Secrets in the archives
polish version
translated by: Emilia Wisniewska

The special operational groups of Gestapo could have operated in Jedwabne, suppose the German historians.

The Jews which asked for reparations to German authorities for the suffering caused by Nazis , has not mentioned about participation of Poles in the crime of the Bialystok region - asserts Heins-Ludger Borget of Ludvisburg. In those archives there are documents about murder in Jedwabne.

The authorities of GBR had conducted at least three investigations by the end of fifties, assuming that the crimes in the Bialystok district of summer 1941 were committed by Nazis, and amongst them, was the massacre in Jedwabne. However, each investigation ended with dismissal as a result of lack of proves.

The first investigation was re-opened in 1958. Its bases were the indications found in the petitions by the citizens of Israel who petitioned German authorities in 50-ties for reparations for their suffering in the hands if nazis.

There was not any suggestion about the participation of Polish civilians in the massacre, say the manager of the regional branch of the German Federal Achieves, Heinz-Ludger Borgert.

The research undertaken by the agency in Ludvisburg proved, that in the Bialystok and Lomza regions, independently of the intervening units (Einsatzgruppen) there perhaps operated the special unit designated for the "special assignments", in which included was the Gestapo unit of the Eastern Prussia region.

One other of such groups could have operated in the Lomza region, and have something to do with the massacre in Jedwabne - thinks Borger. The German authorities asked Israel or the legal help. However search for witnesses in Jedwabne had proven unsuccessful at that time. The investigation against the person suspected of commanding the unit was dropped about 1965.

In 1968 similarly, the second investigation against the commanders of SS and police, environmental police and the gandarmerie units, suspected of committing the crime in 9locations in the Bialystok region, including Jedwabne.

The Prosecutor took up the third investigation in this matter of Bielefeld in 1974. At that time, the German side petitioned to take the testimonies of 10 witnesses in Poland that the Main Commission for Investigation of the Nazi Crimes sent to Ludvisburg on October 7th, 1974.

In these testimonies there is talk about German responsibility for the crime in Jedwabne - asserts Borget.

As a part of this investigation German prosecutor deposed also residing abroad Jewish witnesses. One of them, Cwi Baranowicz, mentions the attempt by Poles to burn Jewish population in the synagogue in Piatnica. According to witnesses, the burning did not occurred only thanks to the German intervention. The witness suggested that the Poles participated in the Jedwabne massacre. However, Baranowicz himself had not ever resided in Jedwabne.

Borget admitted that in the German sources one could find the information that Germans considered the possibility of using anti- Semitic sentiments in the local community on the territory that has been taken by German army in June 1941, to ignite pogroms. - The word of caution was issued to make German initiative invisible - explains.

Borgert excluded the possibility of existing the German film in Koblencja and in Berlin - Such materials do not exists in Ludvisburg or in the archives of Koblencja and Berlin - he assured. However, he did not deny that the Polish historian searching documents on behalf of IPN can find a trace that can bring him to the leads to the other documents in the other archives. Published on Wednesday in ZYCIE excerpt of the testimony does not belong to Cwi Baranowicza but to Waclawa Kupieckiego.

-It does not apply to Poles- said Professor Witold Kulesza .

The witnesses deposed in the trials of the Jedwabne crime conducted in Germany, do not even mention participation of Poles in he crime. Why?

The prosecution in Germany was related to the alleged German perpetrators of crimes but not Polish. The German Prosecutors did not have a jurisdiction to persecute Polish perpetrators.

Part of the documents in Ludvisburg was sent to the by the Main Commission for Investigating Nazis Crimes. And even there is no mention about Poles. When Main Commission to Investigate Nazi Crimes were to address the German authorities to take up the investigation it would indicate the German preceptors. And that is why it did not rely to the German side for example the testimonies of the witnesses of the trial conducted in Poland in 1949. Indeed at that time there were 12 Polish residents of Jedwabne sentenced for the crime. Even if we were to sent to Germany the testimonies indicating the Polish perpetrators of the crime, that the German Prosecutor would have sent them back.  

Why than to come back to the matters already known for a long time?  

We are coming back to these documents to find out what was established, thus far. However, we must admit that they do not bring a breakthrough in the investigation.  

Wojciech Kamiński, pap

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