July 6, 1946
Jews fleeing the city of Kielce, Poland, two days after the pogrom perpetrated against the Jewish community
On July 1, 1946, eight-year-old Henryk Blaszcyk of Kielce, Poland, hitched a ride to his old hometown, visiting friends and picking cherries. Reported as missing by his parents to the police, he returned two days later, at which point his drunken father filed another report at the station, claiming his son had been kidnapped by the Jews yet managed to escape from the Jewish Committee’s building. The subsequent police investigation led to a massive outbreak of violence against the Jewish community in Kielce perpetrated by the police, soldiers, and an angry mob. 42 Jews were murdered, and as many as 80 others were wounded during the pogrom. On July 6, many of the wounded, along with other members of the Jewish community, were evacuated by train and brought to the city of Lodz. Pictured above are Jews waiting to flee from Kielce after the pogrom.
The pogrom in Kielce served as a catalyst for the flight of many Holocaust survivors from Poland. Recognizing the deeply rooted antisemitism in Poland, many survivors realized they could not build a future in their homeland, and sought other places to settle and rebuild their lives.
Yad Vashem Photo Archives 4613/1048