Memorial to the Victims of the Poniatowa Concentration Camp

Poniatowa was a forced labor and concentration camp near to Lublin in eastern Poland.

The first Jews arrived there in October 1942. By January 1943 some 1,500 Jews were interned there. After the Warsaw Ghetto uprising in April 1943, 16,000 to 18,000 more Jews were brought to Poniatowa. Ten thousand prisoners were made to work in a textile factory that had been transferred from Warsaw Ghetto. The rest worked at various outdoor jobs. The Jewish tailors and seamstresses of Warsaw worked basically free of charge for the German war profiteer Walter Caspar Tobbens (Toebbens), whose factory was in the Poniatowa Labor Camp.

As part of the Aktion Erntefest, the camp was surrounded by S.S. troops on November 4, 1943. The prisoners were taken to pits that had been dug previously, were forced to strip naked, and 18,000 of them were shot on top of the other prisoners. In one of the barracks at Poniatowa, Jews staged a revolt. To stamp it out the S.S. set the building on fire and the killings went on as planned.

A partial listing of the Nazis and Ukrainian guards involved at the camp is here.

Transports to Poniatowa

1. A group of Jewish prisoners from Opole Lubelski were sent to Poniatowa in Oct. 1942.
2. A group of Jewish prisoners from Belzyce were sent to Poniatowa in Oct. 1942.
3. A group of Jewish prisoners from Staszow were sent to Poniatowa in late 1942.
4. Between Feb. and May 1943, groups of prisoners from the Warsaw Ghetto were sent to Poniatowa.The approximate number sent was 15,000.
5. In May 1943, a group of prisoners from Deblin were sent to Poniatowa. The transport included around 400 prisoners.
6. In May 1943, a group of 810 prisoners from Treblinka Death Camp were sent to Poniatowa.
7. In late 1943, Dorohucza Labor Camp was liquidated and around 100 prisoners from there were sent to Poniatowa.

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