Polish prosecutors will not reopen case into Jedwabne pogrom

The Polish National Prosecutor’s Office has decided that there are no grounds for re-exhuming the victims of the 1941 pogrom in Jedwabne and resuming the proceedings in the case.

The director of the Institute of National Remembrance earlier had declared that it was ready to start exhumation work.

The prosecutor’s office said that exhuming the bodies of the Jewish victims would not provide any new evidence that could lead to the reopening of the case.

In February, the director of the Institute of National Remembrance, Jaroslaw Szarek, announced that his institution was ready to conduct an exhumation in Jedwabne, a town in north-east Poland. A previous investigation into the 1941 crime was discontinued in June 2003 after it was determined that all the guilty parties had been identified.

From previous findings by the Institute of National Remembrance on Jedwabne, some 340 Jews were killed there, of which about 300 were burned alive in a barn. The murder was carried out by a group of 40 residents of Jedwabne and the surrounding area.

According to the institute, the crime was inspired by the Germans. Exhumation helped to determine the approximate number of victims. It previously was believed that around 1,600 Jews were murdered in Jedwabne.

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