On February 5 afternoon, the ceremony commemorating the 80th anniversary of the liquidation of the ghetto in Kosów Lacki was held.
The ghetto in Kosów Lacki was established by the Germans in the first quarter of 1941. On the night of September 22, 1942, the liquidation began. The ghetto was surrounded by SS troops. Many people were shot on the spot. About 3,500 Jews from Kosów Lacki were murdered in the German Treblinka II Extermination Camp. In November 1942, the Germans organized the so-called restghetto, announcing that Jews would be working safely there. In December of the same year, SS troops unexpectedly carried out a liquidation again. Only a few families of Jewish craftsmen working in the Treblinka I Penal Labour Camp remained in the ghetto. In February 1943, these families were also transported to the Treblinka II Death Camp.
The ceremony commemorating these events was organized by the Municipal Cultural Center in Kosów Lacki. The meeting was attended by: Fr. Paweł Rytel-Andrianik, Director of the Office for Foreign Communication at the Secretariat of the Polish Bishops’ Conference, he is also the Deputy Director of Heschel Center for Catholic-Jewish Relations at the Catholic University of Lublin (KUL); Paweł Anusiewicz, Parish Priest in Kosów Lacki; Jan Słomiak, Mayor of the Town and Commune of Kosów Lacki; Dr. Edward Kopówka, Director of the Treblinka Museum. The Nazi German Extermination and Forced Labour Camp (1941-1944) Iwona Wasilewska, Deputy Director of the Treblinka Museum; as well as volunteers taking care of the synagogue in Orle, and numerous residents of Kosów Lacki and surroundings.
During the ceremony, the three lectures were delivered. Dr. Andrzej Chojnacki from the Regional Museum in Siedlce talked about Polish-Jewish relations between 17 and 20th centuries; Monika Samuel, a researcher at the Treblinka Museum briefly outlined the functioning of the SS-Sonderkommando Treblinka; Artur Ziontek from the Cultural Center in Kosów Lacki presented publications about the history of the Kosów Lacki Jewish community.
Before the meeting, representatives of the inhabitants of Kosów Lacki and the Museum paid homage to the Jews from Kosów Lacki murdered by the Germans. They lighted candles and laid little stones in front of the Kosów Lacki stone in the former area of the German Treblinka II Extermination Camp.
The celebrations ended with a poetry recital performed by the local artist Witold Radomski. He is the founder of Bohemia Podlaska – an independent and informal group of artists and supporters of broadly understood art.
During the meeting, it was possible to purchase a commemorative book titled “Kosów Lacki 1942. On the 80th anniversary of the liquidation of the ghetto” by Artur Ziontek. The book was published by the Municipal Cultural Centre of Kosów Lacki. It contains many photos of Kosów Lacki from the period of German occupation.
photo. P. Maliszewski, M. Szlachtycz, MGOK Kosów Lacki