Back in June of last year, prosecutors for the Institute of National Remembrance reopened the 70-year-old case of 20 Jewish women who were raped and murdered in Bzury, a town in northeastern Poland. Polish authorities were unable to name the victims or perpetrators.
The crimes which Prosecutor Radosław Ignatiew called “racial genocide,” occurred in the summer of 1941, when the women, aged between 15 and 30, were sent from the Szczuczyn ghetto in northern Poland to work on a farm in the village.
There, a group of villagers robbed the women, beat them, raped and finally murdered all 20. Their bodies were buried in the nearby forest.
Only one of the perpetrators, Stanisław Zalewski, was arrested – by communist authorities after the war – and stood trial. He spent 15 years in prison for his crimes. Six others were involved but did not face any charges.
In an interview with The Jerusalem Post Mr Igniatew explained that he had no other choice. “None of [the perpetrators] remain alive, we know that for sure. However, we found some evidence that two or three other people may have taken part in this crime. After all the time that has passed, we were unable to find any evidence of their guilt. After making every possible inquiry, I decided to close the case.”
Mr Ignatiew added that he is now investigating a similar case that occurred in W±sosz, where, on the night of July 5, 1941, more than 100 Jews were killed by their Polish neighbors.
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