Markowa and the Rzeszow Region

Historical Background

Some 113,000 Jews lived in the Rzeszow district before the war. In September 1939 the district came under Nazi control. The Germans established ghettos and several labor camps, and in the summer of 1942 began to systematically destroy the Jewish population. Thousands were killed on site during the roundups, and the remaining Jews were sent to Belzec extermination camp. Others were taken to camps where they were used as slave laborers.

Thousands of Jews tried to escape from the ghettos and camps. Szmuel Krakowski estimated that some 12,000 Jews made the attempt to escape, but only a small number managed to survive. German forces, with the help of local informers, combed the area continuously to find Jews on the run. An examination of the documentation of the Polish post-war Commission for the investigation of Nazi crimes in Poland reveals that in addition to the Jews killed in the razzias, an estimated 9,800 Jewish men, women and children were killed in 378 villages of the Rzeszow region and in the nearby forests.