Ghetto: Starachowice

Fay Rotberg
“Labor camp located in the Polish town of Starachowice. Before World War II, Starachowice housed armaments factories and an iron ore mine. When the Germans occupied Starachowice on September 9, 1939, they took over the factories and the mine and renamed them the Hermann Goering Works (Hermann Goering Werke). They then rounded up the town's Jewish males from the ages of 17-60 and used them as forced laborers on the site. The workers were given an extremely low pay of 55 groszy an hour, plus a bowl of soup during work hours.

“In February 1941 the Germans established an open ghetto in Starachowice that also took in Jews from the towns of Plock and Lodz. The ghetto was liquidated on October 27 of that same year; approximately 200 Jews were shot on the spot. Of those that remained, the stronger ones were moved to a nearby labor camp that had already been prepared for their coming, Julag I. The rest were deported to the extermination camp at Treblinka. Those Jews who had been working in the armaments factories were also moved to Julag I. About 8,000 Jews passed through Julag I. Nine percent died in rampant typhus epidemics, or were shot as the result of a Selektion. The camp had about 5,000 prisoners at a time; every once in a while prisoners from Majdanek, Plaszow, and other places would be brought to work there to replenish the manpower.

“In the summer of 1943, the prisoners working in the factories were moved to yet another camp, called Julag II. About 5,000 prisoners passed through Julag II altogether and seven percent were shot or died of typhus. This camp averaged about 3,000 prisoners at a time.

“In July 1944 the Germans began to liquidate the labor camp. When the prisoners saw what was happening, many tried to escape; the Ukrainian guards killed 300 immediately and caught and executed those who had escaped. The other 1,500 prisoners were deported to Auschwitz.”

Yad Vashem. Shoah Resource Center. “Starachowice.”
Accessed on 6/11/11.

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