The 1942 Massacre of Mlawa Jews and the Death Of Dovid Tachna

Photographic Evidence of the 1942 Massacre of Jews in Mlawa


Dovid Tachna

1904 - 1942

  In 1942, approximately seventy Jews were executed by the Gestapo in Mlawa, Poland for the crime of smuggling food into the Jewish Ghetto from the Christian side.  The Jews of the city had been rounded up into their own isolated ghetto since the German army swept into the town in 1939.  One of the victims was Dovid Tachna, son of Shimon Alter and Zysla (nee Kon) Tachna. 

After the war, in 1946, a group of Jewish survivors returned to their home town of Mlawa only to find that their families, friends, and neighbors were all gone - victims of the Nazis and anti-Semitic Poles.  The victims of the massacre in 1942 lay spread about, a deception by the Nazis to make it appear as though they were the victims of the war and not planned genocide.  Amongst them was also the desecrated remains of the old Jewish cemetery.  The Poles had dug up the remains looking for valuable items such as gold teeth and jewelry.

One of the returning Jewish survivors was a native of Mlawa named Shimon Kozik.  He and the other Jewish survivors gathered up the remains of the 1942 massacre and the desecrated graves and gave them a new burial in a mass grave on the massacre site.  They erected a monument which was then destroyed by Polish anti-Semites in 1946.  A new monument was erected on the same spot but this time at a lower angle to the ground in order to prevent a repeat of the vandalism.  It didn't help.  The replacement monument was destroyed as well. 

Finally, a monument was put up by the city, but not on the original site.  It remains there today.

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