- German police stand guard over Jewish hostages assembled on the old market square of Olkusz during a reprisal action.
1940 July 31
- Olkusz, [Krakow] Poland
- Variant Locale
- Photo Credit
- United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, courtesy of Rose Grinbaum Futter
- Event History
- "Bloody Wednesday" in the town of Olkusz, Poland, was a reprisal action initiated by German police units in response to the shooting of the German police officer Ernest Kaddatz by an unknown assailant on July 16, 1940. On the night of July 30-31, 1940, SD and police units converged on Olkusz and systematically rounded up all male residents of the town over age 14, both Jews and ethnic Poles. Those arrested were collected at three points in the city: on the Czarna Gora green, at the local power plant, and in the old market square. They were made to lie face down with their hands tied behind their backs for many hours, during which they were beaten mercilessly by the arresting Germans, who shot one of the victims, a non-Jewish Pole. The rest of the victims, many of them severely injured, were released around 3 p.m. on July 31.
According to Ernst Klee, units of the Wehrmacht also participated in the reprisal. However, no German regular army soldiers appear in any of the photographs held by the Museum.