The Rębiś family

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Story of the Rębiś family

The following is part of a witness’ testimony given to the Chief Commission for the Examination of Hitler's Crimes in Poland, on the events of 9th September 1943, in Połomeja (now Połomia) near Dębica:

“I was woken up by the sounds of shooting. I looked through the window to see where it was coming from and saw two horse drawn carts and Germans in uniforms by the Rębiś’ house. [...] A few Germans led out Józef Rębiś’ wife Anna, their two daughters Zofia and Wiktoria, and their son Karol. They walked in a row one after another. [...] The German fired a burst of shots from a submachine gun and I saw the entire Rębiś family fall down. When I came to the Rębiś’ house, I saw nine bodies of Jews, men aged 40-50, scattered in the backyard. There were Germans standing next to them. One of them ordered me in Polish, to go to the shelter under the barn where the Jews had been hiding. [...] As I was leaving the yard, I saw Józef Rębiś lying on the road behind the barn. He had been severely beaten but was still alive. Next to him, also alive, was the fiancé of one of his daughters. [...] When I was harnessing the horses to a cart, [...] I heard shots”.

The Germans ordered the Rębiś’ bodies to be buried in a pit dug in the cemetery. They plundered their house after the execution. The murdered Jews were buried in the yard.

The only person to survive was Jan Rębiś, who was not at home during the murder. Warned by the inhabitants of Połomia, he only came back home at night. His father had been so beaten up, that he had difficulty in recognizing the body.

Jan hid from the Germans until the end of the occupation.