Polish institute stops investigation into WWII murder of 70 Jews


WARSAW, Poland (JTA) – The Institute of National Remembrance in Bialystok has discontinued the investigation into the 1941 murders of at least 70 Jewish citizens in a Polish town.

Prosecutors have not identified and additional perpetrators besides the two Polish men already sentenced for the killings in Wasosz, in northeastern Poland, shortly after World War II.

According to the institute, “not less than 70 persons of Jewish nationality” were murdered, according to the Polish Press Agency. They “had been shot or killed with knives, axes, pins, or other similar tools,” the institute said. The guns of local residents had been confiscated.

Prosecutor Radoslaw Ignatiew intended to carry out the exhumation of a mass grave in Wasosz to determine the exact number of victims. The exhumation would have allowed the transfer of the victims to a cemetery, where they would be buried in registered graves.

Polish Jews are split over the  plan to exhume massacre victims.

Last August, while on vacation, Ignatiew was removed from the investigation.

The Wasosz case from July 1941 was the last investigation into the murders committed against Jews led by the investigation division of the Institute of National Remembrance in Bialystok. Earlier cases involved events in Jedwabne, Radzilow, Szczuczyn and Bzury.

Recommended from JTA