Testimony from Urszala Kokosinska of Perth, Australia
Urszala's mother was born in Ostrow Mazowiecka in 1923. Urszala started work on her family tree and, among other things, indexed the Ostrow Mazowiecka Catholic vital records in the Polish LDS films. In late 2008, Urszala discovered the website of the Ostrow Mazowiecka Research Family and contacted us. We were able to share information on Urszala's family in the Books of Residents.
Urszala's grandfather was a witness to the horrible events on that tragic day in November 1939 when the remaining 600 Jews of Ostrow Mazowiecka were marched to the forest outside of town and massacred.
In January 2009, Urszala wrote: "...my Grandpa had a summer house in the forest just before you enter Ostrow on the road from Warsaw. It was a two storey building with a balcony on the top floor facing the road. The barn was behind the house, on the right hand side. The fence around the property collapsed and he and his brother went to repair it. While they were working, German trucks arrived and the soldiers started to unload the Jewish people on the other side of the road. The soldiers noticed the two men working and pointing the guns at them, told them to run into the forest. Grandpa thought that was it, but shots were not fired.
From the woods they witnessed the massacre. My Grandpa could not leave the house for two years afterwards. He never spoke about the war. He painted beautifully but after what he saw he could not touch the brush ever again."
Testimony by a Survivor from Ostrów Mazowiecka
Click on page number to view larger image. For translation, see below.
Translation of Testimony
Mojsze, born in 1874 in Ostrów Maz.
before the war: Ostrów
during the war: Soviet Union
Nazis entered, almost every Jew moved to the Soviet
Union (border was only 7 km from Ostrow). They crossed the border
gradually, some disguised as Polish peasants. Only the elderly, the sick and
several single women were left in Ostrów - more than 600 people.
gathered them all near the brewery (there was only one brewery at the time in
Ostrów) and forced them to dig a big hole, jump into it and shot them all. After
that Germans forced Polish people to bury this hole. That's what Jews living in
by M. Surowicz and S. Sikora (recording clerk)
Feb. 23, 1948