Map of Execution Sites of Jewish victims in Poland
Three weeks after the outbreak of World War II, Poland was divided between the two signatories of the Nazi-Soviet Pact, Hitler’s Germany and the Soviet Union. The majority of Polish territory was administered by the General Government. In August 1941, the Eastern Galicia (extreme West of present-day Ukraine), formerly occupied by the Soviets, was integrated. According to Generalplan Ost Hitler, Poland would become a new focus of German settlement.
More than three million Jews lived in Poland before the war began, they made up more than 10% of the total population. The Nazis put in place six extermination camps: Auschwtiz, Treblinka, Belzec, Sobibor, Majdanek, and Chelmno, where the Jews of Europe were deported and murdered. Alongside these camps, genocide also took the form of shootings at the edge of mass graves. The Einsatzgruppen committed their first massacres here, starting from 1939, before continuing their task of extermination into the Soviet Union. More than 90% of the Polish Jewish population before the war was killed during the Holocaust.
Yahad-In Unum sent a team to the region of Lublin in 2010, marking the beginning of research on the Holocaust by bullets in Poland. During these investigations, Yahad-In Unum interviewed 661 witnesses and located 340 execution sites.