The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

The Life and Fall of Wlodowa

The Memorial Book of Wlodawa

Testimony against the head of the SD Nitshke
from Jews of Wlodowa who survived

We, the undersigned attest herewith:

In December 1939 Nitschke arrive in our town Wlodowa with his assistants of about 15 SD-men. We remember the names of the following helpers: Hammer, Schwab and Mueller. They expelled the Polish officials from their official agency "Dom Osnadnizce" in the Rosanke-Pilsudski street and occupied it. Two days later Nitsche sent 50 Jews as hostages to Chelm, where they were beaten up cruelly and the next day they returned exhausted, all had been ill and some even died.

The following were among the 50 who returned:

Hershel Feigenbaum, Gershon Seidmann, Jechiel Grinhois, Elieser Grinhois, Shalom Lemberger, Jechskel Lichtenstein, Nachum Jablonek, elieser Josl Rolzmann, Moshe Sachover, Jossl Goldmann, Israel Zimmer, Moshe Mandelbaum, Jechiel Eisenberg, Jeshajahu Zerwangure, David Holzmann, David Alamotzki, Motel Reichmann, Mendel Lipshitz.

On the same day Nitsche ordered the formation of the "Judenrat" demanding 50,000 Zloty contribution as ransom for these hostages. The money was collected and immediately delivered. From the year 1939 until 1942 when he left, Nitshke was the active leader of the town.

He issued the following directives: that Jewish men and women had to wear a white ribbon with a blue Magen David. He called it the "Judenschande", that is, the shame of the Jews. If he met someone not wearing the ribbon he himself shot him. His assistants did the same.

It was forbidden to go on the pavement.

It was forbidden to buy or sell something to a farmer. For such a sin he was shot.

He also ordered to hand over all kind of furs belonging to the Jews and if one did not obey his fate was to die.

He himself killed the baker Moshe Schwarz and his wife because of an old fur coat they did not deliver.

The following sins were punished by death: If you were not registered, or you had returned from the Russian side, not wearing the ribbon, leaving the town, walking on a road which was "JUDENVERBOT", ritual slaughtering, etc.

For such sins the following were put to death: Motel Barnholz, Neta Rotenberg, Motel Provesnik, Zilel Kreis, Yankel Aklois, Chaim Kunfmacher, Chaim Machles, Mendel Barnholz, Joshua Goldfarb, David Leidmann, Moshe Rabiner, Jidl Leon, Jidl Hibschmann, Alter Spirstein, his wife and his 2 daughters Feige and Chana, and others whose names we cannot remember because there were Jews in our town who came from other towns such as: Kalish, Miliz, Lublin, and even other countries such as Germany and Austria.

He imprisoned the Admor of Radianai, the Rabbi Schmuel Shlomo Leiner. The town paid a high ransom to Nitshke to spare the life of the rabbi.

He sent him across the Bug to Tomaszowka where he worked in paving roads and building bridges. After a few days he was returned according to the order of Nitschke and shot at the Jewish cemetry , and afterwards his cousin was killed.

According to the order of Nitschke the Polish intellectuals were sent to Auschwitz. Among these we remember: Slasnivitz (a steel trader) with his 2 sons, the son of the lawyer Kashinski, the son of Dr. Rosniak, Slipiwitz -- the head of the police, Dirk -- the school principal, the industrial lecturer and lawyer of the former District Governor, Philp -- teacher in Wlodowa and approximately another 3 peope. From Auschwitz they did not return. Some familes received only -- little urns with ashes. On Passover Eve 1941, Nitshke ordered to bring him 125 Jews from Wlodowa to transfer them to work to Sobibor. Approximately 2 months later 3 Jews came running back. Shamai Treibermann, Schmuel Machles and Mathes. All three were completely naked and related that in Sobibor they had been forced to build gas chambers and they were immediately tested by some hundreds of Jews who had constructed them. Only those three succeeded in escaping.

The first action

On Friday, Shavouth Eve 1942, Nitshke orderred the "Judenrat" to provide him with 1500 weak, crippled and underdeveloped Jews who were rushed up to the cinema "Sachante" at 10.00 o'clock in the evening. The "SS"-men threw grenades into the hall killing many of the Jews there. After having them pulled out from the cinema they were driven away to the railway of Orchowka.

Many fell down and were shot on the way. Polish carts riding after them gathered the corpses immediately. From Orchowka all the Jews were transported to the death camp of Sobibor.

One Jew named Gross, the owner of the pharmacy of Wlodawa hid in the cinema and the next day he told about the terrible events. On the first day of the holidays, security police and Volks-deutsche (Germans born in Poland) invaded Jewish houses taking out about 1000 Jews enforcing them to run all the way to Sobibor on foot.

After this action, the town quieted down and it was again possible to walk around.

The children's Action

On Saturday morning July 24th, 1942, Nitshke gave out the new order to the "Judenrat" that all the Jews should bring their children to the commander at the sport yard. Trucks stood already waiting.

About 700 children were brought by the Jews and Nitshke gave a sign to his people to fall upon the Jews and tear children out of their hands, throwing them on the cars like wood blocks. The parents were sent away from the yard and the shouting and screaming were heart-bursting.

This work was carried out by Nitshke's assistants and the Ukrainian Police.

Many parents, among them the Rabbi of Wlodowa, the Rabbi Mendel Morgenstern refused to leave their children alone with the murderers and joined them in Sobibor.

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