Translation niemiecka okupacja
GERMAN OCCUPATION 1939-1944
Biłgoraj county was vastly destroyed during the Second World War. In 1940, German authorities excluded the boroughs of Tereszpol, Radecznica, Zwierzyniec, Cieplice, Kuryłówka and a part of Dzików Stary borough from Zamość county and incorporated them into Biłgoraj county. In 1943, they did the same with Szczebrzeszyn borough. Newly established administrative unit comprised of 23 boroughs, 454 settlements and two towns – Biłgoraj and Szczebrzeszyn. According to the records of 1943, 160 294 inhabitants occupied 2584,1 square kilometres of the altered county’s territory.
Not only did the people of the region organize an underground education system but they also formed a strong resistance movement. Units of Home Army, the People’s Army, Peasants’ Battalions and Russian partisans were all active in the county.
A significant part of the population were either resettled or murdered. Jewish citizens were exterminated on the 2nd November, 1942. Numerous German pacifications left the region ravaged in terms of its population as well as economy. Military operations leading to such a condition of the county included Reinhardt of 1942, during which the majority of Jewish population were murdered or transported to Bełżec extermination camp. Operation Werwolf of 1943 resulted in 30 000 people from 89 villages being resettled, transported to Majdanek concentration camp or sent to Germany as slaves and forced labour. The most tragic was Sturmwind, which took place in June 1944, whose aim was to eliminate partisan units hiding in Janów Forest and Solska Forest. During Sturmwind I Polish and Russian partisans were surrounded on Porytowe Wzgórze in Janów Forest. Having escaped, they fled to Solska Forest but were surrounded again during Sturmwind II, during which they suffered enormous loses. Hundreds of captured men were killed, and nearly 12 000 sent to Majdanek concentration camp, having been previously kept in transition camps in Biłgoraj, Harasiuki and Tarnogród.