The Germans invaded the city of Olkusz in southwest Poland in September 1939. In July 1940, a German police unit arrived in Olkusz and gathered all the Jewish men in the main square. There the Jews were forced to lie on the ground while the policemen and members of the SD “registered them”. During this process, the Germans brutally beat the Jews, murdering two of them. Rabbi Moshe Yitzhak Hagerman was forced to don his tallith (prayer shawl) and defiled tefillin (phylacteries), and to stand barefoot and pray next to the prostrate men of the Jewish community. At the end of the day, the Jews were permitted to return home, and the Germans left.
The Jews of Olkusz were deported to Auschwitz in 1942, where most of them were murdered.