River Kiełbaska running through northern part of Kowale Pańskie
Kowale Pańskie pronounced [kɔˈvalɛ ˈpaɲskʲɛ] is a village in the administrative district of Gmina Kawęczyn, within Turek County, Greater Poland Voivodeship, in west-central Poland. It lies approximately 4 kilometres (2 mi) north of Kawęczyn, 10 km (6 mi) south of Turek, and 122 km (76 mi) south-east of the regional capital Poznań.
The village has a population of 190.
Village Kowale existed already in the 13th century. Bought by Archbishop Jakub Świnka around 1280 it remained the property of the Gniezno Archdiocese until the 18th century. The name Kowale appeared in the 17th century, in reference to a community of blacksmiths (kowale in Polish) servicing local market. The church, founded by Antoni Czarnecki, was built in 1847; the church's parish included 12 villages. In mid 19th century, during the Partitions of Poland, the population of Kowale Pańskie (and the adjacent Wola Kowalska) was only 323 people, half of whom lived and worked around the local historic manor (built in 1750), owned by industrialist Robert Schultz who run a steam-powered mill. Kowale Pańskie consisted of 30 farms. The inhabitants was predominantly Polish, with some German and even fewer Jewish families. Following Poland's return to independence Kowale became the county seat (gmina) in 1928 consisting of 59 settlements. Volunteer fire station was built, a school complex (1933), and a community bank (Gminna Kasa Pożyczkowo-Oszczędnościowa).
World War II and the Holocaust
With the German invasion of Poland at the onset of World War II, Kowale became part of Turek Kreis in Reichsgau Wartheland territory annexed directly to Nazi Germany. Kowale county was chosen as the location of a transit ghetto for Polish Jews from the entire region spanning 16 settlements including Turek. The ghetto – centred around Czachulec – was known in German as Heidemühle in reference to an old windmill standing there; all Polish families were expelled from the zone with younger Poles taken to Germany for slave labour. The Nazis ordered the creation of a single Judenrat council for all Jewish communities together. The ghetto held 3,700 Jews; up to 18 families per each farmhouse living anywhere they could including in barnyards.
In October 1941, SS-Sturmbannführer Herbert Lange chose nearby Chełmno as the location of the first ever extermination camp. The gas vans manufactured in Berlin were delivered some time in November. On 8 November 1941, all Jews from the Kowale Pańskie Ghetto were herded in the village of Bielawki for a selection. About 1,100 people were declared "incapable of work" and on 13-14 November transported to the death camp in Chełmno. The younger and stronger men in Kowale were deported to forced labour near Poznań in early 1942, followed by a group of Jewish women. The final liquidation of the ghetto took place on 20 July 1942, when the remaining Jews were sent to Chełmno, but also murdered outside the village, along with Jewish hospital patients and 12 Jewish policemen. The inhabitants of Babiak, Dąbie, Dęby Szlacheckie, Grodziec, Izbica Kujawska, Kłodawa, Koło, Nowiny Brdowskie, and Sompolno were deported to Chełmno before March 1943.
- "Central Statistical Office (GUS) - TERYT (National Register of Territorial Land Apportionment Journal)" (in Polish). 2008-06-01.
- Andrzej Tyczyno (31 January 2010). "Kowale Pańskie". Settlement history. Stowarzyszenie na Rzecz Rozwoju Powiatu Tureckiego.
- Zespół Szkół w Kowalach Pańskich. "O szkole" [School History]. Szkoła Podstawowa i Gimnazjum w Kowalach Pańskich.
- Yizkor Book Project (2008). "Kowale Pańskie, District of Turek". Translated by Ada Holtzman. JewishGen. Also in: Pinkas Hakehilot (1976). "Kowale Pańskie". Communities of Lodz and Its Region. Yad Vashem, Jerusalem: Encyclopedia of Jewish Communities: Poland. Vol I.
- Zbigniew Nabzdyk et al. (18 July 2012). "Getto Czachulec". Konińska Gazeta Internetowa.
- Christopher R. Browning (2011). Remembering Survival: Inside a Nazi Slave-Labor Camp. b. W. W. Norton & Company. pp. 54, 65. ISBN 0393338878. Retrieved 28 June 2015. Also in: Holocaust Research Project.org (2007). "Lange, Herbert; SS-Hauptsturmführer". Chelmno Death Camp Dramatis Personae. Holocaust Education & Archive Research Team.
- Mathias Beer (translated from the German) (2015). "The Development of the Gas-Van in the Murdering of the Jews". The Final Solution. Jewish Virtual Library. "Die Entwicklung der Gaswagen beim Mord an den Juden," Miszelle. Vierteljahrshefte fuer Zeitgeschichte, 37 (3), pp. 403-417. Retrieved 27 June 2015.
- Holocaust Encyclopedia (2016). "Deportations to Chelmno". United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. Also in: Martin Gilbert (2009). The Routledge Atlas of the Holocaust. Routledge. p. 70. ISBN 0415484812.