SKARZYSKO-KAMIENNA


SKARZYSKO-KAMIENNA (until 1928 Kamienna), town in Kielce province, E. central Poland. A mine workers' quarter in the 19th century, the locality received municipal rights in 1923. Jews settled in Kamienna in the 1890s with the development of industrial enterprises for steel production and tanning. A Jewish community was organized on the eve of World War I. In 1921 1,590 Jews constituted 20% of the total population. In addition to shopkeeping, they engaged in hide processing, shoemaking, mechanics, and dyeing.

Holocaust Period

Before World War II, 2,200 Jews lived in Skarzysko–Kamienna. The German army entered on Sept. 7, 1939, and immediately initiated anti-Jewish terror. On May 5, 1941, the ghetto was established. In October 1942 an Aktion took place in which the town's entire Jewish population was deported to the *Treblinka death camp and exterminated. After the liquidation of the ghetto a massive Julag (Judenlager), a slave labor camp, was set up in the town. In January 1944 the camp officially became a concentration camp. It existed until August 1944, when all its inmates were deported to other concentration camps, mainly *Buchenwald in Germany and the *Czestochowa- "HASAG" camp in western Poland. Altogether, about 15,000 Jewish prisoners passed through this camp, but over 10,000 of them perished there. Many prisoners died of hunger and disease due to the subhuman conditions prevailing in the camp. Others were murdered by the SS men on the camp's staff. A resistance organization active in the camp smuggled out a small number of prisoners for guerrilla activities, but preparations for a general armed revolt failed. After the war the Jewish community in Skarzysko-Kamienna was not reconstituted.

BIBLIOGRAPHY:

B. Wasiutyński, Ludność żydowska w Polsce w wiekach XIX i XX (1930), 32; BŻIH, no. 15–16 (1955).

[Stefan Krakowski]


Source: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.