

2023 the new Jewish Burial Site is located in a grove of trees and is in poor condition. It is in no way protected and the whole wooded area is in some kind of despair. All around one can find vandalized and dilapidated tomb stones. A memorial monument has been erected in the area.

Follow up in books: Gilbert, Martin: The Holocaust: A History of the Jews of Europe During the Second World War (1987).