At the end of September 1939, following the Soviet invasion of Poland, the Red Army occupied the city of Międzyrzec Podlaski, but at the beginning of October, the Soviet Union surrendered the city to Germany as part of the Hitler-Stalin Pact. Following the exchange, approximately 2,000 of the city’s Jews left for the Soviet-occupied zone. The Germans erected a transfer ghetto in the city holding up to 20,000 Jewish prisoners at its peak.
On the seventeenth of July 1943, the ghetto was liquidated, with all Jews deported to Treblinka and Majdanek death camps; at which time the last 160–200 residents were shot, and the city was officially declared free of Jews. Fewer than 1% of the Jewish population of the city survived the German occupation.
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