Pustków [ˈpustkuf] is a village in the administrative district of
Gmina Dębica, within
Dębica County, Subcarpathian Voivodeship, in
south-eastern Poland. It lies approximately 12 kilometres (7 miles)
Dębica and 39 km (24 mi) west of the regional
capital Rzeszów. The settlement is nearly synonymous with the
Pustków Osiedle housing estate built in the 1930s for
employees of the mining explosives factory of the Central Industrial
Region. Total area of Pustków – the largest village in Gmina
Dębica – is 2,285 hectares (5,650 acres) with 2,925 residents
(2003); while the area of
Pustków Osiedle – the smallest one – is
150 hectares (370 acres) with comparable number of 2,727 residents in
an urban setting.
World War II
Pustków, as well as
Pustków Osiedle were the location of the Nazi
German troop-training facility called HL-Heidelager for the Ukrainian
14th Waffen SS Division "Galician", as well as other
collaborationists military formations including Estonian. Their
training, included also killing operations inside the camps and Jewish
ghettos in the vicinity of Pustków and in the town itself, most
notably, at the Pustków and
Szebnie concentration camp
Szebnie concentration camp nearby.
Reconstructed camp barracks with a watchtower and the barbed-wire
Locals who lived in the vicinity were evicted already in mid-1940.
The HL-Heidelager Military Training Base known in German as the
SS-Truppenübungsplatz Heidelager (de) eventually, was set up
Dębica not far from
Blizna using slave labor from the
neighboring concentration camp located beneath Królowa Góra
mountain, which held 7,000 Jews, 5,000 Soviet POWs, and 3,000 Poles
(most of them annihilated before July 1944). The training range was
in use since the fall of 1941 under the command of SS Oberführer
Werner von Schele. The title Heidelager was adjusted from the
original SS TruppenÜbungsPlatz "Ostpolen" on August 25, 1943. The
last commandant of the training base was SS Oberführer Bernhardt Voss
until the summer of 1944.
The facility resembled a small city with its own narrow gauge
railroad, some 3,600 men of different nationalities, cinemas, dining
halls, dozens of villas, a newsletter, even a camp brothel staffed by
female prisoners from the slave-labor camp nearby, and the hunting
parties for the high-ranking officers. This is where the Galizien
Division came into existence. The range was visited by
Heinrich Himmler on September 28, 1943, and abandoned
in the summer of 1944 ahead of the Soviet advance.
^ "Central Statistical Office (GUS) – TERYT (National Register of
Territorial Land Apportionment Journal)" (in Polish).
^ "Pustków. Lokalizacja. Historia". Muzeum Historii Żydów Polskich
Sztetl.org. 2013. Retrieved 12 August 2013.
^ R.A.R.R. (June 2004). "
Gmina Debica. Plan rozwoju lokalnego" (PDF)
(in Polish). Rzeszowska Agencja Rozwoju Regionalnego. p. 6.
Retrieved 12 August 2013.
^ a b c d e "HL-Heidelager: SS-TruppenÜbungsPlatz" (with collection
of historical photographs). Historia poligonu Heidelager w Pustkowie
(in Polish). Pustkow.Republika.pl. 2013. Retrieved 6 July 2013.
^ Terry Goldsworthy (2010). "Valhalla's Warriors" (Google Book
preview). A History of the Waffen-SS on the Eastern Front 1941-1945.
Dog Ear Publishing. p. 144. ISBN 1608446395. Retrieved July
^ Howard Margolian (2000). Unauthorized entry: the truth about Nazi
war criminals in Canada, 1946-1956. University of Toronto Press.
p. 132. ISBN 0802042775. Retrieved July 6, 2013.
^ Jacek Bracik, Józef Twaróg (2003). "Obóz w Szebniach (Camp in
Szebnie)" (in Polish). Region Jasielski, nr 3 (39). Archived from the
original on February 1, 2010. Retrieved July 4, 2013. CS1 maint:
Unfit url (link)
^ William Leibner (2013). "Pustków. The Almost Forgotten Death Camp".
JewishGen, Yizkor Book Project. Retrieved 12 August 2013.
^ Staff writer (2013). "Poligon - Blizna". Teren obozu zaglady w
Pustkowie (in Polish). Bizna OVH.org. Archived from the original on 26
February 2009. Retrieved 12 August 2013.
Seat (not part
of the gmina)
Coordinates: 50°8′25″N 21°29′20″E / 50.14028°N