first period of German occupation was characterized by robbery
of Jewish possessions, not only at the hands of the Germans but
also by local Polish police and inhabitants. The Jews were
limited in their freedom of movement and the food supply was
severely diminished. After a few days, these acts of terror and
barbarism were prohibited by the Germans, but that did not
influence local Polish inhabitants, who continued the
disturbances. The Torah scrolls were removed from the
synagogues, desecrated, and destroyed. On November 29th seven
Jews were taken out of their homes at night and taken to the
outskirts of Łosice,where they were executed. Why did they do
it? We do not know. Perhaps the reason was that they had not
obeyed the Germans' orders.
1940 many refugees entered Łosice from other regions of Poland.
In March, 960 Jews arrived from Kalisz, Aleksandrow, Lodz,
Poznan and Pomerania. There were about 4,000 Jews at the end of
the year. In 1941 and 1942, more refugees arrived in Łosice and
in May 1942 there were already 6,000 living in Łosice. They
lived in cellars and warehouses.
the beginning of 1940 the Germans named a Judenrat of 10
members. The chief representative was Gershon Lewin and with him
Yehoszua Rosencwajg and Elihau Rewiczer. They were instructed to
send 200 Jews to the labor camp in Siedlce in order to build the
train station. Later, more Jews were sent to the same labor
camp. According to the testimony of survivors, Gershon Lewin did
everything in his power, without regard for his own security and
his life, to convince the German authorities to reduce the
suffering of the Jewish population. Probably in December of that
year, the ghetto was established. Some Jews could still leave
the town in order to get food from other places.
ghetto was limited to a few streets in the center of Łosice.
Later, when more refugees arrived, the Germans added another
street. According to Polish claims, the central square was
excluded from the ghetto in order to prevent the Jews from
continuing to sell their merchandise. The ghetto was not closed,
but nobody could leave without the Germans' permission. The
Judenrat established some order and social services for the
needy, and a post office was opened. The Jews who worked outside
the ghetto received a special certificate with which they were
able to leave, a document that was precious for them because
they could bring back some food to the ghetto. As you can
imagine, conditions in the ghetto were awful and very hard, and
worsened much more when the new refugees arrived at the end of
1941. It was natural, given the excessive density of the
population, which was confined to only a few streets, that many
diseases appeared, especially typhoid fever and other infectious
the winter of 1941, the Germans confiscated all the furs that
Jews had in their possession. Jews preferred to burn their furs
rather than give them to the Germans. Of course they were killed
on the spot.
the spring of 1942, when the deportation of Jews began in Lublin
and deportations to the concentration camps started, refugees
arrived in Łosice who had escaped from other towns during this
period. The Jewish policemen who let the refugees into the
ghetto were sent to the labor camp in Siedlce. The Germans
searched the ghetto and all the refugees they found were killed.
In July 1942, rumors that all the Jews from Łosice would also be
deported intensified the need to get certificates to leave the
town. They thought that in this way they would not be deported.
A few weeks before the deportation, the Germans demanded a
contribution of 600,000 zlotys. The Judenrat was obliged to
collect this sum. Germans thought that in this way the rumors of
deportation would be considered a false alarm.
Saturday August 22,1942, the S.S. and the Ukrainian police
sealed the ghetto. They were assembled in the central square of
Łosice, near the municipality building, and from there continued
walking in the direction of the town of Mordy. On the outskirts
of Łosice, the German soldiers started to shoot, murdering
especially women and children, about 200 in total. The deported
continued to walk in rows in the direction of the train station
of Siedlce. During this terrible journey the Germans killed
another 800. Fifty-five hundred Jews arrived in Siedlce, from
where they were transported by train to the death camp of
the deportation from Łosice, the Germans reduced the ghetto's
scope to a small ghetto where 200 hidden Jews still remained
during the Aktion. In November 1942, the number grew to 300.
Germans did not take any new measures against them, but advised
that all hidden Jews should return to the ghetto until September
1st 1942, and assured them that they would not be harmed. Many
believed them and came back from the forest to the ghetto. They
lived in improvised wooden shacks and worked at different
labors, especially the assembling of all the possession left
behind by their fellow Jews. On November 27th 1942, the "Small
Ghetto" was destroyed. The last Jews of Łosice were deported to
Siedlce and from there to Treblinka on November 30.