Before the Second World War, there were around 25,000 Jews living in Kielce, which was around a third of the city’s population. Only around 400 Jews from Kielce survived the Second World War, and some of those died in the Kielce Jewish Pogrom in 1946, which marred the city’s reputation for decades.
There’s not much left from the ghetto period, but there is this memorial to it. One surviving building is the Jewish synagogue, although it’s not used by the community now, and I noticed that the Ibis Hotel that I stayed in is located within the former ghetto area. It’s all a modern area now, there are few traces of the horrors which took place here.
This figure relates to when the ghetto was liquidated in August 1942, with over 20,000 people sent to Treblinka concentration camp, where they were killed. Many more died whilst living in the ghetto or during the transportation. The memorial is a necessary reminder of what was lost during the Second World War, with the Jewish community and its buildings being nearly entirely destroyed.