In a forest outside Szpegawsk, about fifty kilometres south of Gdansk, the Nazis murdered about 7000 poles between 1939 and 1944. The bodies were buried in mass graves (in total 39 mass graves). The murders were part of an action called Intelligence Action Pomerania and aimed to pacify Pomerania by murdering everyone who was regarded as a threat to German supremacy and a germanization of the region (and Poland as a whole). It was mainly (high) educated poles, journalists, teachers, police officers, officers, priests, etc., who became targets for the killings. These were hunted down, imprisoned and eventually taken away to some forest and shot and buried. The murders were carried out by local units consisting of German minorities called Selbstschutz. In addition to poles, patients from the mental hospital in Kocborowo in Szpegawsk were also murdered at the site. Alongside Piasnica in northern Poland, Szpegawsk was the place where the Nazis murdered most Poles in Pomerania. At the end of September 1944, the bodies were dug up and cremated over open fires. This in a desperate attempt to cover up the crimes committed by the germans.

Current status: Monument (2015).

Location: 54°00'09.47"N 18°34'17.47"E

Get there: Car.

My comment:

The site is well maintained and the mass graves are linked together by paths. Many times it can be really atmospheric to walk around in places like this. It is calm, quiet and not stressful like i can be at the famous and well-attended concentration camps. Here you can at your own pace wander around and reflect in peace and quiet. The only thing that is heard is the silence and the wind that gently grabs the treetops and reminds the visitor that Jews were not the only ones who were indiscriminately murdered by the Nazis.

Follow up in books: Lukas, Richard C: Forgotten Holocaust: The Poles Under German Occupation 1939-1944 (2008).