An unknown perpetrator has desecrated the grave of 1,500 Holocaust victims murdered in a forest between Konin and Rudzica.

In October 1941 men, women and children – Jewish inhabitants of Konin, Kleczew, Skulsko, Słupca and other nearby towns and villages, who had been in the ghettos of Grodziec, Rzgów and Zagórów since the summer of 1940 – were brought to the forest. Victims, shot and gassed by using a primitive mobile gas chamber, were buried in three mass graves. In 1944, the Germans returned to the site in order to cover up the traces of the crime and thus avoid the criminal trials that threatened them after the end of the war. The bodies of the victims were extracted from their graves and burnt, and their ashes scattered around the area. 

A plaque on the symbolic grave, dating from 1977, reads: „W tym miejscu – jesienią 1941 roku okupant hitlerowski dokonał zbiorowego mordu 1500 dzieci kobiet i mężczyzn obywateli polskich pow. konińskiego. Społeczny Komitet Ochrony Miejsc Walk Straceń i Męczeństwa w Koninie” (English:"In this place – in the autumn of 1941 – the Nazi occupier committed mass murder of 1,500 female and male children of Polish citizens of the Konin district. Social Committee for the Protection of Struggle and Martyrdom Sites in Konin".). Next to the grave, another plaque was placed in 1988, indicating the Jewish origin of the victims:  „W tym miejscu jesienią 1941 r. hitlerowcy zamordowali ok. 1500 Żydów, mieszkańców powiatu konińskiego z gett zbiorczych w Grodźcu i Rzgowie. CZEŚĆ ICH PAMIĘCI. Muzeum Okręgowe w Koninie”. (English: "In this place, in the autumn of 1941, the Nazis murdered about 1,500 Jews, residents of the Konin district from the collective ghettos in Grodziec and Rzgów. IN HONOUR OF THEIR MEMORY. District Museum in Konin".). In 1998, an obelisk with a plaque was erected at the site where the victims were burnt.

The devastation of the memorial site – damage of part of the fence, tearing out of information boards, writing the inscription "Ave Hitler" on the remembrance site plaque and overturning of candles and flowers – was reported by local residents, who clean the grave of Holocaust victims regularly. 

Anna Styczyńska