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Małków near Hrubieszow – November 17, 2013

A ceremonial unveiling of a memorial plaque next to the grave of Jews commemorated by the Lasting Memory Foundation took place in Małków Kolonia. The victims were murdered on 2 December 1939 at the Death March during which the Jews from Chełm and Hrubieszów were marched to the town of Sokal (a Soviet and German border during the war) and killed by the Germans. The attending guests, including Małków residents, paid tribute to the innocent victims.

Among the participants were: the Chief Rabbi of Poland, Orthodox and Catholic parish priests, local authorities, residents as well as teachers and students from nearby schools. The ceremony was led by the Foundation’s president.
The clergy of three religious traditions said prayers next to the grave. The students, represented by school flag bearers under the supervision of their principal, performed emotionally moving poems and songs. The Death March witnesses gave speeches about what they remembered of the events from 1 December 1939 when the Germans marched approximately 1800 Jews, men from 16 to 60 years of age, from Chełm towards Hrubieszów. Before the column of people reached Hrubieszów 15 hours later, the Germans had killed a few hundred Jews who were too weak to continue marching. The next day several hundred more Jews were joined into the column and marched further through Małków to Sokal, into the Soviet zone. Everyone who did not keep up with the crowd was shot. The march route was lined with the bodies of the dead. Under the command of the Germans, the residents of Małków buried the bodies in a pit. The remaining Jews moved further ahead and the Germans continued shooting to the lines of marching men. 16 kilometers from Sokal, at the crossroad, the Jews were divided into two separate groups. One of them headed towards Sokal and the other towards Bełz. After reaching the Bug River, they were forced to cross the water under threat of death. Up to their necks in water, the Jews were passing through as the Russians were shooting from the other side to scare them away, unwilling to let them in. The Jews were eventually allowed ashore and waited there 9 hours, which caused many of them to die of exhaustion. Suddenly, the German soldiers left and the Jews were again forced to cross the river to return to their homes. More than 1000 Jews were killed during the Death March.
The commemoration took place thanks to kindness of the land owner and the help of Małków residents.

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