Ghettos and Work-camps in Ostrowiec

Translation from an article in the Ostrowiec Yizkor book provided by Jewish Gen.  An excerpt appears below:

The Large Ghetto

The large ghetto measured four square kilometers and was bordered on the left by Mlinska Street to Pieratski, and on the right by Denkovska.

It was established in April 1941 and was liquidated on 10 October 1942.

Most of its residents were Polish Jews but there were about 1,200 Austrian Jews located there as well.

During the creation of the ghetto the number of Jews was 18,000 and the average number of Jews in the ghetto was 16,000.

During the liquidation of the large ghetto about 3,000 Jews were shot, 3,000 survived and 11,000 were shipped off to Treblinka, where they were exterminated in the crematoria.

The Jews in the ghetto did not receive any foodstuffs and they were forced to concern themselves with food supplies.

The death rate in the ghetto, in particular from the typhus epidemic, was about 10 % of the general population.


The Small Ghetto

The small ghetto was established from the left of Ailzshetska to Pieratski Street; from the right to Shenkivitsh 18.   The beginning size was 30,000 square meters.  It was created on 15 October 1942, and liquidated on 31 March 1943.  In the ghetto there were an average of 3,000 people, mostly Polish Jews but also a small number of Viennese Jews.

During the liquidation of the ghetto the larger number of residents were shot and a part were deported.  During the existence of the ghetto the interned worked for German construction firms, in the Ostrovtse factories and in the town.  A sick-bay was set up in one of the barracks, especially during the typhus epidemic.

Daily executions took place in the ghetto, of Jews who were discovered in bunkers.  Five Jews were shot in December 1942:  Yosek Riba, Beyle Rubinshteyn, Rus, Shmuel Miedzshigurski and a dark unknown Jew.  The victims were buried in the Jewish cemetery.

During the liquidation of the small ghetto they took away the barracks and only the foundations remained.

“Zakladi Ostrowiecke”

The camp at the “Zakladi Ostrowiecke” comprised some 10,000 square meters.  It was established on April 1, 1943 and liquidated on the 3rd of August 1944.  Besides Ostrovtse Jews there were also Jews from Austria and Russia.

During the liquidation the camp some of the internees were shot and the rest shipped to Auschwitz.

The internees worked in “Zakladi Ostrowiecke” at the cement factory and at Yeger’s brick factory.

Food consisted of 180 grams of bread and 2 portions of watery soup after 18 hours of work.

On the 20th of October 1942, three Ostrovtse Jews were shot:  the Hebrew poet Moyshe Gutman, Avrom Yosef Grinberg and a third whose name is not known.  On the 1st of October 1943, some 40 persons were transported to Firley to the crematoria; among them Ester Biezshonska, Feyge Friedental, Sheyndl Reter, Nosn Fenshtok, Khave Shniderman, Kerbl, Asher Minkovski, Yekhezkel Krongold, Yekhiel Vaynberg, Shvartsman and child, the pregnant woman Auerbakh, Yankev Rozenman, Henekh Vorman.  On the 20th of March 1944 people were shot during a robbery action:  the two brothers Zakhtshinski on the grounds of the camp.  The brothers Shteyn were shot in the same place in May.   Shot at the end of July 1944 were the 17-year-old boy Ayzik Zeyfman, Gutholts, Ziglboym and daughter Mirel; four Jews were thrown into a burning oven.

All the victims of the camp were buried within the area of the camp.

After the liquidation the camp was destroyed and only the foundations of the barracks remained.

The Germans that directed the camp were:  Captain Zviezshina from the Sudetenland; Chief of the factory guards M. Rhuda and Golditsh.  The Ukrainians:  Vashak, Firman, Prekht, Popiel, Boris, Metske,  Engineer Vladislav Gushkevitsh and Edvard Herbatshevski (now in Lodz).