Starzawa – one of the many forgotten Holocaust sites

Prof. Józef Lipman is one of the few Holocaust survivors from Boryslaw, Galicia. Together with Klaus Hasbron-Blume and other volunteers of Action Reconciliation Service for Peace (ASF), he returned to Boryslaw in the fall of 2013 for the first time since the war. In Starzawa he met Stefania, his former nanny. Klaus and the volunteers of ASF visited Stefania again this year. Klaus has documented this visit in a short note that deeply moved me, and I therefore reproduce it here.

In the fall of 2013, we were with Holocaust survivor Prof. Lipman in the small town of Starzawa (Ukr CTAPЯBA), at the road T-1401 between Chyrow (Ukr XИPIB) and the border station SMIL’NYTSYA (Ukr СМІЛЬНИЦЯ). In this little town, the Gottlieb family lived, the family of Józef Lipman’s mother. During the school holidays and on other occasions little Józef was often here with his relatives. By a lucky coincidence we met Stefania last year. She was three, four years older than Józef and took care of him for small money. We were impressed by her memory. Last year, Stefa and Józef recalled many names and places together.

This year we met Stefa again and she told us about the assassination of the Gottliebs:

“The prayer house and the adjoining houses were declared a ghetto, surrounded by a high fence. The ghetto existed for about a month. One morning at 4 clock the dog barked. A soldier knocked on the door and ordered my father, ‘take the dog away’. My father came back and said ‘the Jews are crying’. We were not allowed to go out. For a few hours we heard nothing more. All Jews from the ghetto were shot in the quarry of the Gottlieb family. The bodies were covered with lime and then earth was poured over them. I know this because we children went there despite the ban and have seen the lime and the earth. Also my friend Freyda is there.”

All Jews of Starzawa that were not killed in this action, had been brought to the small town Dobromil. Together with the Jews of Dobromil, Krościenko and Ustrzyki Dolne they were shot there.

Stefania created a list with the names of Jewish families from Starzawa, including their professions. We photographed this list.
There were thousands of places like Starzawa in Ukraine, Belarus, the Baltic states, where few or no Jews survived. Often these places do not even exist any more. With the last eyewitnesses knowledge gets lost. We are therefore eternally grateful to Stefania for her testimony; we will visit Starzawa again!

Prof. Józef Lipman has described his experiences during the Holocaust in detail, they can be found here. Klaus Hasbron-Blume has documented the trip with Prof. Lipman in the fall of 2013. The trip report will be published soon. Thank you, Klaus!

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