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The village is 14 km. north of Chelm and 61 km. east of the regional capital Lublin.
The first mention of Jewish residency was the sale of a house in the year 1627.
The oldest records of Jews in Sawin date from 1627 town mayor's books. Up until 1914,
the Jewish community came under the authority of the Jewish community in Chelm. The
Jewish community had its garden at Brzeska Street. The following places belonged to
the community: synagogue, school, mikvah, ritual slaughterhouse and cemetery. The
majority of Jews from the town were traders: grocers, horse traders, cloth merchants,
furriers, tailors, bakers, carpenters, shoemakers, millers. They went to Chelm for trade.
The mohelim in the village included: Ela Blumenblat, Fajwel Perel, Aron Chuna Ajchenblat,
Ch. Rozenbaum, Szimon Hersz Furer and Dawin Perelzohn. In 1822 there was a Jewish
in Sawin called Fajbus Rotylas. There were four chederim in Sawin leading up to the war.
The teachers were: Lejba Koziol, Srul Epelsztejn, Aron Zimmerman, Jojna Geller, and
Wulf Kac. Religious instruction was taught by: Srul Zelman Epelsztejn, Icek Globen, Josef
Szafman, Alter Globen, Szmul Globen, Aron Cymerman, Jojna Gielcz, Wolf Kac, Chaim
Lejb Rubinsztejn, Jojna Geller, Herszko Milechman and Bencjan Weber.
In 1887 the village population was 2,000, including 139 Jews. In 1925, 611 Jews living
in the village, 48% of total population. There were 882 Jews living in the village at the
start of WWII. They included 157 traders and salesmen, 75 craftsmen, and 250 laborers.
After the outbreak of World War II, the Nazis set up a ghetto and Judenrat in Sawin in
November 1940. Mr. Rojter became the chairman of the Jewish Committee. The following
streets formed the boundary of the ghetto: Brzeska Street, Koscielna Street, the Market
Square and Koscielny Square. The entrance to it was from Brzeska Street. A branch of
the Jewish Public Mutual Social Aid (Zydowska Samopomoc Spoleczna) was established
in Sawin because of the harsh conditions in the ghetto. Jews from Krakow were brought
to the ghetto in Sawin in 1941. Jews from Gorzkow, Wroclaw, Warsaw and from France,
Austria, Yugoslavia, Czechoslovakia and Hungary were also resettled in Sawin.
The Nazis set up a labor camp inside the ghetto. The German officer in command of the
ghetto was Greutner, an extremely stern man who would condemn Jews to death at the
slightest sign of insubordination. Jews worked to amelioration of the Lepietucha River. The
labor camp had 5 or 6 wooden barracks with 60 people living in each. The camp area was
surrounded by barbed wire. The ghetto had also an assembly square and a kitchen. The
latrines were on the periphery of the ghetto. There was also a hospital which was situated in
a house at the intersection of Brzeska Street and Zielona Street. In all, over 3,000 Jews
worked at the camp. Meals were served twice a day. They consisted of a slice of bread and
a coffee served with dirty water in the morning and a bowl of soup in the evening. Rarely was
meat given. Often the officer in command would throw a slice of bread to a crowd of prisoners.
In the camp there was an epidemic of typhoid fever and dysentery. At the end of September
1943 the ghetto was closed down. At that time the Jews were shipped to the Sobibor Death
Camp. A local Polish family, Majowkow family, did help rescue members of a Jewish family.
The old Sawin Jewish cemetery is located in a forest on the western outskirts of the city. It is
difficult to imagine that among the pines was a Jewish cemetery. One is struck by a profound
feeling of emptiness, according to those who have visited. Both Alter Ledersztejn and Mordechai
Holcblat survived the war. Mordechai Holcblat, who lives in Israel, still comes to pay his tribute
at the cemetery in Sawin. After the war, Mordechai's only wish was that the local people respect
the Jewish cemetery in Sawin. In 1999, a wooden fence was installed around the cemetery at the
initiative of Mr. Holcblat. In 2001, with Philip Goldstejn, he created a memorial made from a rock.
The synagogue in Sawin was wooden, built in the 1880s and located on Brzeskiej Street.
A second synagogue was built in 1925. The Sawin cemetery has one remaining gravestone
that was not destroyed and is on Urszulin Road. In 2000, a memorial was erected at the cemetery.
Please donate to the Jewish Records Index - Poland translation of Sawin records.
Without your support, we can't appropriately memorialize our families.
Please review the site content below. Zachor - We Remember.
[History] [Holocaust] [Wikipedia - Sawin]
[Cemetery] [Old Synagogue]
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Join the Sawin group on Facebook!
Village of Sawin:
Labor Camp in Sajczyce
Memories of the Jews of Sawin (in Polish)
Sawin Jewish Genealogy eGroup
Sawin Labor Camps
Families of Sawin:
Survivors of Sawin:
(three family members)
Philip Goldstejn (Goldstein)
Sobibor Labor Camp at Sawin (with photos)
Jewish Records Indexing Poland - Sawin
(Note: Sawin and Chelm records were combined for most periods.)
Jewish Vital Records in the Polish State Archives
Remember Your Family:
The DNA Shoah Project: Connecting Descendants
Central Judaica Database - Museum of History of Polish Jews
Grandchildren of Holocaust Survivors on Facebook
Guide to the YIVO Archives
Holocaust News/Events from Generations of the Shoah Int'l
Holocaust Survivors and Victims Database
JewishGen Family Finder
JewishGen Holocaust Database
JRI-Poland: Search for Your Family
Museum of History of Polish Jews Introduction
Yad Vashem: Search for Your Family
Yad Vashem: Submit Names of Your Family Members
Yad Vashem Requests Photos of Shoah Survivors and Families