Rembertow Railway Station - German Troops
Rembertow is a town in the Warsaw County, located some 8 miles from Warsaw. On the eve of the Second World War, about 2,000 Jews lived in Rembertow, representing approximately 10 % of the town's population. Most earned their living from commerce and from providing services to holidaymakers. They were supported by trade unions and a charity and welfare society, as well as a free-loan society. The Jewish schools included traditional Hadarim, a Talmud Torah, a Yeshiva for high-school -age students, and a Beit Yaakov school. Zionist Parties and Youth Movements were active in Rembertow and established pioneer training facilities. Agudath Israel and its youth movement and the Bund were active as well. The town had libraries founded by the Zionist and Bund and evening classes in Hebrew were held. The Jewish community also enjoyed a drama circle and an orchestra.
The Germans bombed Rembertow on 1 September 1939, and a number of people were killed, whilst many Jews fled to Warsaw and to eastern parts of Poland. On 12 September 1939, Rembertow was occupied by the Germans and they immediately began to plunder Jewish property and seize Jews for forced labour. In December 1939, the Germans ordered the Jews to pay a fine and supply fifty forced labourers every day. The Germans appointed a Judenrat headed by Meir Tenenbaum. In 1940, a fenced-in ghetto was established in Rembertow, and shortly afterwards a food shortage compelled the ghetto residents to pass through the barbed wire in order to trade with local Poles.
In July 1940, there were 1,380 Jews living in the Rembertow ghetto, including 274 Jews from Kalisz and Sieradz . In early 1941, approximately 300 Jews arrived from Lodz. By November 1941, the Jewish population of Rembertow reached approximately 1,800. The Judenrat established a public soup kitchen, that distributed about 600 hot meals daily. The Jewish butchers risked their lives to obtain beef for slaughter, established a co-operative and provided the Warsaw ghetto with meat as well. The Jews of Rembertow performed forced labour in two cams, Poligon and Pocisk.
On 19-20 August 1942, the Germans together with Ukrainian-SS volunteers and Polish 'Blue' police drove out 1,800 Jews residing in Rembertow to Falenica, and Miedzeszyn and from there they were deported to Treblinka death camp. More than 1,000 Jews from the vicinity of Rembertow, were brought to two labour camps in Rembertow, which were still operational. In June 1943, the Gestapo murdered about 1,000 inmates of the Pocisk camp and in August 1943, they murdered the last remaining Jews living in Rembertow.
The Yad Vashem Enclopedia of the Ghettos During the Holocaust Volume 1 - Yad Vashem 2009
Y. Arad , Belzec , Sobibor, Treblinka, Indiana University Press, Bloomington and Indianapolis 1987
Photograph - Tall Trees Archive
© Holocaust Historical Society 2016