How the crime was organized

The forests near Piaśnica Wielka, which are a part of the Darżlubie Forest, were chosen in accordance with guidelines from the Reich Main Security Office in Berlin (RSHA, Reichssicherheitshauptamt). It was to be a location distant from human settlements, but situated in the vicinity of the most important prisons and jails.

The area of the forests was ca. 250 hectares. It was situated about 9 kilometers to the north of Wejherowo, in the Pomeranian voivodeship. After that land was seized in September 1939 by Wehrmacht troops, it was included in the Reichsgau Danzig-West Prussia (Reichsgau Danzig-Westpreussen) Nazi province. It was ruled by a governor, NSDAP Gauleiter Albert Forster.

Arrested individuals were put in prisons and other places of detention in Gdańsk Pomerania. After questioning, they were taken to Piaśnica for execution. People from the Third Reich were brought to Wejherowo by train. They were transported from the railway station in Wejherowo to the place of execution by trucks and buses.

The victims were shot by German special forces. Five or six individuals were ordered to kneel or stand near graves dug previously by hired German farmers who lived in the surrounding areas. The victims were killed with shots in the back of the head, fired from a distance of about 1 meter.

Several hundred meters away from the place execution, the remaining prisoners awaited their turn, listening to the shots and shouting of those being slaughtered. Eye-witness accounts, results of disinterments, and visual inspections of the crime scene confirmed that deaths resulted also from finishing off the wounded with heavy blows of rifle butts, and by means of smashing children’s heads against tree trunks.

The activities related to the massacre in Piaśnica were managed from a villa built in 1926 by Franciszek Panek, a doctor from Wejherowo who was also known for his pro bono initiatives and efforts. Clothes and personal belongings of the victims seized by Germans were collected in the house and in the adjacent garden. The house, which is today called Villa Musica, will be the seat of the Piaśnica Museum being established.


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