A memorial and an honorary grave on the cemetery of Szczurowa in southern Poland commemorate the 93 Romanies who were shot by German policemen and Polish constabulary in July 1943.
Before the Second World War, about 100 Romanies lived in the south Polish village of Szczurowa, which lies about 50 km east of Cracow in the outer Carpathian Mountains. They had settled down in Szczurowa and were well integrated into the community. After the German invasion of Poland in 1939, the region of Szczurowa came under German occupation. The German occupying forces not only terrorised the Jews and the Poles in the so-called General Government, but also Romani people, who were persecuted as »Gypsies«. On the morning of July 3, 1943, German policemen and Polish constabulary surrounded the Roma settlement and arrested all of the residents. The police first brought the men, then the women and children, to the cemetery on horse-drawn carts. There they shot 93 Romanies of Szczurowa, after which they buried the bodies in a mass grave. Finally, they burned down the empty houses of the Roma. Only five Romanies from Szczurowa were able to escape the massacre.
93 Romanies were shot during the massacre of Szczurowa - men, women and children. The Roma community had lived in Szczurowa since the 19th century.
In 1966, the residents of Szczurowa remodelled the mass grave of the murdered Roma on the catholic cemetery in Szczurowa and set up a memorial plaque. The memorial in Szczurowa was thus the first memorial in Poland - perhaps even worldwide - to commemorate the victims of the National Socialist murder of the Roma. In 1993, on the fiftieth anniversary of the massacre, village residents erected a cross and a further memorial plaque next to the honorary grave. The Polish inscription on the plaque reads: »On the 50th anniversary of the murder of 93 Gypsies-Romanies under the Nazi occupation, the residents of Szczurowa honour the victims in prayer«. Since 1996, the nearby town of Tarnów has annually hosted the »International Roma Caravan of Remembrance« (Polish: »Międzynarodowy Tabor Pamięci Romów«). In an event lasting several days, the participants deal with the history and culture of the Romani people. One of the destinations of the »Caravan of Remembrance« is the honorary grave in Szczurowa. In July 2011, a further memorial was unveiled in the forest between Borzęcin and Szczurowa, in honour of the Romanies who were murdered there in 1942.
- Pamiątkowy głaz dla zamordowanych Romów Szczurowej
- The cemetery is always accessible.