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Poland Pulls Plug on Probe Into Wartime Massacre of 70 Jews

The Institute of National Remembrance in Bialystok discontinued the investigation into the murder of at least 70 Jewish citizens in Wasosz in northeastern Poland in 1941.

Prosecutors have not identified and additional perpetrators besides the two Polish men already sentenced for the act shortly after World War II.

The murder in Wasosz occurred in July 1941. According to the Institute, there were murdered “not less than 70 persons of Jewish nationality,” which, according to the Polish Press Agency, “had been shot or killed with knives, axes, pins, or other similar tools.” The guns of local residents had been confiscated.

Prosecutor Radoslaw Ignatiew intended to carry out the exhumation of a mass grave in Wasosz to determine the exact number of victims. The exhumation would have allowed the transfer of the victims to a cemetery, where they would be buried in registered graves.

Polish Jews are split over the plan to exhume massacre victims.

In August 2015, while on vacation from work, Ignatiew was removed from the investigation. The prosecutor appointed to pursue the investigation was Malgorzata Redos-Ciszewska.

The case of the events of July 1941 in Wasosz was the last investigation into the murders committed against Jews, led by the investigation division of the Institute of National Remembrance in Bialystok. Earlier cases involved events in Jedwabne, Radzilow, Szczuczyn and Bzury. All investigations have been discontinued.

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